It’s difficult to walk around Edinburgh without stumbling upon a hidden gem that you haven’t spied before – here are some of the city’s best kept and beautiful secrets.
Kyoto Friendship Garden
Explore the grounds of 16th century Lauriston Castle in Cramond thoroughly and you’ll eventually stumble upon the Japanese Kyoto Friendship Garden, which opened in 2002.
Created to celebrate the twinning of Edinburgh with Kyoto in Japan, the garden has blossom trees, calming water features and zen galore for those lucky enough to find it.
Visit: 2 Cramond Road South, EH4 6AD
Wild West, Morningside
There isn’t much left of Edinburgh’s Wild West these days, but the remaining cantina and jail are still worth a visit.
This odd but authentic replica street is hidden directly behind Morningside Library and was built in the mid-1990s as part of an advertising campaign for a furniture business.
Visit: Springvalley Gardens, EH10 4QF
2 Wellington Place, Leith
While it might not look like much, literary greatness occurred behind this Edinburgh front door.
There’s no plaque on the wall outside, but Scottish author Irvine Welsh wrote his debut novel Trainspotting in a top floor flat at 2 Wellington Place in Leith.
Visit: 2 Wellington Place, EH6 7EQ
National Museum of Scotland’s Rooftop Terrace
The slightly labyrinthine nature of the National Museum of Scotland makes this view a little tricky to find, but the search is definitely worth it.
Head up to the Museum’s rooftop terrace on a clear day for breathtaking panoramic views of the entire city and beyond – perfect for both sketchers and sun-worshippers.
Visit: Chambers Street, EH1 1JF
Concealed just off bustling South Bridge, Dovecot Studios was once a Victorian swimming pool and now houses a 100 year old tapestry studio.
You can visit here to watch the talented weavers at work, peruse some art in the attached gallery or just enjoy a tasty cup of coffee somewhere slightly off the beaten track.
Visit: 10 Infirmary Street, EH1 1LT
Meat Market Arch
More than 130 years after it first opened, the spirit of the Edinburgh Meat Market proudly lives on through its original entrance archway.
Located in Fountainbridge, the fully-restored arch now stands a little further west than it did when the market was in operation, but otherwise this re-vitalised relic looks exactly as it did in 1884, stone bull heads and all.
Visit: Port Hamilton, EH3 9QF
If you take a walk along the River Almond in Cramond you’ll soon discover the striking Cramond Falls – Edinburgh’s answer to Niagara.
Although nowhere near as big as their Canadian cousin, these waterfalls are just as beautiful and calming to watch on a sunny day.
Visit: Cockle Mill, School Brae, EH4 6JN
Round the corner of unassuming Craigentinny Crescent and you’ll be greeted by the sight of this enormous and ornate mausoleum, known as the Craigentinny Marbles.
Now surrounded by bungalows and the Craigentinny Bowling Club, the tomb was built in the mid-1800s to house the body of local book collector and politician William Henry Miller.
Miller specifically asked to be buried 40 feet below the ground and (some say) face down.
Visit: 3 Craigentinny Crescent, EH7 6QA
Scottish National Portrait Gallery Library
You might have visited the Scottish National Portrait Gallery but if you didn’t venture upstairs, there’s a lot more to discover in the world’s first purpose built portrait gallery.
Their library has shelves of books stretching to the ceiling, as well as an impressive collection of busts and masks of some famous faces.
Visit: 1 Queen Street, EH2 1JD
Perched on top of beautiful Blackford Hill and set in the foreground of stunning Edinburgh is the Royal Observatory building.
Within the Observatory is the Crawford Collection, a series of books and items of historical significance to Astronomy, including works from Galileo, Copernicus and Sir Isaac Newton.
Visit: Blackford Hill View, EH9 3HJ