WONDER WALK 1

CONTEMPORARY ART TO CULTURAL HUB

Distance: 1.5 – 2 miles
Duration: Approximately one hour, more with stops
Terrain: Mostly flat

For a relatively short walk in only a few square miles of city, this one really packs a lot in. World-class modern art, Victorian industrial heritage and designer, high street and independent shopping. Luxury spas, afternoon teas, cathedrals, cask ales, G&Ts, and the city’s primary cultural hub at the end of it all. This could only be Edinburgh.

YOUR MAP

The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

75 Belford Rd, Edinburgh EH4 3DR

Dean Village

Edinburgh EH4 3AY

Edinburgh's West End

Stafford Street, Edinburgh EH3 7BD

Edinburgh Gin Distillery

1a Rutland Place, Edinburgh EH1 2AD

Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa

1 Festival Square, Edinburgh EH3 9SR

The Usher Hall

Lothian Road, Edinburgh EH1 2EA

Royal Lyceum Theatre

30b Grindlay Street, Edinburgh EH3 9AX

Traverse Theatre

10 Cambridge Street, Edinburgh EH1 2ED

Filmhouse

88 Lothian Road, Edinburgh EH3 9BZ

Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian

Princes St, Edinburgh EH1 2AB

Edinburgh's West End

The elegant “village” around William St, Queensferry St and the west end of Princes Street.

1: The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

We start near the Water of Leith, with the two imposing neo-classical buildings that form the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. Home to long and short-term collections and exhibitions from 20th and 21st century artists, plus an extensive collection of Dada, surrealist and sculptural works, the buildings are connected by an extraordinary landscape designed by Charles Jencks. Oh, and there’s a lovely café in each, in case you need fortification for the rest of the journey.

[Image: Eduardo Paolozzi, Vulcan, 1998-1999 © Trustees of the Paolozzi Foundation, Licensed by DACS 2019.]

2. Dean Cemetery and the Dean Village

Not many art galleries have a cemetery in their grounds – but this is Edinburgh. So from Modern Two, you can walk straight in to the Dean Cemetery, a fashionable burial ground for well-to-do Victorians, where the elegance of the monuments echoes the sculptural glories in the galleries. Wander down Dean Path and Damside and you’ll come to the Dean Village, and extraordinarily picturesque oasis on the banks of the river, and probably one of the most photogenic locations in Edinburgh.

3. William Street and Edinburgh’s West End

Stroll along Manor Place past St. Mary’s Cathedral and William Street, and you enter Edinburgh’s West End. Designed in 1813 by James Gillespie Graham, the district varies in character from the ornate Victorian to the elegant Georgian. Its cobbled lanes are at the heart of the city’s fashion and culinary scenes, with plenty of places to stop for refreshment among the chic boutiques, organic bakeries, and quirky galleries. In fact, why not finish your West End wanderings at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, and treat yourself to an indulgent afternoon tea?

4. Edinburgh Gin Distillery

In the mood for something a little stronger? This next stop is just the thing. 1A Rutland Place is the home of Edinburgh Gin, where a variety of tours are on offer to connoisseurs and interested amateurs alike. Make sure you book in advance, though, as they are, understandably, extremely popular! You’ll discover Edinburgh’s historical association with fine gin making and get a fascinating glimpse into the science behind the art of production. Naturally, you’ll finish up with a little taster or, if you’d prefer, a miniature to take home.

5. Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa

If you feel the need for more treats after your distillery visit, our next port of call is the Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa for some modern Scottish luxury. You don’t have to be a guest to enjoy the sumptuous One Spa services, which pamper and preen with a range of therapies and treatments. Scottish brasserie One Square serves modern and seasonal foods from Scotland’s menu of fine produce, accompanied by 105 types of gin. And if craft beers are more your thing, you’ll love The Beer Kitchen from local brewery Innis & Gunn.

 

6. The cultural hub

Side-by-side on Lothian Road, the Usher Hall, Royal Lyceum Theatre, Traverse Theatre and Filmhouse mark our final stop. Between them, they’re bound to offer something you’ll enjoy, even if it’s only the outstanding architecture. The A-listed, domed structure of the Usher Hall complements the Victorian columns of the Lyceum. The modern Traverse building somehow works alongside the neoclassical former church that hosts the three-screen Filmhouse. So even in the unlikely event that you can’t find anything you fancy from their year-round programmes, the four buildings themselves put on quite a show. 

Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

75 Belford Road
Edinburgh
EH4 3DR

Telephone: 0131 624 6200
Website

Edinburgh’s West End

The elegant “village” around William Streer, Queensferry Street and the west end of Princes Street.

Website

Edinburgh Gin Distillery

1a Rutland Place
Edinburgh
EH1 2AD

Phone: 0131 656 2810
Website

Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa

1 Festival Square
Edinburgh
EH3 9SR

Telephone: 0131 229 9131
Website

The Usher Hall

Lothian Road
Edinburgh
EH1 2EA

Phone: 0131 228 1155
Website

Royal Lyceum Theatre

30b Grindlay Street
Edinburgh
EH3 9AX

Phone: 0131 248 4848
Website

The Traverse Theatre

10 Cambridge Street
Edinburgh
EH1 2ED

Phone: 0131 228 1404
Website

Filmhouse

88 Lothian Road
Edinburgh
EH3 9BZ

Phone: 0131 228 2688
Website