5 Interesting Findings in Edinburgh´s West End
Edinburgh is a mysterious city, a bit ghostly at times. In winter, when the clouds are low and the fog gets in town, the sights are wonderful, you feel you are in a dark novel from the last century. In fact, I read Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde just before moving to Edinburgh for the first time (I moved there twice!) and when I got to the city, every single street in the West End and New Town reminded me of the novel.
The West End is one of my favourite places in the city. It is very expensive to live there, and when you see it you understand why. There are lots of things I find interesting and fascinating about the capital of Scotland, and here are 5 of these interesting findings in Edinburgh´s West End. I hope you enjoy them!
1. Old Stables turned into houses.
A friend of mine who lives in one of these told me the story. These houses used to be stables, and when you look at them it is pretty obvious. The ground floor was where the horses where kept, and the upper floor where the hay and the accessories for the horses and carriages where stored.
Nowadays they are used as houses, making a good apartment with a garage. My friends had two bedrooms and all the commodities you find in any house, although the shape was a bit funny. I just think it is great we keep things from the past making them useful in the present. And I can´t help but image the cobbled streets with people ridding horses, and carriages carrying wealthy families. Very first Downton Abbey season style!
2. Private Gardens
This is something that shocks some people, but Edinburgh´s West End and New Town are full of private gardens. This is residents get a key to them, and they can access the gardens and enjoy them. They also pay an amount of money every now and then to keep the garden in good shape, clean and tidy.
So if you are walking around the West End and feel like resting somewhere, be aware that no all gardens are ope to the public. You may need to walk more than you where expecting to find a place where to enjoy some peace surrounded by trees!
3. Robert Louis Stevenson
Yes, he was born and raised in Edinburgh, being this city witness to some of his greatest novels. He spent some of his life in the West End, where people can still see the house where he spent his childhood and the one where he was born.
He is one of the city´s heros, and no wonder. Edinburgh is the city of literature, and it is fairly easy to understand why when names like his are mentioned!
4. Upstairs, Downstairs
Do you remember the show Upstairs Downstairs? Or have you watched the above mentioned Downton Abbey? If so you might already know that wealthy people had big townhouses with three or more floors. And their servants lived right below them.
Edinburgh is a great place to see this. The whole of the West End if full of these houses (or flats) where you have a main front door and then stairs to go to the bottom floor. These days it is also cheaper to rent one of the low flats, as they are darker and less wanted than the top ones.
5. Dean Bridge and its Ghost
Edinburgh is full of ghosts. They are everywhere, in the Royal Mile, the Castle, quite a few pubs, some hotels, some private houses…. It is said Edinburgh is one of the cities with the highest number of paranormal activity! And the West End couldn´t be less, and Dean Bridge has its own ghost.
The story goes that a long time ago people witness a man jumping from the bridge. The police spent days searching for the body, as nobody could survive that fall, but they found nothing. It is said that every now and again, some people report seeing a man on top of the bridge, and then jumping. But there are never bodies to be found, and this figure keeps jumping from the bridge through the years.
Note: I used to live kind of “under” the bridge, and I have never seen the ghost 😦 Maybe I was unlucky…
Do you have any other interesting findings in Edinburgh? Or anywhere in Scotland? What do you think of ghosts?
Thanks for reading!