New Town Edinburgh :
The New Town is Edinburgh’s “other” neighborhood. It’s the place you don’t hear much about when you’re thinking about visiting the Scottish capital. Sure, there’s no Royal Mile or Edinburgh Castle, but there are some amazing attractions.
In fact, the New Town could pretty much stand on its own! Truly, I think this beautiful neighborhood is just as amazing as the Old Town and well worth a visitor’s time!
History of the New Town
The New Town was built in stages between 1767 and around 1850 in order to provide Edinburgh’s wealthiest inhabitants an opportunity to escape the Old Town’s medieval smells. Ever hear of the nickname “Auld Reekie”? Yup, the Old Town wasn’t so pleasant.
It was constructed in the neo-classical and Georgian period style. And many of these original buildings remain.
Princes Street and George Street are the two most famous streets in the New Town. Princes Street faces the Old Town and Princes Street Gardens, while George Street is full of grand buildings and amazing shopping.
Princes Street and George Street
Princes and George Streets are Edinburgh’s main shopping streets. They’re also great spots for fine dining. After a day browsing designer labels at boutiques and department stores make sure you have reservations at The Dome which is one of Edinburgh’s best restaurants. If shopping isn’t your thing, then walking down along the beautiful streets is well worth the time.
The early evening is particularly beautiful as the lights are turned on!
Calton Hill is one of the prominent hills in Edinburgh. It is located right at the east end of Princes Street. Calton Hill is populated with a number of monuments and architectural gems, such as the Dugald Stewart Monument and the Nelson Monument. Most importantly, Calton Hill is a fantastic place to just enjoy the beauty of Edinburgh and its amazing sunsets. And this is one of the most popular places to photograph the Scottish capital. Can you guess why?
Sir Walter Scott Monument
The Scott Monument is a Victorian Gothic monument to Scottish writer Sir Walter Scott. In fact, it may be the grandest monument to any writer in the world! It is certainly the largest. Not only that, but it actually looks out over Waverley Station, which is named after the main character of Walter Scott’s novel Waverley.
During the day, the Scott Monument is accessible for a small fee. Tourists are able to climb very high up the tower through internal staircases built into the main supports of the structure. It is well worth the trip up because the views are amazing. However, the stair cases are extremely narrow. The stairs on the upper part of the monument are so narrow its almost impossible to pass someone coming the other way. So if you are scared of enclosed spaces then this may not be the attraction for you!
National Gallery of Scotland
The Scottish National Gallery is one of the premiere free attractions in Edinburgh. Ideally located on the Mound between the New Town and the Old Town, the Scottish National Gallery is flanked on both sides by beautiful Princes Street Gardens.
I recently blogged about visiting the National Gallery. Check out that post here!
Scottish National Portrait Gallery
The Scottish National Portrait Gallery is located on Queen Street. The gallery holds Scotland’s national collection of portraits. The subjects of the paintings are all Scots although not all the painters are of Scottish origin.
The building itself is a piece of art. This Gothic revival building was designed by Robert Rowand Anderson and dates from 1885. It’s well worth the walk to visit the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.
Besides its cool name, Rose Street has much going for it. It’s just a fantastic little street that is packed with pubs, character and more pubs. In fact, Rose Street might be the perfect spot for an evening drink after a day’s exploring in Edinburgh. It has an added benefit of being not quite as busy as the Royal Mile.
Waverley station is situated between the medieval Old Town and the New Town in what was once a lake. In fact, it is the main train station Edinburgh and the northern terminus of the East Coast Main Line. If you are traveling to or from London then Waverley connects with King’s Cross station.
Shopping and Eating
Edinburgh’s main shopping streets are in the New Town. Sure there are tourist shops like the Royal Mile, but here you will actually find real stores. Jenners department store is located on Princes Street. And George Street, has numerous high end boutiques and many bars and restaurants.
The St. James Centre located at the east end of the New Town and at the foot of Calton Hill is currently being redeveloped. However, the John Lewis is still open and there are some amazing high end stores located on Multrees Walk just of St. Andrew Square.
However, many people don’t even know the shopping on Multrees Walk exists, but that’s where you will find the likes of Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Pandora, etc.
I create photographs created using the incredible Olympus OM-D system.