Water of Leith Walkway



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Water of Leith Walkway
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Water of Leith Walkway
United Kingdom

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The Water of Leith Walkway has been called “A silver thread in a ribbon of green.”

This picturesque promenade along Edinburgh’s Water of Leith river, offers pathways through the natural and urban wonders of Scotland for walkers, cyclists, and even horseback riders. It runs about 12 miles, and for the convenience of leisurely trekkers and or bikers, there are many quaint inns at which to spend the night along the way.

In addition to its overwhelming natural beauty, the walkway passes numerous cultural points of interest, including centuries old historic villages, as well as the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and the Dean Gallery. Be sure to look out for the masterpieces of public art along the way, such as 6 Times by Antony Gormley. There are also a botanical gardens, and Murrayfield Stadium, where the sports enthusiast can catch a rugby match.

Here, you can literally take the high road or the low road. As you pass 800-year-old Dean Village, you can take the upper road across a footbridge and steep, windy pedestrian path. Otherwise, you can pass through the official city gates and take the common road through the village. The latter takes you past an old mill.

During the Industrial Revolution, the waterway was a hideously polluted fuel source, with 70 waterwheels fueling the mills, and tons of waste in the river. Building sewers, and the closure of the mills helped clean up the mess, making Water of Leith a symbol of post-industrial green renewal. This being Scotland, Water of Leith is under the protection of its own conservation trust, Water of Leith Conservation Trust.

rzarlif's picture


Edinburgh's main waterway but its surprisingly hidden and wild. The river is made for a good stroll and the Water of Leith Walkway is a gorgeous 12 mile stretch, starting at the Scottish Gallery of Modern Art, close to the 13th century village Balerno, winding through 800 year old Dean Village, and ending at Firth of Forth at Leith Dock, where the river runs into the ocean. For non-Scotts, a 'firth' is an estuary and River Forth is the main waterway cutting eastward.

The Water of Leith is so peaceful as flows past the ancient villages that its hard to imagine it was once a grossly polluted river at the heart of Edinburh's industrial revolution. It had 70 waterwheels that generated power to fuel an endless number of paper, fabric, and flour mills. Building sewers, and the closure of the mills, helped clean up the mess. This being Scotland, Water of Leigh is under the protection of its own conservation trust, Water of Leith Conservation Trust.

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Here is what Wikipedia says about Water of Leith Walkway

The Water of Leith Walkway is a public footpath and cycleway that runs alongside the small river of the same name through Edinburgh, Scotland, from Balerno to Leith.

The concept of a public path first appeared in 1949, but the necessary construction work was not begun until after 1973. Nowadays, it provides access to many interesting sights, like the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and the Dean Gallery.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Water of Leith Walkway.