Alternative Tourist Experience Research
Lucy and I started brainstorming ideas for our alternative tourist experience; we wanted something a bit different and started scribbling down ideas in our notebooks.
Our first idea was a Tour of Underground Edinburgh, such as cafes, bars, pubs and vaults, even tunnels which were either partly underground or fully underground. This idea came from a cafe that Lucy had came across that has exposed rock foundations as part of their decor underground. We explored this idea but we realised there wasn’t enough places to do a full tour, and there was already an underground tour in Edinburgh that explored the vaults in the South Bridge. We really liked this idea, but couldn’t see it working well.
Other ideas were a tour of all the greenery in Edinburgh, a unique viewpoint tour and a graveyard tour. The one that seemed the most achievable out of these three was the graveyard tour but it wasn’t very unique. We still explored the idea, and thought of maybe doing the tour as a visit to church yards as well as graveyards, and to add famous graves if their were any such as Tom Riddle who was an inspiration for JK Rowling for the Harry Potter series. This seemed like a good idea, but it involved greyfriers graveyard which is already quite a famous tourist destination.
This led us to our final idea, where we talked about doing a picturesque/’instagram worthy’ tour of the hidden places in Edinburgh. Places that you wouldn’t think of when you think of Edinburgh. We talked about some interesting and beautiful places we knew of such as a street in morningside which looks like something straight out of a western movie. We then looked to see what canals are in Edinburgh and came across the union canal and the water of leith. From this we became interested in the water of Leith, and decided to incorperate it into our alternative tourist experience.
The Water of Leith, as seen in the map above is a quite a lengthy canal at 13 miles long, and so realistically we won’t use the whole stretch for our toursit experience. Upon looking into more detail, we decided that the best place to start the walk would be Colinton; somewhere still quite central, but off the beaten path. And leading into the centre of the city, we could end the route in Stockbridge. This would be a total of 6 miles long, which is still long, but could be done on bike, or foot for a longer walk.
Researching into the Water of Leith, Leith used to be the industrial heartland of Edinburgh. The river used to have 70 mills along the route, all of which was for the purpose of producing paper, fabric and flour. The end of the river, in Leith, being host to the dock and boat building industry. Today, it does not look industrial, but more beautiful and picturesque holding a diversity of wildlife from plants to animals — The river is home to brown trout, heron, kingfisher and otters.
Above are the places we researched and found of interest that only slightly detour from the water of leith path that we are focusing on. Our next step was to visit these places.