Thanks to Google Maps I saw that in fact I could walk all the way along the side of the grandly named Water of Leith, so imagining I would be walking down a sort of towpath, I set out prepared for mud.
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My flat is in Leith not far from the Shore, where there are lots of trendy bars and restaurants, most of which I haven't had time to visit. I had done a preliminary explore along the water in December, when the weather was better, and the swans were out, so here are some photos from then.
What was promised as a 21/2 mile stroll, turned into more of an obstacle race, as sections of the path disappeared into landslips or flood prevention works. I'm used to walking along English canal towpaths which, like railways, still show the backs of industrial buildings, so what you end up with is a view of towns you don't normally see, and an idea of what it must have been like when water was the main method of transport. Although that has changed, somehow there is still an air of industrial archeology about a walk along the river near the port of Leith, as this old water tower shows.
After about 15 mins, the way was barred completely, with not a clue where to go next. So I was on the point of looking for a bus into town, but then I realised with Google Maps I could probably guess how to get back onto the river. So after a big detour round this Waste Removal Station, I managed to get back to the river and quite a pleasant route.
But huge concrete walls appeared to keep the floodwater from the smart gardens with conservatories, which you can just see over the wall. Or perhaps it is to give privacy to the private gardens from all the gongoozlers* walking along the river.
Then I came to a strange set of narrow low terraces, which though small, were rather smart. A noticeboard explained that these were "The Colonies". When flat hunting, I had seen a mention of these, but never went to see them.
Thanks to Wikipedia we can find out that they are artisans cottages built in several places in Edinburgh between 1850 and 1910 as homes for artisans and skilled working-class families by philanthropic model dwellings companies. In Stockbridge they look very gentrified now.
On these walks you never know what you will come across just round the corner. Here's a strange building looking rather Spanish among the Edinburgh granite. And a (metal) bird has landed in the middle of the river. By now we are right in the middle of the city, but well below the streets, as you can see.
Then even the river develops two levels, with this weir, and an old mill at Dean Village.
By now, I was almost at the Museum, though I had to climb back up from the river, and Google Maps does not show it in the right place. I think the best exhibits are outside: the Charles Jencks "Landform", (which looked great for toboganning and skating, though I doubt it was intended for that) and the neon sign over the museum entrance saying "Everything is going to be all right". My feet were too sore to do the whole museum, but I saw the cafe led onto a walled garden, so a good place to visit in the summer.
*gongoozlers is the name from people who stand and gawp at narrow boats on the canals, see more here