Hidden Gems in Leith

Leith Mural Shot From Left To Right

Leith has it's own unique culture and spirit, and nowhere is this better reflected than in it's unique, out-of-the-way arts venues.

 

The Biscuit Factory

Home now to creative businesses and events, The Biscuit Factory was built in 1947 and was one of two Crawford's biscuit factories in the Leith area at the time. Recently it has been refurbished to house a gin distillery, studio space, art shows and exhibitions, music and all kinds of unique and inspiring events.

 

Out of the Blue Drill Hall

This magnificent old army drill hall was taken over by the Out of the Blue Arts and Education Trust and opened to the public as a venue in 2004. Out of the Blue are committed to creative endeavours and supporting their community, and have transformed the space into a much loved community resource. It's now home to studios, rehearsal space, exhibitions and performances, classes, events, and a cafe. In 2016 it also became home to Out of the Blueprint, a print studio focusing on risograph printing, with a unique aesthetic and environmentally friendly processes.

 

Before it was formally merged into Edinburgh in 1920, Leith had it's fair share of fascinating social history.

The Leith History Mural

Leith Mural Close Up Heritage

Painted in 1986, the Leith History Mural can be found on North Junction Street. It depicts scenes of every day life and important historic events recounted by the Leith Local History Project to the artists Tim Chalk and Paul Grime.

Have a wander down and see if you can spot protests and rallies, weekend revelry, kilted soldiers, the Firth of Forth and Leith's famous blue swing bridge. Although some panels are wearing away there's still an awful lot to see.

One of the artists, Paul Grime, describes the mural in detail in this interview with the Evening News.

Mural Art Trail

The Mural Trail (Image Credit:  Leith Heals by Breeze Thirteen  / Underwater Scene by Ross MaCrae)

As part of the Trams to Newhaven project, a series of small murals have been commissioned to be painted on utility boxes on Leith Walk and Constitution Street. Working alongside Vue Arts and Tactical Media, the Mural Art Trail will help exhibit the work of local aspiring and established graffiti and street artists, as well as brightening up some under-appreciated items on the streets. All tell a story of everyday life, past and present in Leith, from the pigeons that live on tower blocks to the 3 sea lions that escaped from Edinburgh Zoo in 1924, only to be found happily swimming around Leith Harbour! How many can you spot?

 

Invisible Cities Walking Tour

Invisible Leith Tour

If you fancy learning more about the history and people of Leith, and helping a good cause, then why not book a place on an Invisible Cities Walking Tour.

Hosted by experienced tour guides, all of whom have been affected by homelessness, they offer their own personal insight into Edinburgh’s past, present and future.

There are two tours specifically designed around Leith - History of the Trainspotting Generation, where your guide Paul brings alive the stories of Leith’s most famous characters, guiding you through a unique experience of one of Edinburgh’s most historic and colourful areas. Or discover the lesser-known and less-politically-correct stories of Leith with The Alternative Story of Leith tour, where you'll learn about Leith's connections with other parts of the world and the many issues it still faces today.

 

From charming shops, cosy cafes and fabulous eateries to five-star visitor attractions, Leith is packed with unique finds - explore more >