I recently had a friend visit from England who really wanted to get to grips with Edinburgh’s different neigborhoods. He told me he hadn’t really gotten a feel for any of them from Lonely Planet or any of the other guides he’d brought with him. I can only sympathise with that. Whenever I visit another city, I always feel the travel guides I bring with him are pretty lacking in terms of acquainting you with what the various areas are actually like. I actually visited Paris recently, however, where I came across a wee little app called Smarter Paris, which was actually a brilliant introduction to paris neighborhoods and the like. A great many articles written by locals, which makes a real difference in my opinion. If I had to create an app like that and, below are my thoughts on all that, which I gave John as well, over a pint or three!
Old Town — Old Town is where Edinburgh started. The main road that runs through it is Royal Mile, a medieval thoroughfare that runs for a good few kilometres all the way from Edinburgh Castle to the Palace of Holyroodhouse. The Royal Mile is just a single boulevard that has four different parts with different names: Canongate, Lawnmarket, High Street and Castlehill. It’s great place to get a good spot of shopping done.
New Town — One of the largest Georgian developments in the world, New Town preceded Old Town, of course, and grew to incorporate the northern half of the main part of the city. At least 25,000 people live here, and it’s also the largest historic conservation site in the whole of Britain, so loads of stuff to take in if you’re a history lover.
Stockbridge — Stockbridge was once a village but is now part of New Town. It still feels like quite a small town even though it’s in the heart of the city, with its own cosy community. It’s got a boatload of friendly cafes, pubs and restaurants, so overall this is a great place to go and relax.
Haymarket & Dalry — These two areas are a few kiometres to the west of the main city. Haymarket really revolves around its railway station, which acts as an alternative to Waverley for visitors who are traveling through Glasgow). Murrayfield, the famous rugby station, is situated quite close to the station. There’s not much to say about Dairy, other than that gentrification is firmly starting to take root!
Right, I think there’s a fair few more than those to mention, but my fingers are tired, so I shall wait until another today to add to this list!