A hidden gem in Edinburgh well worth a visit - Steve Cardownie
When I was a council committee convener responsible for culture and sport, my remit included parks, gardens, museums and galleries including Lauriston Castle, the 16th century tower house overlooking the Firth of Forth on the west of the city.
Built around 1590 and acquired by William Robert Reid in 1902, he set about installing new plumbing and electricity and, with his wife Margaret, accumulated a collection of fine furniture and artwork which is still on display today.
As they did not have any children they left the house to “Scotland” on Mrs Reid’s death in 1926 on the condition that it should be preserved unchanged. Situated in extensive grounds including croquet lawns it also boasts the Edinburgh-Kyoto Friendship Garden which was introduced in 2002 and offers visitors the opportunity to sit in tranquil surroundings designed and built by Takashi Sawano.
During lockdown I have paid many a visit to the castle and enjoyed walking in its grounds whilst taking in the view across to Fife. It was heartening to see so many other people walking and picnicking in such a pleasant setting but I have always felt that too few people in the city were aware of the castle and what it had to offer.
Hopefully this summer will see more visitors to the area as people continue to explore their city and the hidden jewels within it. Certainly Lauriston Castle is well worth a visit and as it is only a stones throw from Davidson’s Mains it is fairly accessible by public transport. Give it a try!