Introduction to Stockbridge

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Often described as having a Bohemian vibe, Stockbridge is a delightful mix of old and new. For centuries, artists, musicians, poets, writers and thespians have made the Georgian terraced houses their home and today the area is alive with an abundance of high-quality independent shops and restaurants, cafés and bars, all of which give the area a strong, individual character.

Lush green spaces fill the neighbourhood, from the Water of Leith Walkway which weaves its way through the neighbourhood to the tranquil realms of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. With its boating pond, playing fields and children’s play park, the area’s Inverleith Park is a popular attraction and is also home to a number of year-round festivals.

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Arts & crafts, homewares, gifts, clothing, books – whatever your shopping needs, Stockbridge is awash with an array of delightful independent shops. And when you’re in need of a refuel, you’ll find a wealth of eateries covering all tastes and budgets.

And if that wasn’t enough, the area is also home to Circus Lane, one of Edinburgh’s most Instagramable locations!

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Getting Here

A short 15-minute walk from Princes Street will lead you straight into the heart of Stockbridge. It’s a pleasant walk, with the distinctive New Town neo-classical and Georgian architecture all around. This part of the journey is relatively easy, as it’s all down-hill, but there’s plenty of picturesque places, and delicious cafes, to stop at on your way back up the hill!

Alternatively, Lothian Buses routes 24 and 29 will drop you off on the area’s main street, Raeburn Place on a regular basis.

A Brief History of Stockbridge

Stockbridge takes its name from the Scots words "stoccbrycg" meaning a timber foot bridge after the original bridge that crossed the Water of Leith to the small village.

Water Of Leith Sign 600X250Until the mid-18th century, the area was a separate part of Edinburgh, but as the New Town expanded, encroaching northwards, each village dotted along the Water of Leith became absorbed into the growing city, Stockbridge included.

Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, Stockbridge established itself as a favourite hangout for artists, poets, writers and musicians, whose presence helped to shape the village’s Bohemian culture that still survives today.  Between Glenogle Road and the Water of Leith are 11 parallel streets, collectively known as the Stockbridge Colonies. Built between 1861 and 1911 by the Edinburgh Co-operative Building Company to provide low-cost housing for the growing skilled workers, these streets are named after the Company's founders, including geologist and writer Hugh Miller (1802–56).  Today, these highly coveted properties stand as a legacy to the growth of industry in Edinburgh. Gifted crafters and makers still populate the area’s streets and thriving weekly market, a lasting reminder of the rise in skilled craftsmanship that helped to establish this unique part of Edinburgh.

From food & drink for all tastes and budgets to a fantastic range of shops, discover more about the delights of this special neighbourhood in our Guide to Stockbridge >