Scotland Traveloholic

5 Most Extraordinary Hidden Gems in Edinburgh

Edinburgh is a historic city with many magnificent sights, which you can easily find in any guidebook. However, I don’t like to follow the beaten track, so I invite you on a journey through the hidden gems and places which you won’t find in any traditional guidebook.

In each city, there are unusual places that are mysterious or access to them does not seem so obvious. I will introduce you to the five places that stand out from the your usual locations in Edinburgh due to their uniqueness.

So, let’s not waste any more time – join me on a journey through the five hidden gems of Edinburgh.

The Hidden Wild West of Edinburgh

Have you ever dreamt of seeing how the American’s Wild West looks like? The one which you could see in movies about cowboys? If you can’t afford a ticket to the US, you can experience a taste of the real Wild West in Edinburgh.

Photo by Magnus Hagdorn

A true nineteenth-century American ghost city hides along a side street in an extraordinary Scottish capital. Concerned? I think you should be!

This incredible street was once the pride of the South Western Furniture Company, which no longer operates, but adds even more charm to this abadoned looking place.

Euro Disney engineers created the inscriptions painted on the facades which were designed by Michael Faulkner. It perfectly reflects the atmosphere of the Wild West and now works as a space with shops, art studios, galleries and apartments.

If you would like to experience the atmosphere of the Wild West, the entrance to this unique area is located on the side of Springvalley Gardens Street, which is adjacent to Morningside Road. Welcome to the Wild West Folks!

The Dark History Of The Stone Cairn

For the enthusiasts of dark stories, I have a story about the murder. Wanna hear it?

On the eastern edge of Holyrood Park, right next to St Margaret’s Loch, you’ll find unusual stone formations. It is a cairn in memory of the woman who was murdered in the 18th century.

The horrifying tale tells the story of Nichola Muschat, a surgeon who lured his wife to Holyrood Park and then brutally killed her there. After the murder, he confessed his crime and stated that he had done so because he was tired of her. This is a terrible reason to kill someone, but in the eighteenth century, they believed in strange things, so you never know.

Also people have been adding stones to the growing cairn of stones over the years in honour of the murdered woman, and this place, which for years had been moving a little due to the new road and other circumstances, finally rested at the end of Holyrood Park and can be found under the name of Muschat’s Cairn.

I invite all enthusiasts of the thrill!

Why not climb Arthur’s Seat while visiting Holyrood Park? It’s one of the most beloved things to do in Edinburgh by all. Check out other 6 things to do in the capital HERE

The Secret Hidden In The Letter S

If you are careful enough at the foot of the Royal Mile as you go through the roundabout, between the Horse Wynd & Abbey Strand junction you can spot the shiny brass letter “S” located among the cobblestones.

This letter marks the boundary of a historic area once known as the Abbey Sanctuary. For those who are not familiar with its history, I will briefly explain the story of this place.

The Sanctuaries were places where debtors could seek shelter from harassment by creditors and ultimately from prison. Those who were given the opportunity to live in the Sanctuary were provided of food and a roof over their heads and could stay within the borders of the Abbey for an unlimited period of time.

I consider this to be an excellent initiative for people in need. However, over time and with the changes in the law, these Sanctuaries were no longer needed and were subsequently destroyed.

However, the stone from the Sanctuary remained in Edinburgh, and to this day it tells a fascinating story of the possibility of obtaining a second chance.

The World’s End Close in Edinburgh

If you are looking for the end of the world, Edinburgh has it!

The history of this place is very fascinating. In the middle of the 18th century Edinburgh was much smaller than today; however, the population, mainly of the poor inhabitants, was huge.

Photo by Don Barrett

The place now called World’s End Close marked the city’s borders because it used to be in the port gateway called Netherbow Port, which served as a passage between the Royal Mile and the Canongate.

It was the real end of the world for the poor because crossing its borders was connected with a fee that only a few could afford. Therefore, those who could not pay those fees were condemned to stay in Edinburgh all their lives.

Photo by Kieran Lynam

Currently, on the corner next to the symbolical slogan “World’s End Close” there is a Pub called The World’s End, with a facade decorated with the information about this unique and gloomy border of Scotland’s historic capital.

Hop for a pint and find out more about the shady history of this place.

The Mystery Of The Edinburgh’s Underground

A few years ago scientists made an extraordinary discovery. Using the most advanced technology, they discovered that the Edinburgh underground is filled with an endless network of ancient passageways.

Historically, Edinburgh’s caves called Gilmerton Cove formed a series of underground passages that were dug out for ore mining, but it turned out that the number of corridors was much greater than necessary and their purpose remains a mystery to this day.

Many popular speculations claim that these corridors were a place of discreet drinking of the gentry, a hiding place for religious refugees, a meeting place for Druids or a place of religious cult.

The fact that every corridor is handmade and presents a beautiful history of Edinburgh it is worth getting to know it. I also need to mention that reservations are necessary and the whole tour of the caves takes about 1 hour.

Photo by John Dale

Scotland is full of incredible and unique places, and Edinburgh, as the capital of this extraordinary region, also has something to be proud of. The combination of colourful history with a slight dose of magic and darkness makes this place a remarkable tourist destination.

It is sometimes worth to wander off the favourite tourist trails and lose yourself in the real tissue of the city. I cordially invite you to travel deep into the mysteries of Edinburgh and discover on your own as surprising secrets. I am sure they will surprise you once again.

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