• Francine Beaton

Leith Walkway or rather Water of Leith Walkway

In 2017 I wrote the first book I was going to self-publish, and that was Taste for Coffee, which is set in an imaginary coffee shop in Leith, Edinburgh. I’ve been to Leith years before when a friend of my husband played in a pub there, long before Leith was considered to be trendy. When I was looking for a setting for my book, Leith kept on popping up, so I’ve spent many hours research Leith and the environment, buildings, etc, to create an authentic setting. Oh yes, I’ve been to Edinburgh many times but never again to Leith and I never walked the Water of Leith Walkway. Just as well Iain didn’t have time to walk it that day, although he wished he could. As he did, I usually ran out of time.

In October 2019 I finally found my opportunity. My original plan was to take the bus to Leith then walked back to the city via the Walkway, as Iain might have done. As I stayed close to the Zoo, I took the bus to town on my first day. The second day I walked, but as I was more interested in Murrayfield Stadium than anything else. And then I saw the sign on my third day. Well, of course I saw it as a sign but it was a sign. I didn’t need a second invitation and apart from negotiating the slippery, wet leave-covered steps, I was glad I did.

Because of the nature of the Walkway winding through the heart of Edinburgh, you can choose to join it and leave it at lots of places up and down the river, linking with other paths and cycle routes. I joined the Walkway close to Murrayfield got off at Dean Village to make it back into town for my appointment.

The small river which gave the footpath its name, flows past Port Leith into the Firth of Forth. The Water of Leith does not refer to the river, but to the footpath that is located beside the watercourse and runs 12.25 miles (19.6 km) from Balermo to Leith. The walkway passes through many areas of interest including: Colinton Village and Dell, the Union Canal, Saughton Winter Gardens, Murrayfield Stadium, the Scottish Gallery of Modern Art, Dean Village, Stockbridge, the Royal Botanic Garden and Leith.


There is a Visitor Information Centre to provide more information regarding the history of the Walkway and other information.


Address: Water of Leith Visitor Centre, 24 Lanark Road Edinburgh EH14 1TQ

Telephone: 0131 455 7367

Fax: 0131 443 1682

Email: admin@waterofleith.org.uk

Opening Times

The visitors centre is open every day from 10.00am to 4.00pm except Christmas and New Year - Closed from 24th Dec to 3rd January.

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