Water of Leith – Gorgie to Lanark Road
Time to go on a little saunter along the banks of Edinburgh’s most well known river, the Water of Leith. This will be a few parter in the same vein as the canal series as there’s simply too much along the river to feature in a single post. Few visitors to Edinburgh will probably see much of the Water of Leith which is a shame as it’s one of the better parts of the city to explore whether you’re up near it’s start at Balerno or near it’s finish where is empties into Leith Docks. It’s also pretty clean these days, all bar the odd body or 2 picked up near the Leith end.
Staring off at the top end of Gorgie Road, just before Gorgie morphs into Stenhouse the walkway entrance heading upstream is at Stevenson House, which proclaims to be a modern open plan office space, modern might be stretching it a bit. This place has been here for years and empty for ages too. The boarded up windows were the old Arnold Clark Fiat garage which relocated to Sighthill industrial estate to dish out sub standard customer service in some nice new custom built buildings rather than this ageing building.
Just around the corner is this underground bunker which was the used car area of the Arnold Clark, it now seems to house Saltire Suzuki but this entrance is now unused.
Skirting past the Stenhouse industrial estate and you’re on the walkway proper, it’s still quite industrial for the first bit but you do get the sense that you’re heading into quieter areas the further you get from the main road. This walk is popular with ramblers especially it seems, there always seems to be gaggles of aging bird watchers in sturdy walking boots along this stretch.
Following the path around, now quite a muddy path, you’ll cross a small bridge and get a view of the allotments at Chesser. This is quite a large allotment area as you’ll see as you walk past it’s outer edge.
Look up to your right just past here and you’ll see the roofs of HMP Edinburgh, or Saughton as it’s more commonly known. Totally rebuilt in the last few years it’s a fairly large facility, you can actually walk right around the permiter. I’m sure there are some restrictions about taking pics of prisons, so I’m not actually going to photograph the nick in all it’s glory properly, but here’s a picture of the opposite bank…
As the allotment never seems to end finally you’ll get past them and find the cemetary. I don’t particularly like graveyards so this is all you’re getting from here.
Keep going and the first of the new developments on the site of the old cattle markets come into view, wander up these steps and your at ASDA Chesser.
If you can drag yourself away from the delights of ASDA carrying on up the path you’ll see the Booker Cash & Carry on the other side of the river and the old Longstone B&Q building. On this side there’s a wooden walkway taking you to the twin viaducts over the river featured in the Angle Park to Kingsknowe on the Union Canal post. Just beyond here is the Water of Leith Visitor Centre and the Lanark Road or you can nip up the steps onto the canal towpath.
Next post, we’ll go the other direction, from Gorgie Road to Saughton Park.