The "South Side" of Edinburgh is traditionally the workshops and service areas to the south of the Old Town. Much of the industry has now gone and the area is mainly residential as well as being host to a number of University buildings. More generally, the South Side includes the area between The Pleasance and The Meadows, (perhaps erroneously) stretching as far south as Cameron Toll. This is more a label of convenience than of fact because much of the area really has no other name! The area called "Newington" is also flexibly defined and can often be indistinguishable from the South Side. Newington was not a village, unlike much of Edinburgh, and the name does not have a long history nor does the place have a definable centre.
There are two areas of the "South Side" which have distinct character and identifyable names. One is Marchmont, mainly comprising Victorian developments of tennement dwellings facing The Meadows. Marchmont rarely appears on maps, cartographers seeming to prefer to call the area Newington or Sciennes, the latter normally being associated with the primary school of the same name rather than as a distinct part of Edinburgh. The other identifyable area, albeit more sprawling, is The Grange. Taking its name from a house which once occupied part of the land, The Grange has quality Victorian housing in the north and west, 1930's flats (masionettes) in the middle and some 1960's houses in the south. Modern buildings have been appearing in the grounds of the older, larger properties since the 1960's too. Whilst Marchmont is popular with younger people, The Grange attracts families and properties are less frequently available. Marchmont has shops, bars and restaurants but The Grange has virtually no commercial premises, save on Causewayside / Mayfield Road on its eastern periphery.
The area to the east of The Grange has a large number of hotels and guest houses which are popular with tourists. In that area (the "South-East Side"?) there is also The Pleasance, a university site which is a major Fringe venue, the Commonwealth Pool (swimming) and the Queen's Hall (music). The major road into the centre of Edinburgh (1 mile) is locally known as "The Bridges" and throughout its length are shops and restaurants and the Odeon Cinema and the Festival Theatre. Further east is the parkland around Arthur's Seat and Salisbury Crags.
The northern flank of the area concerned is The Meadows. This is an area of flat parkland which is crossed by a number of paths. On the other side is the Royal Infirmary and the university buildings around George Square. The north-west is also parkland, known as Brutsfield Links, and it continues The Meadows uphill away from our area. The open land to the south is a tongue of undeveloped land whose northern extremity is Blackford Hill which, together with the adjacent Hermitage of Braid, provides a substantial area of open land.
It is my pleasure to present these pages to you as much as it is my pleasure to live here. The site is under development (they all are, aren't they?) and should grow with time. Please email me with your comments so that the site can develop and improve.
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|Last Update : 2 May 1999|