WONDER WALK 2
SCOTTISH NATIONAL GALLERY TO SUMMERHALL
Distance: Approximately 1 mile
Duration: Approximately 45 minutes, more with stops
Terrain: Steps or shallow slope to stop 2, then mostly flat
You can hardly cross the street in Edinburgh without finding something else to see or do. So it can be hard to shake off the feeling that you must be missing something. That’s why we’ve created our ‘Wonder Walks’ — a series of structured walks in and around the city that will help you explore the highlights. Get your walking shoes on and get ready to enjoy!
Scottish National Gallery
The Mound, Edinburgh, EH2 2EL
Museum on the Mound
The Mound, Edinburgh EH1 1YZ
The Scotch Malt Whisky Experience
354 Castlehill, Edinburgh EH1 2NE
St Giles Cathedral
High St, Edinburgh EH1 1RE
National Museum of Scotland
Chambers Street, Edinburgh EH1 1JF
13-29 Nicolson Street, Edinburgh EH8 9FT
The Queen's Hall
Clerk Street, Edinburgh EH8 9JG
1 Summerhall, Edinburgh EH9 1PL
1: Scottish National Gallery
Don’t be fooled by the name — this is an internationally-renowned collection of masterpieces from artists of all nationalities. Botticelli, Raphael and Titian represent Italy; Vermeer, Rembrandt and Van Gogh fly the flag for the Netherlands. Monet and Gaugin make sure France is not forgotten. The Scots, however, do have pre-eminence here, with fine works from Ramsay, Raeburn, Wilkie and McTaggart all represented among many others. The Gallery is open to family, community and access groups of all kinds, although it does need notice to be sure it can accommodate them.
[Image: Scottish National Gallery © Eoin Carey / National Galleries of Scotland.]
2. Museum on the Mound
Take the gentle uphill slope along The Mound to North Bank Street, where you’ll find the Museum on the Mound. Located in the historic head office of the Bank of Scotland, it’s a museum entirely dedicated to — yes — money, from its earliest incarnations in the form of feathers and beads through Scotland’s oldest banknote and into today’s currency. You’ll be able to see what a million pounds looks like, and even take a crack at breaking into a safe. Don’t try that anywhere else, though — it’s very much frowned upon.
3: The Scotch Whisky Experience
A very short walk to the top of the Royal Mile, and the Scotch Whisky Experience awaits. This five-star attraction is an educational facility, not a working distillery, but what it can’t tell you about Scotland’s water of life just isn’t worth knowing. Manned by top industry experts, it offers year-round tours and teaching experiences to visitors from all over the world. Scotch on the rocks not your thing? Try a whisky cocktail created by master mixologists. Or simply relax and enjoy a sumptuous meal in the Amber restaurant.
4. St Giles Cathedral
Coming back along the Royal Mile, you’ll reach the heart of the Presbyterian Church in Scotland. Originally founded in the 12th century, the current building dates to the late 14th century, and if its walls could speak it would tell tales of rebellion and reformation, Covenanters and Catholicism, Jacobite risings and extensive renovations. Still a fully-operational church, it offers daily services at noon and more on Sundays. But those who simply want to explore are warmly welcomed too. You can even climb the tower if you’re feeling brave (and have the stamina) — it’s worth it for the view.
5: National Museum of Scotland
Turn onto the George IV Bridge and head to Chambers Street for the astonishing variety of exhibitions and artefacts on display at the National Museum of Scotland. From the toothy jaws of a T-Rex skeleton to the awesome technology of CERN’s LEP collider, it’s a journey through time, space and more. Art, design and fashion. History and archaeology. The natural world, and the people who share it. Scientific and technological advances through the ages. Every gallery opens a new voyage of discovery. Thankfully, there are also three great cafés where you can stop to catch your breath.
6. Old Town Culture
This is the longest stretch of our tour, but it takes in quite a lot of the city’s Old Town. Coming onto South Bridge from Chambers Street, you’ll turn right, passing the Festival Theatre — a vision in glass outside and sumptuously art deco inside. Further along, you’ll pass the Queen’s Hall, one of the city’s premier independent live music venues. And at the end of our route, Summerhall awaits. This vibrant area offers enough exhibitions, festivals, performances, shops, cafes, bars and restaurants to form a whole separate tour by itself, so we recommend leaving plenty of time to explore!
[Image: Inside the Festival Theatre]