Things to do in Stockbridge

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For it’s compact size, Stockbridge abounds with a variety of things to do and the neighbourhood has an action-packed calendar of family friendly events.

Galleries & Gardens

Discover world-class collections of art and botany.

Modern 1 600X250Home to more than 5,000 items of 20th-century art, The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art is a short walk from Stockbridge’s main street and is well worth a visit. Comprising two buildings, Modern One and Modern Two, the galleries are surrounded by outdoor sculptures by artists such as Henry Moore, Rachel Whiteread and Barbara Hepworth while inside, you’ll find ground-breaking paintings from renowned artists such as Matisse and Picasso as well as a superb collection of works by Scottish artists such as Peploe, Fergusson and Paolozzi. Afterwards, re-fuel at either Café Modern One, which serves a selection of sandwiches, soup and cakes, or tuck into Italian classics made with seasonal and local Scottish ingredients in Paolozzi's Kitchen.

Botanic Gdns 600X250Glowing orange in the autumn and radiating with flowers in the summer, there really is nowhere quite like the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh to enjoy a leisurely walk or have your eyes opened to the joys of nature. These world-famous gardens date back to the 17th century and offer a rich and diverse experience, with highlights including the Rock Garden, The Alpine Houses and the Woodland Gardens. Easy to navigate and ideal for young families, the 70 acres of botanical beauty are a must-see while in the city. Check out their events page for a fantastic range of year-round programme of workshops, cultural performances, walks, talks and exhibitions.

Inverlieth Park 600X250Across the road from the Botanics is Inverleith Park. With some of the best views of the city of Edinburgh, it offers an ideal picnic spot in the warmer months. If you’re feeling a little more active, then the park covers a large amount of space offering football goals, rugby posts, tennis courts and cricket greens. Or for a more relaxing pursuit take some bird food to feed the ducks and swans at the park’s lovely pond.

Historic Highlights

Remember your camera, as you don’t want to miss capturing these unique pieces of Edinburgh’s history.

Water Of Leith 600X250Connecting Balerno in the south-west of the city with Leith and the Firth of Forth in the north, the Water of Leith Walkway runs 13 miles through the city. Navigated as one route, or broken into sections, one of the most popular sections is from Stockbridge to Dean Village and whether walking or cycling this family friendly walkway is alive with nature, with native wildflowers, heron, kingfishers and ancient mighty trees paving the way.

St Bernards Well 2 600X250On your way, be sure not to miss St. Bernard’s Well. Designed by painter Alexander Nasmyth in 1789, the figurine inside the structure is a depiction of the Greek goddess of health Hygeia. This natural spring was originally discovered in 1760 and locals believed that ‘taking the waters’ in this natural spring was thought to have restorative, if not actual healing, powers.

Dean Village 2 600X250For a feeling of stepping back in time, Dean Village is a true timepiece. Dating from the 1880’s the village was originally home to various mills and buildings that housed the workers. Reminders of the village’s past can still be seen today, with mill stones and stone plaques carved with depictions of bread and pies.

Top Tip: Water of Leith Conservation Trust provide a free Audio Trail which is worth downloading. Plaques along the 13-mile route highlight each section, which includes information on local history, the river and its wildlife.

 Stockbridge Market 600X250Not to be confused with Stockbridge’s modern day Sunday market, located between St. Stephen Place and Hamilton Place can still be seen the remnants of the facade from Stockbridge’s 19th-century market. The market ran for over 80 years, before it’s demise in 1906. Today, the archway is a category “B” Listed building with columns on either side which support a pediment inscribed with the name of the market and the words - Butcher Meat, Fruits, Fish and Poultry.

Markets

Shop here for tasty artisan goodies and gorgeous homemade crafts.

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Open every Sunday from 10am-4pm in Jubilee Gardens, the Stockbridge Market is a big hit with local Edinburgh residents.  Artisan breads, cheese, smoked salmon and even handmade dog treats sit alongside handmade soaps, jewellery and carefully created crafts. Satisfy your palate with delicious handmade crepes, melting marshmallows or a warming drink as you stroll through this delightful market.

A new market came to Stockbridge in 2021. The Neighbourhood Market features an array of street food stalls and live music - keep an eye on their social media pages for latest updates.

Festivals

From music events to festive celebrations, find it all here.

A new musical festival comes to Edinburgh and Stockbridge in 2022, with a star-studded line-up. Over The Bridge Festival will see the likes of James Arthur, Ella Eyre, Razorlight and Feeder take to the stage for 3 days of summer entertainment.

Duck RaceIf you see a group of rubber ducks floatingdown the Water of Leith, it must be the Stockbridge Duck Race! Now over 30 years old, contestants release rubber ducks with numbers on their backs into the Water of Leith and race down to Falshaw Bridge to see who crosses the line first. Prizes are donated by the local businesses and the money raised from entry fees goes to charity. The next race is in 2023.

Held in Inverleith Park, expect big flavours and big entertainment at The Foodies Festival. Hear top hints & tips from top chefs and expert bakers, sample new wines, champagnes and cocktails in The Drinks Theatre and enjoy delicious street food from around the world, all while enjoying live music in this family-orientated 3-day food lovers festival.

Get the festive season off to a magical start with The Edinburgh Christmas Charity Festival. Held in Inverleith Park this 2-day festive festival has a host of activities for all the family, including 5 and 10K runs, a Santa Toddle and the much-loved Santa Parade, featuring the man himself and his reindeers.

Read on to discover more about the top things to see, do and experience in Stockbridge