Alternative Tourist Experience: Brainstorming and research of ideas (1/5)

Mindmap/ Brainstorm of Ideas

After being given the Brief of creating an Alternative tourist experience, we brainstormed a range of ideas which we thought would be interesting and different for tourists visiting Edinburgh. Some of our ideas were more plausible than others. For example, we really liked the idea of creating an underground tour of Edinburgh, but getting into the vaults and dungeons isn’t as easy as it sounds. So sadly we had to abandon that idea. We wanted to do something different from everyone else and create a route which would show lots of nice scenery and different parts of Edinburgh along the way. Looking into green spaces more, we came up with the idea of creating a route along the Canal.

Route of Union Canal

After looking at the Union Canal route, we realised that it didn’t go as far into Edinburgh as we would have liked and didn’t cover the places we found interesting and wanted to include. After studying the map of Edinburgh a bit more and looking at it in a different light, we came across the Water of Leith, which crosses under the canal at the Craiglockhart area. The Water of Leith is a 12 and 3/4-mile walkway which starts in Balerno and flows all the way through to Leith Docks. It is suitable for various modes of transport, including bikes, wheelchairs, horses, buggies and by foot. The Water of Leith is a home to a wide range of wildlife which makes the walk ever more interesting.

Water of Leith Map

The Water of Leith goes from Balerno to Leith, passing through: Currie, Colinton, Slateford, Saughton, Murrayfield, Roseburn , Bells Mills, Dean Village, Stockbridge, Canon Mills and Leith. To create a route which is manageable within 1 or two days, we decided to start our route at Colinton and finish in Stockbridge. After looking into the various areas along the route, we came up with interesting and alternative areas/ places close to the Water of Leith which can make the walk/route more interesting and a better experience. We wanted to base it along a similar line of the new Scottish route 500 and route 66 in America.

Route 66, America — Route 500, Scotland

Both route 500 and route 66 are long, vast routes which cover large areas of two countries. Taking weeks or even months to do, depending on how long you spend in each place, they can be altered to fit your desire. Route 500 is a circular route, starting and ending in the same place. Whereas route 66 starts on the west coast of USA in California and ends in Chicago. The logo for route 66 is world recognisable and influenced the design of the route 500 logo.

Route 500 logos — route 66 Logo

We decided we wanted to base our alternative tourist experience along The Water of Leith while pinpointing interesting areas and places to stop off on the way. The experience will be made into a route which will mimic that of route 500 and route 66. The Water of Leith produced a power which harnessed to drive waterwheels in mills at over 70 sites along the river, establishing a string of villages. The mills produced a variety of goods for Edinburgh including paper, flour, wool and linen. Since then, the people of Edinburgh have had a close relationship with the Water of Leith. It helped develop Edinburgh into an Industrial city.

We made a list of places of interest along the Water of Leith, taking into account Cafes, churches, nature reserves, green space, statues and galleries.

List of places to visit in different areas