Edinburgh Day 2: Dean Village and New Town

Dean Village is a haven of tranquillity in the midst of a bustling city.It is within walking distance of Edinburgh’s New Town. Although we were staying further afield, a leisurely hour’s walk got us there without a problem.

Dean Village

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Dean Village is situated along a river known as the Water of Leith. Due to the river’s strong currents the village was a successful grain milling area for more than 800 years. At one time there were eleven working mills in this part of Edinburgh. The village is low-lying and the arches of Dean Bridge span the river about 100 feet above it.

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Dean Village is a residential area. There are no shops or restaurants – we only saw one sign for a cafeteria. There were some other tourists prowling around on the day we were there but, for the most part, you will only meet residents walking their dog or jogging along the river.

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The village almost feels like it’s right out of a fairy tale – it definitely reminded me of some of the illustrations in the Ladybird books I read as a child (does anyone else remember them or were they more of an English thing?)The turreted buildings probably had something to do with this  impression.

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I was completely enthralled by the pervasive feeling of peace, the pastel colours of the houses reflected in the river water, the wild flowers and the gentle sounds of trickling water and chirping birds.

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With the advent of bigger mills at Leith, Dean Village’s trade decreased to the point that the majority of people left and the area fell into decay and poverty. In the 1970s a period of restoration began, turning the village into the desirable area it is today. In 1983 the Water of Leith Walkway was created. It is possible to follow this walkway all the way to the sea. We first walked along the river along a narrow, wooded path until we came to a gate to the right of which was a flight of steps that took us back to the village.

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We then went back to where we had started and walked in the opposite direction, coming across a cute little miller’s cottage that made me wonder whether we might bump into Rumpelstiltskin running a quick errand. We didn’t, but we did catch a glimpse of a Grecian deity in her own little columned temple. Our walk ended on the fringes of New Town.

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New  Town

New Town is so different from Old Town that you’d be forgiven for thinking that you’re in a different city. While Old Town is distinctly medieval with a plethora of high, narrow buildings and winding, oft-times narrow streets, New Town is Georgian in character. Its wide streets are on a grid pattern and lined with pubs, restaurants, high street stores and upscale boutiques. There are also a number of open spaces like St Andrew Square.

Edinburgh - St Andrew Square

Its most famous street is Princes Street from where you can get a wonderful view of Edinburgh Castle and the Old Town skyline across a natural depression known as Nor Loch.

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Princes Street Gardens, the Scott Monument and the Balmoral Hotel, with its distinctive clock tower, are amongst the most familiar landmarks situated on Princes Street.

Princes Street Gardens - Edinburgh

Scott Monument - Edinburgh

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The Balmoral Hotel - Edinburgh

There are many other notable buildings in New  Town that, sadly, I did not take photos of. Sometimes I am too distracted about getting to where we’re going to stop and appreciate other attractive spots on the way. Next time I’ll remember to keep my eyes wide open.

Edinburgh - New Town

The Balmoral Hotel - Edinburgh 2

Location: Edinburgh, Scotland (August 2018)

Debbie Nolan said...

Loree - all your photos are gorgeous. I especially loved the one of Edinburgh Castle. What an amazing site. So glad you are sharing these picturesque spots. Have a wonderful day. Hugs!

Loree said...

Via email from La Contessa:

Gattina said...

I don't think that I have been in Dean village, but all pictures look so familiar to me ! I love these old grey stone houses. If you want you find Edinburgh on my travel blog. Now I enjoy yours makes me feel to go back !

Salty Pumpkin Studio said...

Your photos are fantastic. Dean is a lovely place.

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Sincerely, Loree. Theme by STS.