Out and about in Newington

Newington is one of the most interesting spots in Edinburgh

Snuggled up to Arthur’s Seat and the Commonwealth Pool, just beyond the Festival Theatre is the beautiful and surprising area of Newington. This area has everything from Gin Distilleries to decadent restaurants to Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Pickering’s Distillery – is one of the hidden surprises Newington has to offer. It is famous for operating out of Summerhall and hosting some of the most interactive and interesting tours within their wall’s. Summerhall itself is known for being a wonderful Fringe venue hosting Ceilidhs, Comedy Shows and Live Music.

Dog Friendly. – Newington also plays host to the famous Salisbury Crags of Arthur’s Seat and a high end pub beside the entrance pays tribute to this. The best dog walks by far in Edinburgh are in this area. There are the Crags themselves offering climbing and hiking opportunities, but also large grassy areas perfect to play football or have a picnic as a pastime.

There is even a bar in Newington called Dog House which actively encourages dogs to visit. The owner’s dog is found to be wandering inside and wee spots with water bowls are reserved specifically for our four-legged friends.

Another interesting fact about the area is that it actually has a connection with Robert Burns.

“It is a great pity that Robert Burns never took up his pen to write us a poem about Newington, for during his stay in Edinburgh (Nov., 1786, to March, 1788) he knew our district well, and we possess as a result several Burns associations which deserve to be better known.”

“The first houses of George Square had been built just twenty years before Burns arrived in the town, and already the tide of fashion had moved from the High Street to these new southern suburbs. Indeed, many years before, his father William Burness had helped to make the gardens on the Meadows when the Boroughloch was drained. Very soon society was to move north to the New Town on the other side of the old city – but that was not yet, and Robert found many of the important folk of the day living in the streets south of Bristo. Some of these, such as Buccleugh Place (as it was always spelled), Chaple Street (now West Nicolson Street), Windmill Street and others were quite new; others, like Bristo, Potterrow, Crosscauseway were older places which had once been part of the hamlet of Easter Portsburgh but were now swallowed up in the expanding town.”

Extract and reference here