April 2021: Edinburgh: Water of Leith Walkway (Part 4)

Belford Bridge to Leith

Within 100m of descending the stairs at Belford Bridge, I was being diverted off again, thanks to the latest (and thankfully final) path closure. So instead of looping around the left bank to get to Dean Village, I had to cross the diminutive Sunbury Bridge and access the ‘village’ directly on admittedly very quiet streets. Dean Village is an especially attractive part of Edinburgh, in a dramatic physical setting where it seems that the Water of Leith has carved out an impressive gorge. It is included within the boundary of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, and should be included in every visitor’s agenda. The Well Court building, in particular, was still looking magnificent following its 2007 restoration.

From there, I passed under Dean Bridge and on to ever-popular Stockbridge via the familiar landmark of St Bernard’s Well, a natural spring once thought to have health-giving powers. The monument features a depiction of the Greek goddess of health, Hygeia. After two short street sections in Stockbridge, the route continues past Glenogle to Canonmills, where a half-mile section begins on Warriston Road. The path then continues through St Mark’s Park and Bonnington to Leith, where the official route finishes on the street officially named Shore. (Naturally enough, everyone refers to ‘the Shore’.) I wasn’t sure exactly where on the street the walkway route ended, so I made sure to walk it from one end to the other!