When I was staying at the Travelodge Edinburgh West End (on a £19 a night Saver rate) in March 2011, I walked along the Water of Leith from Belford Bridge (next to the hotel) to the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.
Belford Bridge with Travelodge Edinburgh West End on left
A few minutes later I arrived at a weir.
Weir near Dean Village on the Water of Leith
I thought it must be wonderful to live in one of the turreted flats overlooking the Water of Leith in Dean village.
Waterside flats at Dean Village
There’s a statue at St Bernard’s Well as you approach Stockbridge.
St Bernard’s Well
Looking back towards St Bernard’s Well (on left)
You’ll find public toilets in Stockbridge as you have to come up from the Water of Leith Walkway there. After crossing the road at the traffic lights, head right and then left immediately and the toilets are after the bus stop on your left. There’s a pizza restaurant just by the bridge where you rejoin the walkway.
Pizza restaurant on Water of Leith in Stockbridge
I was very fortunate as I arrived at the Botanic Gardens as a heavy shower started. The John Hope Gateway was ideal for shelter and there was even free wifi for me to upload some of my photos to Flickr.
View from terrace of John Hope Gateway
The sun was soon shining for a walk around the garden. You’ve to pay to get into the some of the Glasshouses.
Rhododendrons at Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
Then I had a look at the two exhibitions at Inverleith House in the Garden. One was work by the French artist Claude Cahun.
Exhibition poster using Cahun self portrait from 1927
The other exhibition featured pieces by Sue Tompkins.
Untitled 2011, Typewritten text on newspaper, fabric
I even made it back along the Water of Leith to my hotel without any further rain, after a very enjoyable, free day out in Edinburgh.
You can get more ideas for free days out in Edinburgh my “Edinburgh Off the Beaten Track” article. You can see all my Water of Leith and Botanic Gardens photos on Flickr.
Find Budget Hotels for Your Stay in Edinburgh
My favourite Edinburgh budget hotel is Travelodge Edinburgh West End due to its location close to the Water of Leith, the Dean Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art and the fact that you can walk to the city centre in 15 minutes.
View over Water of Leith from my room at Travelodge Edinburgh West End
If you don’t mind being further away from the city centre the Premier Inn Edinburgh Leith and Holiday Inn Express Edinburgh Waterfront are good options.
Tips for Things to Do in Edinburgh
We’ve lots of Edinburgh tips on Europe a la Carte.