Forth Road & Rail Bridges
Situated at the extreme west of the city, on the banks of the Firth of Forth, lies South Queensferry. It is most famous for the road and rail bridges that connect Edinburgh to Fife and on to the Highlands. The Forth Rail Bridge was opened in 1890 and cost £3.2 million and 57 lives. It is a double cantilever design, 361ft high and 8000ft long. When it was constructed it was seen as the 8th wonder of the world. 74 years later, the Forth Road Bridge was opened by Queen Elizabeth in September 1964. At 8259ft the bridge was the longest in Europe when opened and cost £19.5 million.This put an end to 900 years of ferries across the Forth. The 2 bridges situated close together make for an interesting view but South Queensferry itself is an attractive part of the city. Lothian buses don't go to South Queensferry but First bus do and there is a train to Dalmeny. Parking available
CURRIE AND BALERNO
Two former Midlothian villages, Currie and Balerno became part of Edinburgh in 1975 along with South Queensferry and other places now in the western end of the city. The 2 communities lie at the foot of the Pentland Hills (which circle the south of the city), approx 8 miles to the south west of the city centre. Both have long histories dating back to the middle ages and are now desirable residential areas. There are some fantastic walks to be had from here, from walks by the river (you can walk all the way to Leith) to walks in the Pentlands where Edinburgh's main reservoirs are situated. Buses 44/44a,45 to Currie and 44/44a to Balerno
Porty From The West
Edinburgh's seaside resort, Portobello lies at the north eastern edge of the city. There is a large sandy beach and promenade with amusement arcades, cafes and Turkish baths and swimming pool. The name reputedly comes from a house that was built in the area in 1750 whos owner was a naval veteran of the capture of Peurto Bello in Panama in 1739 from the Spanish.Industrial development started shortly after and the population grew.In 1896, the town amalgamated with Edinburgh and from around that time until the mid 20th century the place was a popular seaside resort. It's popularity declined with the increase in package holidays overseas. The pier and the open air swimming pool have both gone but today when the sun is shining it can be very pleasant to visit. There are many buses including 15, 21 and 26. There is parking on the side streets.
Duddingston Church & Loch
At the bottom of Arthurs Seat to the south east lies Duddingston Village by the banks of the loch. It is one of the many conservation areas within the city and the name has been applied to this area since 1159. Previously it went by the British name of Treverlen. In the 1700s the area was known for weaving but now it is better known for the bird sanctuary on the loch beside it.
Near The Shore
For centuries, Leith had a separate identity but was always Edinburgh's port. It gained independance from Edinburgh in 1833 but it was short lived as in 1920 it was amalgamated with Edinburgh against most of its citizens wishes. It lies on the north coast of the city and was a large trading town due to its docks. During the 20th century it went into decline as industry disappeared. In the 1990s that decline began to reverse and today it is a vibrant area particularly at the waterfront. Shopping centres, cafe bars, expensive housing and restaurants have replaced the old ship building industry. The royal ship Britannia is now berthed there beside the Ocean Terminal shopping complex and cinema. Many buses including 11,16,22,34,35 and 36. Parking on side streets
Starting at Edinburgh Quay Fountainbridge you can walk right across the west of the city through areas such as Merchiston, Craiglockhart, Slateford, Wester Hailes, Hermiston and Ratho. It eventually joins up with the Clyde canal at Falkirk where the Falkirk Wheel lifts you up to the level of that canal so you could walk to Glasgow! There are a few interesting sites on the way such as the aqueduct at Slateford, the boats for hire at Merchiston and the restaurant barge at Ratho.
Work began on the canal in 1818 and it was opened in 1822. It was built mostly by Highland and Irish workers including the notorious graverobbers Burke and Hare.
Cammo Stables and Tower
On Cammo Road in Barnton lies a hidden treasure. A former 18th century estate, it fell into neglect during the twentieth century and was feued to the city council in 1979. Now in it's 100 acres you can see derelict buildings and over run gardens including one with a wall. There are many paths to follow and a variety of wildlife and exotic trees from the original haven. The main house has almost gone but there is a little more of the stable block and the large water tower is intact. A small visitor centre is open a few hours a week. Bus 41 to Barnton then cross over Queensferry Road. There is also a small car park for the estate.
CONTINUED IN PART 3 OR CLICK HERE