The south side of Edinburgh stretches from the Old Town to the Pentland Hills and includes both posh (Morningside) and the traffic overwhelmed like Clark Street. It is home to the University and many small hotels and guesthouses.

SightSeeing in South Edinburgh

The city also developed south from the Old Town, creating a district which became known as Southside and which today forms the heart of the University quarter. Beyond this area, and the open parkland of the Meadows and Bruntsfield Links, are the residential suburbs of Merchiston, Marchmont, Newington and Morningside. The latter has traditionally been the home of Edinburgh's elite, or 'crème de la crème', as Miss Jean Brodie might have put it in her Morningside accent, renowned for its "rifained zenzitivity".

To the south of Marchmont are the Braid Hills, which are mostly occupied by two golf courses, part of a great ring of golf courses that almost completely encircle the city. The hills are ideal for a Sunday walk. Beyond Morningside, Comiston Road leads south past Blackford Hill (539 ft), at the top of which stands the city's Royal Observatory. Visitors can find out all about the mysteries of the solar system, play with various hands-on exhibits and enjoy the panoramic views of the city. Mon-Sat 1000-1700, Sun 1200-1700. £3.50, £2 .50child, £2 concession. Tel: 6688405. Take buses 40 or 41 from The Mound and get off at Blackford Av, or walk from Comiston Rd.

At the foot of Blackford Hill, on Blackford Glen Road, is the starting point for the Hermitage of Braid nature trail, a lovely gentle walk along the Braid Burn. The track is easy to follow and although the hill is within the city, there's a real sense of being out in the countryside. The path takes you to Hermitage House, an 18th-century mansion which now serves as an information centre. Mon-Fri 1000-1600, Sun (Apr-Sep only) 1100-1800.

Thursday, 18 April 2013 Print