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Edinburgh/South

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This Travel Guide covers the outlying areas of Edinburgh to the south of the Meadows and Lanark Road.

Get in[edit]

By Bus[edit]

Lothian Buses [1] have a comprehensive service throughout the south of the city. Many services depart South Bridge or Lothian Road in the Old Town.

On Foot[edit]

Walk across The Meadows (though not alone in the hours of darkness) from the southern edge of the Old Town; southwards along Clark Street and Nicholson Street from South Bridge; or down Lothian Road and Home Street from the West End of the New Town.

Looking upwards at the ceiling of Rosslyn Chapel

See[edit][add listing]

  • The Royal Observatory, Blackford Hill, 0131 668 8100 (fax: 0131 668 8264), [2]. Public Evenings every Friday 1900-2045 - must be booked in advance. Take a tour of the dome, housing one of Europe's largest telescopes. Learn about the history of the observatory and some of the cutting edge work they are carrying out today. If the weather is clear you can observe the stars in winter or the sun (through a special telescope) in summer. On some Fridays there is a special theme - check website for details. (Currently out of service for renovation of telescope domes.) £10.50 family, £4.00 adults, £3.00 children.  edit
  • Rosslyn Chapel, Roslin, Midlothian (Take the Lothian No.15 (NOT 15A) bus from St. Andrew Sq. or Lothian Rd.), [3]. 1st Apr - 30th Sept: Mon-Sat 9:30AM-6PM, Sun 12PM - 4:45PM. 1st Oct - 31st March: Mon - Sat 9:30AM -5PM, Sun 12noon - 4:45PM. Already famous due to connections with the Knights Templar and stories that the Holy Grail might rest here, then the Da Vinci Code came along and Rosslyn went ballistic. Despite the crowds it's well worth a visit for the stunning stone-carving and special atmosphere. Be sure to take a walk along the magical Roslin Glen before catching the bus back into town. Adults £7.50, U16s £4 (free if accompanied by paying adult).  edit
  • Swanston Village, Swanston, Fairmilehead, Edinburgh, [4]. Strangely isolated little village of thatched cottages where the city meets the Pentland Hills. Robert Louis Stevenson spent a lot of time here is his late teens and early twenties, as his parents lived in Swanston Cottage at the time.  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

The Pentland Hills
  • Pentland Hills Regional Park (Mountain wilderness on Edinburgh's doorstep), (Catch Lothian Buses 4 or 15 to Hillend, 10 to Torphins, 44 to Balerno or MacEwans Coaches no. 100 to Flotterstone.), [5]. Hillwalking, Mountain-Biking, Orienteering and Horse-riding. The Pentlands are far from Scotland's highest or most prestigious hills, however they do offer some proper wilderness on the fringe of the city, with hills, lochs and some amazing views across Central Scotland. If you're planning to head into the hills, make sure you have a suitable map. Ordnance Survey [6] Landranger sheets 66, 65, 72 cover the area, Harveys [7] SuperWalker Pentland Hills Map covers the whole area on one sheet. All should be available from local bookshops and outdoor equipment retailers.  edit
  • Midlothian Snowsports Centre, Hillend, Biggar Road, near Edinburgh (Lothian Buses 4 and 15 to Hillend. By car, the centre is just off the City Bypass at the Lothianburn Junction), 0131 445 4433 (, fax: 0131 445 5549), [8]. Winter (Sept - April) Mon - Sat 9:30AM - 9PM, Sun 9:30AM - 7PM. Summer (May - August) Mon - Fri 9:30AM - 9PM, Sat - Sun 9:30AM - 7PM. One of Europe's longest artificial ski slopes, suitable for skiers and boarders of all abilities. Instruction available. Chairlift and 2 tows. Equipment hire available on site, or bring your own. Wear long trousers, long sleeves and gloves as the matting will take off a few layers of skin if (when?) you fall.  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • Seesaw Toys, 181 Bruntsfield Place, [9]. Family run shops (there's another branch in the New Town) stocking a well-selected range of traditional wooden toys, from simple rattles for babies, to musical instruments, and larger items such as ride-on toys and giant castles. Also stock a range of organic baby clothes, washable nappies, and lotions and potions for mothers and babies.  edit

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • The Clay Oven, 86 Morningside Rd, 0131 447 9724, [10]. Daily 12PM-2PM and 5PM-midnight. Homey, comfortable restaurant dedicated to offering traditional and simple South Indian cuisine.  edit
  • Guru Balti Restaurant, 9 Dundee Terrace, Edinburgh EH11 1DL, 0131 221 9779 / 0131 221 1281, [11]. Specialising in Indian Balti cuisine, the dishes are refreshing after having the same old curries at other restaurants!  edit
  • Hanedan, 41 West Preston Street EH8 9PY, 0131 667 4242, [12]. Turkish restaurant specialising in grilled meats and fish. Always very popular; a reservation is recommended.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Bar Ce Lona, 2-8 West Crosscauseway, 6628860. Great tapas style bar with outdoor seating and a lively atmosphere. Live music and DJ rotate nightly. Be sure to try their flavoured margaritas.  edit
  • Bennets Bar, 8 Leven St, 2295143. A good old fashioned pub that satisfies with cold beer on tap and tasty cheap food. Bennets also has a good range of Real Ale and the selection changes weekly.  edit
  • The Canny Man (Officially the Volunteer Arms but if you call it that nobody will know what you're talking about), 237 Morningside Road, 0131 447 1484. Famously idiosyncratic pub in Edinburgh's douce Morningside area. (Be aware that it's actually illegal to mention Morningside without describing it as douce - just search online for news items mentioning the area for evidence of this). Heinous crimes such as "owning a rucsac", "using a mobile phone" and "waving a camera about", among others, are liable to result in instant dismissal and a lifetime ban. Don't let the grumpy reputation put you off however as this is a comfortably civilised place to spend some time, with an excellent range of ales, impressive wine list, and a whisky menu as long as your arm. Good food too.  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Budget[edit]

  • Argyle Backpackers, 14 Argyle Pl (The number 41 bus (catch it outside Waverley railway station) goes right past the front door.), +44 131 667 9991, [13]. Two good self-catering kitchens, garden, conservatory/seating area, choice of different sized dorms, and private rooms.Definitely not a party hostel. Dorm from £13.  edit


  • Edinburgh First at University [14] aka Pollock Halls, 18 Holyrood Park Road, tel. 0800 028 7118, fax 0131 667 7271, overseas tel +44 131 651 2189, open June 18th to September 24th. Accommodation on the campus of the University of Edinburgh, near to the Royal Commonwealth Pool and Arthur's Seat. About half-hour walk to city center. Very nice Scottish breakfast in campus cafeteria. Completely nonsmoking. Single room £27-£46, most expensive in August (Edinburgh Festival time).

Mid Range[edit]

  • Southside Guest House, 8 Newington Road, 0131 6684422, [15]. Probably the stand out among the many hotels and guest houses on this main road which stretches from the edge of the Old Town southwards almost to the edge of the city.  edit
  • Best Western Bruntsfield Hotel, 69 Bruntsfield Place, EH10 4HH. Phone: 0131 229 1393. Email: reservations@thebruntsfield.co.uk. [16]An impressive, contemporary styled town house hotel overlooking Bruntsfield Links park a short distance from the city centre. Bisque Bar & Brasserie [17] and free parking.
  • Sonas Guest House, 3 East Mayfield, 0131 667 2781 (, fax: 0131 510 0079), [18]. Sonas Guest House is a beautifully converted 19th century Victorian villa, built in the 1870's for the directors of the railway. It offers the charm of 19th century Edinburgh with 21st century amenities such as free WiFi and parking. (55.93389,-3.17313) edit

Splurge[edit]

  • Prestonfield House, Priestfield Road, 0131 225 7800, [19]. Multiple award-winning 5-star hotel in the shadow of Arthur's Seat. What other city hotel anywhere in the World can boast a herd of Highland Cattle in its grounds?  edit

Contact[edit]

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