Alternative Tourist Experience: Primary Research (2/5)

On Sunday 5th November we began our Primary Research for the alternative tourist experience project. After brainstorming on the first day of the project, we had come up with creating a route along the Water Of Leith. We went on a tour of the different places we had chosen to visit, narrowing down each of the places in each area to just 1 or two. We were lucky to have chosen a very sunny, but cold day. This enhanced our experience and made it more pleasurable and showed us the city in a different light.

Images collected from The Pantry and Water of Leith visitor Centre

‘The Pantry’ Experience

A cafe in Colinton Village filled with interesting decor and design. When entering on a Sunday lunchtime we could tell that it was going to be busy with a queue forming at the door. It is placed in a lovely, pleasant location with a clean, but interesting decor and layout on the inside. Having a space specifically for mums and young babies, you could tell that the cafe supported family visits and were child friendly. It was a bustling cafe with a delicious menu of food and lots of yummy cakes on display. It adds a trendy and chic vibe to the quieter, family area of Colinton.

‘The Water of Leith Visitor Centre’

A silver thread in a ribbon of green

Shown on the right, are images taken from The Water of Leith Visitor Centre. This was an important place for us to stop and capture as it is the main idea behind our experience. It enlightened us to the history behind the Water of Leith, its bridges, its industry, and its people along with the river’s wildlife and heritage. Due to the warm autumn light, we were able to capture some amazing photographs showing the bridges which hold the canal.

Saughton Skatepark and Redhall house

Saughton Skatepark

Our 4th stop along the route was the fairly new designed skate park in Saughton Park. It was created after the formation of the Edinburgh skate park Project in 2001, which had the intention of creating an outdoor concrete skate park for the capital. Saughton was chosen as the ideal location due to its excellent transport links, existing sports usage of the park and refreshingly positive attitudes of the majority of the local residents and community groups. Arriving there, we could see the majority of ages present, from as young as 5/6 up to 30s. It is a place where the community and public can go to enjoy their common interest/hobby. It had a pleasant and friendly feel about it with lots of noises and chatter being made by the different age groups which you could see interacted, learning tricks and tips from each other. It had interesting graffiti decorating the park which added a sense of use to it.

Redhall House

Redhall house was built in 1758, using the red sandstone from Redhall Castle behind a harled exterior. It later became a children’s home and in 2007, was sold to a developer and the surrounding land was turned into a housing estate. It was bought to be turned into flats, but after that fell through the house has been left abandoned and neglected with the windows boarded up. It had a rather eerie and spooky feeling to it, the grey building created a depressing atmosphere with smashed windows adding to the feeling of neglect. It has a huge history behind it, with many periodic details still intact, but it’s potential is unrealised. When entering the housing estate and driving along the road leading to Redhall House, you pass many gorgeous, newly built houses which have families walking and kids playing outside. To then end up at an abandoned house, the mood changed rapidly. Unexpectedly, you will find the eerie, abandoned house in the middle of the active, family orientated housing estate.

Stockbridge Market and Dean Bridge

Stockbridge Sunday Market

Every Sunday, deep in the bustling, chic village of Stockbridge, you will find a market in a small square with vendors selling everything from nettle soap to organic dog treats. The amazing smells of Spanish Paella and African dishes will lure you into the market. Selling authentic Scottish and handmade products, you can try St Andrews ‘Eden Mill Gin’, luxury scotch eggs, sausage rolls and even prosecco marshmallows! You would struggle to find one person there without a smile on their face. Surrounded by delicious food, who wouldn’t be happy? This isn’t just your average market, it gives you a real taste (quite literally) of Edinburgh and what it has to offer.

Dean Bridge and Kirkbrae House

Dean Bridge supplies a crossing point over the Water of Leith with a view as far as Leith! The bridge holds you within the hustle and bustle of the city, with Rhema Christian Centre Church at one end and Kirkbrae House at the other. To escape to tranquility and peace, you can take a quick walk down to The Water of Leith where you will see heron fishing and Towering above, the beautiful Telford designed Dean Bridge in all its glory. Standing out like a sore thumb at the end of the bridge, you will see Kirkbrae House. An intriguing piece of architecture dating back to the 1680s with turrets, crenellated balconies and faux-medieval mullions. Everyone walking past would stop and stare with interest at the house which plunged deep into the undergrowth down the side of the bridge. Surrounded by history and amazing architecture, along with a view of the castle to your right and the Firth of Forth straight ahead, is there a better place to visit for a tourist?

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