Rio Recommends: Printworks and The Shore, Leith
There’s also some nice ships to look at, permanent ones like the converted floating lighthouse Fingal, now a posh hotel, and visiting cargo vessels that loom over the historic buildings.
This is an area that many of the ‘Castle, Royal Mile and Palace’ tourists never get to see and they’re missing a trick as it’s one of the best preserved areas of Edinburgh with its pretty shoreline and narrow streets and alleys.
Of course it’s undergone a bit of gentrification this past 20 years, which is just as well as it was not always so welcoming. These days the rough and tumble drinking dens have been reinvented as fashionable day and night spots that are among the best on offer anywhere in the city. There’s also a new market.
Aside from the Shore, Constitution Street is a good place to head and we chose the Printworks for its extensive range of sandwiches and drinks, good breakfasts, and a chance to read the Sunday papers. Because the pavement is so wide there’s also plenty of room to sit outside when the sun shines.
And it’s dog friendly which means I get to enjoy a few biscuits and a bowl of fresh water.
The walk from here takes us to the Casino at the corner of Ocean Drive and along what is still a working dock, past Fingal, a sister ship to the Royal Yacht Britannia which is the other side of Ocean Terminal further on. Pa keeps saying he thinks the Yacht was wrongly positioned, out of view and lost as a visual attraction. You can’t even walk up to it as it’s fenced off. Despite that it is still one of Scotland’s top visitor destinations.
Anyway, we head by the splendid government buildings at Victoria Quay (one of the better modern buildings in Edinburgh) and past the new Cala homes site which will fill a long-standing gap site and bring a bit more of a buzz to this corner.
Back along the cobbled Commercial Street (more bars and restaurants) and Teuchters Landing, over the bridge, with one of the best views of some of Edinburgh’s oldest buildings, and returning to where we began via Bernard Street.
This is a walk with plenty of stopping off points and it’s also flat which is always a positive when you’ve got such short legs.
The Printworks, Constitution Street (5/5)
Walk from Constitution Street along Ocean Drive to Ocean Terminal, back along rear of Commercial Street and Bernard Street (4/5)
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