From retail therapy to rich history, there are endless things to see and do in one of Edinburgh’s most desirable district
The Scottish capital is undoubtedly one of the most iconic cities in the world. With heaps of history, culture, excitement and adventure to discover within its streets, it isn’t hard to understand why the number of tourists visiting Edinburgh has soared by more than half a million in the last five years, reaching 3.85 million. It’s also estimated that the city’s tourism industry supports 34,800 jobs and is worth upwards of £1.4 billion to the local economy.
And as such a popular city that so many people flock to, it may be surprising to learn that there is still a lot about Edinburgh that people don’t know about. As well as the city centre itself, there are multiple surrounding districts which encircle the city centre, and each of these carries its own feel, community and charm.
Morningside is located to the south west of the city and is known for its tranquil and desirable surroundings. Centred around the ancient Morningside Road which runs from south west Scotland to Carlisle, the district has many of its own secrets and delights to uncover.
To help you get to know more about Morningside, we’ve created this comprehensive guide of everything the district has to offer. Soon you’ll know Morningside like the back of your hand, so let’s take a look at all the things to see and do.
The Dominion Cinema is one of the real gems of Morningside, and is a favourite haunt for many of Edinburgh’s residents and tourists alike. That’s because the Dominion is no ordinary cinema. For one thing, it’s one of the few family run cinemas still available. For another, the establishment itself offers a completely unique experience due to its stunning art deco interiors. Enjoy the latest release while unwinding on a reclining sofa, receiving table service and indulging in refreshments from proper glassware and crockery. A trip to the Dominion is sure to ruin any other cinema experience you have elsewhere, simply because it will be miles ahead in terms of quality.
To really immerse yourself in the local community and culture, be sure to visit the famous farmers’ market in Morningside. Having opened back in September 2013, the market has since gained popularity and gone from strength to strength. Now it runs every third Saturday of the month throughout the year from 9.30am to 3.30pm. You can find the market in the rear car park of the popular Merlin pub on Morningside Road. Stock up on fresh poultry, pork, beef, lamb, game, pies, sausages, bacon, fish, cheeses, baked goods, fruits, vegetables, jams, chutneys, confectionary, crafts, garden herbs, deli treats and more!
It’s no secret that Edinburgh is home to many of the UK’s most popular museums and galleries. From the Scottish National Gallery and Scottish National Portrait Gallery to the National Museum of Scotland, there is no end to the cultural highlights in the city. But there are also some great galleries outside the city centre, including in Morningside. Morningside Gallery is a fantastic place to see some of the more contemporary pieces the city has to offer. From the vibrant and colourful landscapes of Lynn Rodgie to the enigmatic personages of Stephen Magnan, there is definitely a lot to enjoy in this popular artistic haven.
Like Edinburgh city centre, Morningside is home to a plethora of fantastically unique shopping experiences. As well as the popular brands available on Princes Street, Edinburgh is known for its vast array of shops which you won’t find anywhere else, and the same can be said of Morningside. Shops like The Ugly Duckling in Morningside encapsulate this, offering quirky gifts for people of all ages including jewellery, scarves, bags, gloves, hats, cards, prints, ornaments and general knick knacks. All the stock is displayed on upcycled furniture, and even this is for sale too!
The Church Hill Theatre actually started life as a church, as the name suggests. It was built back in 1892 as the Morningside Free Church, but was bought in 1960 by the Edinburgh Council, which planned to use the auditorium as a performance space. More recently, the new and improved Church Hill Theatre reopened in 2006 after an extensive refurbishment. It may not look much like a church anymore, but it is undeniably one of the best places in Scotland to catch a show. No wonder this state of the art theatre is so popular.
One of the most wonderfully weird aspects of Morningside has got to be the Wild West ghost town that you’ll find within its streets. Believe it or not, you can turn a corner and go from Morningside’s beloved library to the American outback in mere seconds, all thanks to an advertising campaign for a furniture company back in the mid-1990s which saw an entire Wild West set being built in the district. This odd but surprisingly authentic replica street is something people don’t believe is real until they see it for themselves, but the cantina and jail are definitely worth a visit.
While the city centre is known for its fantastic nightlife, there are also some fantastic places to visit in Morningside after dark. The Canny Man Pub is one such place, having gained a reputation as one of Morningside’s most well known and beloved spots to grab a drink and relax. It wasn’t always so relaxing, however, having been a place to catch bikini-clad go-go dancers back in the 1970s! Other great bars in Morningside include The Ball Room, which is a sports bar and pool hall.
Whether you’re after a cup of tea, a slice of cake, a cheeseboard or a hearty sandwich, there are no shortages of little gems dotted around Morningside. If you want to be shown to some of the very best, why not take advantage of one of the Eat Walk tours – guiding you round the finest eateries. After exploring everything that Morningside has to offer, there is no doubt that you’ll want to recharge and take the weight off your feet in an attractive and unique environment. Luckily, you have no shortage of options in Morningside.
We’ve already touched on some of the history to be found in Morningside, but this is only the tip of the iceberg. Some of the district’s most famous historical landmarks include the Morningside Clock, which started life as the clock for Morningside Station. People also flock to catch a glimpse of the famous Bore Stane, which is said to mark the spot where the Royal Standard of James IV was pitched for the muster of the Scottish Army on the Burgh Muir before the battle of Flodden in 1513.More recently, Morningside has been home to some of the world’s most famous writers including Ian Rankin and J K Rowling. There are endless amazing things to be discovered in Morningside, so get out there and start exploring!
Are you looking for a new home in Morningside? Look no further than Craighouse – the incredible collection of properties from Quartermile Developments. Click here to discover more or contact the team today by calling 0845 000 25 25.