Stockbridge and Canonmills are two adjacent districts of Edinburgh. They cover the area immediately to the north of the New Town. The main tourist draw here is the Royal Botanic Garden, but don't miss the eclectic variety of independent shops and some great places to eat and drink. It's also the place to see international cricket matches.
From New Town, walk north, an easy downhill stroll with plenty to look at on the way.
A longer but picturesque route follows the Water of Leith Walkway from the West End or Leith. This follows the small river which flows from the Pentland Hills through the city to join the sea at Leith docks.
- The number 36 bus passes right through this area, running from South Gyle via Queensferry Street in the West End to Ocean Terminal in Leith.
- The number 8 and 17 buses serve Canonmills from South Bridge in the Old Town.
- The numbers 24, 29 and 42 serve Stockbridge, running along Raeburn Place.
- 1 Royal Botanic Garden, Inverleith Row (East Gate) / Arboretum Place (West Gate) (Signposted from all around the area. Take Lothian Buses 8, 23 or 27 to the East Gate), ☏ . Open daily from 10AM (except 25 Dec and 1 Jan); closes: 4PM Nov-Jan, 5PM Feb - Oct, Occasionally closes during high winds. Very impressive gardens with a collection of interesting plants. Great place to wander around on a sunny day, or to sit and have a picnic. Highlights include the Rock Garden; the 165-m-long herbaceous border, backed by a huge, century old beech hedge (a hedge may not sound too exciting but this one has to be seen to be believed!); and the Victorian Temperate Palm House, which is the tallest of its kind in the UK. A number of sculptures, including two by Barbara Hepworth, are displayed around the gardens. The stunning John Hope Gateway building at the west gate contains the quality restaurant, shop, and permanent and temporary exhibitions. Botanic Cottage is an education centre in a house that was originally built in 1764-5, designed by John Adam and James Craig and moved to the garden in 2014. The glasshouses and the Palm House are closed until 2025 (TBC) for rebuilding and extension. Free entry to the gardens, donations accepted.
- 6 Times. Six life-sized human figures by world-renowned artist Antony Gormley were installed in 2010 in and along the Water of Leith, between the National Gallery of Modern Art and the sea at Leith Docks.
- 2 Patriothall Gallery, 1D Hamilton Place, Stockbridge (located behind the Scotmid co-op supermarket in Hamilton Place), ☏ . Small art gallery and set of artists studios. Has regular exhibitions of modern art, and very occasionally the artist's studios are open.
- 3 St Bernard's Well (On the Water of Leith Walkway, roughly opposite Ann Street). A well in a fine building from 1789. Open noon-3PM Sundays in August and first Sunday of month April - July.
- 4 Fettes College. Boarding school in an impressive building in the style of a French Château by David Bryce built between 1863 and 1869. It can be seen from far away. Not open for tourists - the best view is looking through the fence from Carrington Road.
- 1 Water of Leith Walkway. Walk or cycle along the Water of Leith. The route follows the river right through the City from the suburb of Balerno, on the edge of the Pentland Hills, to the sea at Leith. The walkway is indicated by brown direction signs featuring a water wheel logo. The section from the Gallery of Modern Art through the Dean Village and Stockbridge to Canonmills is probably the most picturesque on the whole river. There are Brown Trout plus a dozen other species of fish in the river and birds including the Grey Heron, Goosander, Dipper and Kingfisher can be seen along the banks.
- Fishing (Angling) on the Water of Leith. Permits are required, and can be obtained free of charge from the City Council offices at Waverley Market in the New Town and Cockburn Street in the Old Town. Most Fishing Tackle shops throughout the city can also provide permits.
- 2 The Grange, Raeburn Place. Take in a cricket match at The Grange, home of the Saltires, Scotland's cricket team.
- 3 Glenogle Swim Centre, Glenogle Road, ☏ . M-F 7AM-10PM; Sa Su 8AM-4PM. Go swimming in a Victorian swimming pool with partial glass roof. Also has a gym and sauna. Refurbished in 2010. Pool only: £5; sauna: add £1.60.
Stockbridge is well-known throughout Edinburgh and beyond for its second-hand clothes shops, which are spread along Raeburn Place and St Stephen Street. Stockbridge and Canonmills have a number of specialist food shops.
- 1 IJ Mellis (Cheesemonger), 6 Baker Place, Stockbridge (A few yards up the hill to the south of the bridge), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Cheese paradise! If you like cheese at all you will struggle to walk past this place as the aroma will draw you right in through the door. Specialist cheesemonger with a range of artisan cheeses from all over Scotland, the UK and Europe. With the greatest customer service in Edinburgh, the friendly staff are always more than happy to offer you a wee taste to help you make up your mind what to buy.
- 2 Edina Lock & Key Co. Ltd., 10-12 Brandon Terrace, Canonmills (at the foot of Dundas St.), ☏ (shop), (websales), fax: , email@example.com. M Tu Th-Sa 9:30AM-5:30PM; W 9:30AM-1PM. Ironmonger & locksmith. If you like the brass door furniture you've seen on the traditional townhouses in the New Town, this is the place to pick up the knobs, knockers, numbers and letter-boxes you need to make your own front door look just the same. A real treasure-trove of a shop.
- 3 Stockbridge Market, Saunders Street (In the little gravel covered park by the Water of Leith at the bridge). Su 10-5PM and occasional Th. Open air market selling upmarket produce. Also has food stalls selling ready-to-eat food.
- Charity second hand shops in Raeburn Place, Stockbridge. Most of these stock the usual mix of clothes, books and household items, but there are three specialist shops: Oxfam Books, Shelter Books and Oxfam Music. These shops usually have a paid manager, with the other staff being volunteers, and the profits go to the named charity. Most of the stuff for sale has been donated.
- Supermarkets (from East to West and also from cheaper to expensive): Lidl, Logie Green Road, Cannonmills Tesco, 7 Broughton Road, Cannomills; Scotmid Co-op, Hamilton Place, Stockbridge; Scotmid Co-op, Raeburn Place, Stockbridge; Waitrose, 38 Comely Bank Road, Stockbridge.
Take a pleasant walk along St Stephen Street with numerous small independent art galleries and design orientated stores you are bound to find something of interest in this small street. Some of these stores include:
- 4 Sheila Fleet, 18 St Stephen Street, Stockbridge, ☏ . The well-known jewellery designer's first shop outside of her native Orkney. Fleet says that her original designs reflect the natural world around her in Orkney, and also the history and folklore of the islands.
- 5 VoxBox Music, 21 St Stephen Street, Stockbridge, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. W Su noon-5PM; Sa 11AM-5PM. An independent record shop. They sell a range of collectible records. Mainly used vinyl but also some new CDs and box sets.
- Crystal Chandelier Company, 36 St Stephens Street, ☏ . This store offers an interesting range of chandeliers and mirrors.
- Chandlers, 68 St Stephens Street, ☏ . Sells a large variety of modern, designer kitchenware and homeware.
- 6 The Laurel Gallery, 58 St Stephens Street, ☏ . This store offers high quality pieces of Scottish art, jewellery and gifts at reasonable prices although small it is well worth having a look around.
- 1 Mimi's Bakehouse, 153-155 Comely Bank Road, EH4 1BQ (opposite Waitrose), ☏ , email@example.com. Daily 9AM-5PM, takeaway hatch from 8:30AM. Stockbridge branch of an Edinburgh chain of cafés, serving a fairly standard range of sandwiches, but interesting seasonal cakes and bakes. Brunch and sandwiches £5-£8, cakes £3-£6.
- 2 The Bailie, 2-4 St Stephen Street, ☏ . Could just as easily feature in the "drink" section, as this is a lovely old traditional basement pub, known as much for the quality of its ale as for its food. Fairly traditional pub menu, but while the quality is well above standard "pub-grub" fare, the prices are not. Popular Sunday afternoon meeting spot for groups of friends to dissect what went on the night before in comfortable surroundings.
- 3 The Stockbridge Restaurant, 54 St Stephen Street, ☏ . Tu-Su 7PM-9:30PM. mains £20-25, set menu from £24.
- 4 Scran and Scallie, 1 Comely Bank Road, EH4 1DT, ☏ . M-F noon-10PM, Sa Su 8:30AM-10PM. Upmarket gastro pub. The owners have another restaurant with a Michelin Star. lunch £15, mains £10 - 25.
- 5 The Raeburn, 112 Raeburn Place, EH4 1HG, ☏ . Restaurant, pub and small hotel (rooms from £135) with beer garden. mains £12-30.
- 6 The Orchard, 1-2 Howard Place, EH3 5JZ (near East Gate of Botanic Gardens). fodd noon - 8:30PM, bar 11AM - 11PM (later W - Sa). Pub with bar meals, including a gluten free menu. main £12 - 17.
- 1 The Stockbridge Tap (formerly Berts Bar), 2-4 Raeburn Place, Stockbridge, ☏ . Traditional Edinburgh bar in the heart of Stockbridge. Good range of ales and whiskies, and some good value pub-grub on offer too. Popular place to watch sport on screen, though the management tend not to show football.
- The Bailie (See Eat above).
- 2 Smithie's Ale House, 49-51 Eyre Pl, Canonmills, ☏ . Comfortable, friendly local bar on a Canonmills side street. Ceilidh nights on Sundays and quiz nights on Thursdays.
There are a number of small and medium sized hotels and guest houses throughout the area.
- 1 The Inverleith Hotel, 5 Inverleith Terrace, Canonmills, ☏ , fax: , firstname.lastname@example.org. The closest hotel to the Botanic Garden. All rooms have an en-suite bath and there is Wi-Fi access. The proprietors also have a self-catering apartment round the corner.
- 2 Six Mary's Place, 6 Mary's Place, Raeburn Place, Stockbridge, ☏ , fax: . Charming veggie-friendly 3-star B&B in the heart of Stockbridge. 8 bedrooms, guest lounge and a private garden for the use of guests.
- 3 Brig O' Doon Guest House (Brig O Doon Guest House), 262 Ferry Road, ☏ , email@example.com. A small, friendly bed and breakfast providing very comfortable accommodation in Edinburgh, its close to the main attractions and serves a traditional Scottish breakfast daily.
- 4 Canon Court Aparthotel, 20 Canonmills, ☏ , fax: . Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 10AM. Offers a wide range or 1- and 2-bedroom serviced apartments for short term lettings, in a building near the Water of Leith.
- The Mews Company Edinburgh Ltd, 24 Dean St, 21 N E Cumberland St Ln, or 27 Circus Ln, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. 4 mews houses each with their own unique character available as self-catering holiday lets all year round. Parking on site or nearby. from £115.
- The Raeburn is a small hotel in a Georgian mansion, see Eat listing for details.
- 1 Stockbridge Library, 11 Hamilton Place, Stockbridge (Take Lothian Buses 24, 29, 36 or 42), ☏ , email@example.com. M W 1PM-8PM; Tu Th-Sa 10AM-5PM. PCs with free internet access. Free Wi-Fi.