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Europe > Britain and Ireland > United Kingdom > Scotland > Central Belt > The Lothians > Edinburgh > Edinburgh/South

Edinburgh/South

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The South of Edinburgh includes the Meadows and popular residential areas such as Bruntsfield, Morningside, Marchmont and Newington. To the west it's bordered by the Union Canal and Lanark Road. To the south, the city boundary roughly follows the A720 city bypass and crest of the Pentlands. However this page also includes a few attractions, especially Rosslyn Chapel and Pentland Hills Regional Park, that are beyond the city but better accessed from here than anywhere else.

Get in[edit]

Map of Edinburgh districts

South Edinburgh has West Edinburgh on its north-western boundary, and East Edinburgh on its north-eastern boundary. The Old Town is a small part of the northern boundary. It's quite a spread-out area, but many points of interest are in the 2 miles or so between the Meadows and Blackford Hill.

By foot[edit]

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

By bus[edit]

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

See[edit]

Map of Edinburgh/South
  • 1 The Royal Observatory, Blackford Hill, +44 131 668-8100, fax: +44 131 668-8264. Public evenings every Friday 7PM-8:45PM - 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. £10.50 family, £4.00 adults, £3.00 children. Royal Observatory (Q3106882) on Wikidata Royal Observatory, Edinburgh on Wikipedia
  • 2 Craigmillar Castle, Craigmillar Castle Road, EH16 4SY (Take bus number 42, then walk uphill south for 800 m. Or take any bus that goes to the Royal Infirmary and walk uphill north for 800 m.), +44 131 661-4445. Apr-Sep: M-Su 9:30AM-5:30PM; Oct-Mar: M-W Sa Su 9:30AM-4:30PM. Last admission: 30 min before closing time. Adult £5.50, child £3.30, concession £4.40. Craigmillar Castle (Q432422) on Wikidata Craigmillar Castle on Wikipedia
Looking upwards at the ceiling of Rosslyn Chapel
  • 3 Rosslyn Chapel (Collegiate Chapel of St. Matthew), Roslin, Midlothian (About 12km south of Edinburgh city center. Take Lothian Buses No. 37 to 'Hotel' stop in Roslin Village near the chapel. Alternatively take Lothian Buses No. 15 (or 15A on Sundays) from St Andrew Sq. or Lothian Rd. which takes about 45min + 20min walk). Jun-Aug: M-Sa 9:30AM-6PM, Sun noon-4:45PM. Sep-May: M-Sa 9:30AM-5PM, Su noon-4:45PM. A 15th-century church already famous for its 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 Roslin Glen before catching the bus back into town. Adults £9, concessions £7, under 18 free if accompanied by paying adult. Rosslyn Chapel (Q49642) on Wikidata Rosslyn Chapel on Wikipedia
  • 4 Swanston Village, Swanston, Fairmilehead. 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. Swanston, Edinburgh (Q7653753) on Wikidata Swanston, Edinburgh on Wikipedia
  • 5 Upright Gallery, 3 Barclay Terrace, Bruntsfield. M-F 11AM-5PM Sat-Sun 11AM-4PM. Commercial art gallery

Do[edit]

  • 1 Meadows (Just south of the Quartermile and George Square campus of the University of Edinburgh). Edinburgh's best and biggest central public park. Absolutely free. Known for great atmosphere especially during the summer and entertainment like the festival and regular busking. Great for a walk at any time, day or night. Always awash with activity, the Meadows is the perfect place to relax, read a book, get drunk, or play some football. Tennis courts are available for hire at the eastern end of the park. The Meadows (Q7750795) on Wikidata The Meadows (park) on Wikipedia
  • 2 Summerhall, 1 Summerhall (east end of the Meadows), +44 131 560-1581 (Box office). Contemporary art exhibitions and event space in the former Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary. The distillery that produces Pickering's Gin is located there and tours by appointment are available (+44 131 290-2901). Barney's Brewery is there as well, though only open to the public on special occasions. You can try both beer and gin at the Royal Dick, which is a pub in the courtyard of Summerhall. Summerhall (Q23467770) on Wikidata Summerhall on Wikipedia
  • 3 The Queen's Hall, 85 - 89 Clerk Street, +44 131 668-2019 (Box office). Offers a variety of musical events across all genres (classical, jazz, blues, pop, rock, world, folk and comedy).
  • 4 Royal Commonwealth Pool, Dalkeith Road, +44 131 667-7211. M-F 5:30AM-10PM; Sa 5:30AM-8PM; Su 7:30AM-8PM. The pool was built for the Commonwealth Games in 1970, and was used again for the 1986 and 2014 games. £5.90 adults for a swimming ticket, other activities available. Royal Commonwealth Pool (Q7374052) on Wikidata Royal Commonwealth Pool on Wikipedia
  • 5 Bruntsfield Links. This is a park adjoining the Meadows which offers a short hole golf course for everyone. If you don't have any equipment, ask for clubs and balls from The Golf Tavern (see below). Free to play. Bruntsfield Links (Q4979595) on Wikidata Bruntsfield Links on Wikipedia
  • 6 Union Canal, Starts at Fountainbridge Square. Walk or cycle along the start of the Canal or go for a boat trip. The Canal eventually meets with the Forth and Clyde Canal at the Falkirk Wheel, which is about half-way to Glasgow. Union Canal (Q940770) on Wikidata Union Canal (Scotland) on Wikipedia
  • Walk along Bruntsfield Place and Morningside Road (all one long road) which feature lots of small shops, cafés, restaurants and bakeries.
  • 7 Dominion, 18 Newbattle Terrace (in Morningside), +44 131 447-4771. Mainstream & alternative films. One screen is full of two- and three-person leather sofas for the ultimate cinema-going experience.
  • Arthur's Seat is easily accessed from South Edinburgh, but see Old Town for description.

Further afield[edit]

In the Pentland Hills
  • 8 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 Stagecoach Buses 100, 101 or 102 to Flotterstone - see the official bus guide for more details). 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 Landranger sheets 66, 65, 72 cover the area, Harveys SuperWalker Pentland Hills Map covers the whole area on one sheet. All should be available from local bookshops and outdoor equipment retailers. Getting there takes around 30 minutes on the bus, or 45 minutes by bicycle from central Edinburgh. Map of official mountain bike routes and local walks. Pentland Hills (Q7165251) on Wikidata Pentland Hills on Wikipedia
  • 9 Midlothian Snowsports Centre, Hillend, Biggar Road, near Edinburgh. Located in the Pentland Hills Regional Park (Lothian Buses 4 and 15 to Hillend. By car, the centre is just off the City Bypass at the Lothianburn Junction), +44 131 445-4433, fax: +44 131 445-5549, . Sep-Apr: M-Sa 9:30AM-9PM; Su 9:30AM-7PM. May-Aug: M-F 9:30AM-9PM; Sa Su 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. Midlothian Snowsports Centre (Q6842589) on Wikidata Midlothian Snowsports Centre on Wikipedia
  • 10 Stewart Brewing, 26a Dryden Road, Bilston Glen Ind Estate, Loanhead, +44 131 563-7580. Th and F starting at 7PM (until 9:30PM) you can take part in a brewery tour which includes drinks and snacks. Prices are £15 adults and £12 concessions. Call the number above to book in advance. Every Saturday you can come by (advance booking not required) between noon and 4:30PM and will get a tour plus beer samples for £7.50.
  • 11 Dalkeith Country Park (Take Lothian Buses 3, 33 or 49 from Edinburgh to Dalkeith), +44 131 654-1666, . Easter to the end of September: 9:00-5PM daily. A vast park next to Dalkeith. Great for outdoor activities such as cycling, walking, hiking, etc. One entrance point is at the north-east end of Dalkeith High Street. £1.

Buy[edit]

  • 1 Drinkmonger, 11 Bruntsfield Place, +44 131 229-2205. They offer a very good selection of whiskies, wines, beers and other spirits.
  • 2 Great Grog Bottle Shop, 2 Dalkeith Road, +44 131 667-2855. Nice selection of local and international beers; has wines and spirits as well.
  • 3 Hog's Head Music, 62 South Clerk Street, EH8 9PS. Store selling second hand music CDs and movie DVDs.
  • 4 Waitrose, 145 Morningside Road. A branch of the UK-wide chain of more upmarket supermarkets.
  • 5 Time & Tide, 7-9 Church Hill Place, EH10 4BE, +44 131 446-3667, . M-Sa 10AM-5:30PM; Su 11:30AM-4:30PM. Relaxed homeware and interior accessories.

Eat[edit]

Budget[edit]

  • 1 Susie's Wholefood Wagon (Northern part of the Meadows, close to Middle Meadow Walk). Vegetarian wraps, burritos and burgers. Only served around lunch time. Check the webpage if the wagon is there before you go. £4-4.50.
  • 2 The Wee Boulangerie, 67 Clerk Street (close to Queen's Hall), +44 131 629-3134, . M-Sa 9AM-6PM; Su 9:30AM-3PM. Delicious bakery which produces their breads, croissants, baguettes etc. in the bakery shop. It's a small shop, but they have a few tables to sit in.

Mid-range[edit]

  • 3 Apiary, 33 Newington Road. Fine dining. It's the sister restaurant of the Three Birds in Bruntsfield. Dinner: mains £14-15.
  • 4 The Clay Oven, 86 Morningside Rd, +44 131 447-9724. Daily noon-2PM and 5PM-midnight. Homey, comfortable restaurant dedicated to offering traditional and simple South Indian cuisine.
  • 5 Hanedan, 41 West Preston Street, +44 131 667-4242. Turkish restaurant specialising in grilled meats and fish. Always very popular; a reservation is recommended.
  • 6 The Hermitage Bar, 1 Comiston Road. This pub has very good food at reasonable prices and a nice modern interior.
  • Voujon, 107 Newington Road, EH9 1QW (On a main bus route into the centre, takes around 15 minutes), +44 131 667 5046. Proper Indian restaurant (rather than a cafè or take-away), full meals around £22.

Drink[edit]

  • 1 The Canny Man (Officially the Volunteer Arms but if you call it that nobody will know what you're talking about), 237 Morningside Road, +44 131 447-1484. 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.
  • 2 Clerk's bar, 74-78 South Clerk Street, +44 131 667-2701. Good pub food and a changing selection of local beers.
  • 3 Cask and Barrel (Ale House), 24-26 West Preston Street. A pub offering a changing selection of ales. They also have a big selection of whiskies. No food.
  • 4 Leslie's Bar, 45-47 Ratcliffe Terrace. A traditional pub with lots of locals, changing guest ales and a decent selection of whiskies.
  • 5 The Golf Tavern, 30-31 Wrights Houses. Food daily until 9:30PM. Good food and an outside seating area overlooking the Bruntsfield Links. You can also get golf clubs and balls for £3.50 from here if you want to play on the adjacent Links.

Sleep[edit]

Budget[edit]

  • 1 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. 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.
  • 2 Pollock Halls, 18 Holyrood Park Road, +44 131 651-2189, toll-free: 0800 028 7118, fax: +44 131 667-7271. Run by Edinburgh First from the University of Edinburgh, open June 25 to September 10. Accommodation 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 £40-£57, most expensive in August (Edinburgh Festival time). Pollock Halls of Residence (Q3394698) on Wikidata Pollock Halls of Residence on Wikipedia
  • Travelodge Cameron Toll, 43 Craigmillar Park, Cameron Toll, EH16 5PD (On the A701 from the city by-pass, on a main bus route into the centre), 08719 846458 (high cost). Check-in: 3pm, check-out: 12 noon. Usual Travelodge experience. About 20 minutes by bus to the centre. Around £50 for a double room without breakfast.

Mid-range[edit]

  • 3 Southside Guest House, 8 Newington Road, +44 131 668-4422. 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.
  • 4 Sonas Guest House, 3 East Mayfield, +44 131 667-2781, fax: +44 131 510-0079, . Sonas Guest House is a beautifully converted 19th-century Victorian villa, built in the 1870s for the directors of the railway. It offers the charm of 19th-century Edinburgh with 21st-century amenities such as free Wi-Fi and parking.
  • 5 Dairy Cottage (At the Steading), Roslin, +44 131 440-1608. Bed and Breakfast near the Rosslyn chapel.
  • 6 Kingsway Guest House, 5 East Mayfield, +44 131 667-5029, . Check-in: 2-6PM or by arrangement, check-out: 10:30AM. Popular, family-run Victorian guest house established in 1990, one of the first in this area. Great service, great rooms, great breakfast. from £65.
  • 7 The Dunedin Guest House, 8 Priestfield Road, West of Old Town, +44 131 668-1949. This is relatively expensive (£50-£90 for a double room), but with a beautiful decor and friendly staff.
  • 8 Best Western Plus Bruntsfield Hotel, 69 Bruntsfield Place (overlooking Bruntsfield Links), +44 131 229-1393. Traditional boutique hotel with contemporary touches and Bisque Bar & Brasserie with mains around £15. Free parking & free WiFi. From £75 per night.

Splurge[edit]

  • 9 Prestonfield House, Priestfield Road, +44 131 225-7800. 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?

Connect[edit]

Go next[edit]

Routes through South
Old Town  NW UK road A7.svg SE  DalkeithCarlisle


This district travel guide to South is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.