Edinburgh is a city bursting with things to see and do and the centre is definitely worth exploring. But Edinburgh, like many big cities, is basically a series of villages. And it’s worth making use of the frequent and inexpensive public transport to head out and explore the suburbs. The affluent area of Morningside is easily accessible, attractive and owner of a very quirky street for those curious enough to seek it out.
Edinburgh is known for its medieval closes and sweeping Georgian architecture. Those who appreciate a more modern design might be drawn to the Scottish Parliament Building or the University library. And if good old-fashioned Wild West architecture is your thing…head out to Morningside. This trendy, bustling suburb is home to Edinburgh’s little Wild West.
The small in size but big in character street has everything you’d expect from a Gold Rush-esque scene including a cantina, blacksmiths and a jail. The street was put together in the mid 1990s, apparently as a promotion for a furniture sales company that specialised in Southern style. Rumour has it the artist involved in it’s creation had also worked on sets for Eurodisney. Today , it’s a quiet back street and showing its age a little, but it’s still worth a look.
I’m sure a lot of residents have come and gone in the years since the street was created, but I love that current occupants embrace the style. The door of the Cantina is actually the fire door for Morningside Library, and the lettering is in keeping with the Wild West theme. This place doesn’t seem hugely well-known, but those who are in the know seem to have taken the place to heart. If you want to find the street, begin at Morningside Library. Walk towards the branch of Santander on the corner and turn right onto Spring Valley Gardens. Walk past some little cottage style houses and to your right will be an alley and some signage for a garage. Right down that alley is the wild, wild west of mild, mild Morningside.
Morningside might be mild ( not a handsome cowboy or a saucy saloon girl in sight on a chilly Sunday afternoon) but it’s a lovely place to visit for a browse beyond its unusual alley. Its packed with independent boutiques and gift shops, places to eat, coffee shops and charity shops. It’s also the sort of place that’s just full of interesting little sights and corners. Perfect for a taste of Edinburgh beyond the tourist dense city centre.
To explore Morningside, take the No.16 bus from Princes Street. This will take you up onto Morningside Road and from there you walk back down as far as you feel like, through Morningside & Bruntsfield before picking up the bus in the opposite direction back onto Princes St. Worth noting that you do need change for the bus, preferably the exact fare as no change is issued. For up to date information on public transport go to https://www.lothianbuses.com/
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