We lived in Edinburgh for almost 7 years and I'd like to think I know the city pretty well. The Wild West is an example of how easy it is to miss things that are on your doorstep. I only learnt about it from Zoe’s blog and decided it was too good to not see with my own eyes...
You see, we used to live at 11 Springvalley Gardens for more than 9 months. It was one of our favourite flats, on the top floor with a view of Morningside rooftops. Little did we know that 20m from our front door, there was a little (and most likely the one and only) corner of Wild West, right here in Scotland. So this weekend we decided to go exploring. The weather was rather dire - foggy and cold, which only added to the eerie atmosphere of this abandoned corner. The story behind it is rather interesting too: it was built by a joiner and furniture maker specializing in Southwest American furniture. He created a set straight from a spaghetti western to attract visitors and potential customers to his furniture shop located in one of the courtyards.
To find it you need to walk down Morningside road and turn to Springvalley Gardens and then walk through the driveway to the first courtyard on the right hand side. 5m from the hustle and bustle of a busy residential area you will find yourself on the high street straight from the Southwest, complete with a jail, blacksmith and a cantina.
As the weather wasn’t great that day, we had the whole set to ourselves. I really wanted to see what was inside of all of those buildings but we didn’t dare to open the doors.
After a quick photo shoot we walked back up to Bruntsfield for a bowl of hot soup and café mocha in Project Coffee. Bruntsfield is one of my favourite neighbourhoods in Edinburgh. For some reason it feels very French. Maybe because as my first student job I used to clean a flat of lovely French family and then I worked in a gift shop with French furniture and soaps whose owner allegedly used to be a dancer in Moulin Rouge... Bruntsfield is an epicentre of the best cafes (Artisan Roast, Project Coffee, Barantine, Falko) and independent boutiques and could only compete with Stockbridge in the category of the most family-friendly neighbourhood I think. It’s not often visited by tourists even though it’s only a 15 min walk across the Meadows from the Old Town. Sometimes we take our guests for breakfast to Bruntsfield and then for a long walk to the Northern part of town.
After warming up a little, we walked back home across the canal. Sunday walks are slowly becoming our tradition. Life’s been too hectic to go on a city break or camping so we’re making the most of our time in this city.
So, Edinburgh-ers - have you been to this place? Any other hidden gems I should visit?
PS. I'm adding all of the places and walks mentioned in my posts to my Google Map, including the exact location of the Edinburgh's Wild West.
In case you missed our previous Edinburgh Walks:
- New Town, Stockbridge Market and secret gardens
- Dean Village, Mews houses, Architecture and best cake in town