Under the dominance of Edinburgh Castle - like everything else in central Edinburgh - sit Princes Street Gardens. These lie in the defile between the city's main shopping street - Princes Street - and the castle hill... --peaceful place. And, being below the street level, the commercial hubbub passes over them, leaving a surprisingly tranquil refuge while being only a few steps distant from the commercial throng. ...The street, more by tradition than paces, is a mile from Calton Hill at its east end, to Sandwich Place at the West end. Running along its south side for much of that distance are the gardens, bisected east to west by the two major galleries that sit on a bridge which brings the galleries up to the height of the street. The Gardens are also bisected north to south by the main Edinburgh to Glasgow railway. This quartering seems not to affect the gardens which remain a most-- Princes Street runs beside the tree tops of the gardens, leaving open views to the south along its length
- well as open as the attention seeking Castle permits
Taxis, buses, signs, bustle at street level
A very modern tower stands between the North British Hotel (1896), and the Scott Monument. The latter was erected in 1840 only 8 years after the author's death giving some idea of the fame he had in his lifetime
This three dimensional bronze map of the city centre is beside the Galleries. It shows Calton Hill bottom right, with Princes Street running straight up from there, the castle is at top left. The horizontal lines at the centre represent the station roof.
Crowds throng, as crowds do, the shop-lined north side of the street. The Scott Monument, North British Hotel, and the Calton Hill Monument occupy the focal point of the picture
And the return view looking from Calton Hill down the length of Princes Street. The Anglican Cathedral's three spires dominating the view, with the Scott Monument to the left, and the Caledonian Hotel beyond it
Looking from the bank below the castle to the North British Hotel (sadly technically now the Balmoral) with the Royal Academy below it, and the tunnels of the rail line below that
A rather distorted view - the ferris wheel is not falling over - shows the key use of the south facing bank of the east part of the gardens - enjoyment of the sun
Few citizens would know this is a memorial to Adam Black, a mid nineteenth century provost of Edinburgh
Bare trees as a reminder that there are many months of the year when sitting out in Edinburgh is not recommended
Ramsay Gardens, just beside the castle, above the gardens was redeveloped in the 1890s. Flats here cost over £1,000,000
A view from the esplanade beside the Royal Academy. This space is often used for entertainment (as here) or craft stalls. Beyond the parapet trees of the eastern part of the gardens show, and beyond these the station nestles discreetly. Above the station, the
North Bridge abuts the North British Hotel
That forgotten Provost again, with more of the Ferris Wheel and some of its 27 gondolas
The North British clock; kept 3 mins fast for passengers running late to the station below
A clock in the gardens, this is claimed to be the world's oldest flower clock, it dates from 1903
Tucked into a corner near the flower clock is the 'Gingerbread House' - until recently used as a residence
Allan Ramsay, the poet, has pride of plinth by the flower clock. Not to be confused - as Tripadvisor is - with his son the painter of the same name
The main walk in the west part of the gardens, running just below the level of Princes Street
The National gallery is to the left and the Royal Academy to the right, but as always the castle gets a look in
From the same spot on Princes Street: looking left/east...
...and, above, looking right/west
Above the gardens, the slopes by Ramsay Terrace come alive in spring with daffodils. As they do again looking out from the gardens across...
...the railway tracks and down Fredrick Street towards Fife
The fountain at the wester most end of the gardens
And also at the west end an adaptable open space. Here taken by a carousel. (Does the intruder ruffle the calm?)
Finally, a high summer view of the west garden with the Caledonian Hotel as its backstop
The next page
of this section takes you up from Princes Street to the Royal Mile - in festival mode
The next page
of the Mosaic Section is headed 'Empathy'.
Or go to the
Go to the contents of the Mosaic Section.
of the Mosaic Section.