- The Water of Leith Walkway starts in Balerno (Bridge Road) and follows the Water of Leith as it winds its way 123/4 miles to Leith, where the river joins the Firth of Fourth. On route it passes through the towns of Balerno, Currie and Juniper Green before reaching Colinton and Craiglockhart Dell. The Dell is a wooded gorge which is a haven for wildlife; and the woodland dates back as far as 1750. Downstream from the Dells the river passes the Water of Leith Conservation Trust Visitor Centre before flowing through Gorgie, Saughton Park, Roseburn – passed Murrayfield Stadium, Dean Village and Stockbridge before reaching Leith. The Walkway is a popular route for walkers, cyclists and horse riders alike; it is used for recreation as well as commuting.
- History and heritage
- The river once powered up to 90 water mills providing paper, snuff, linen and flour– the remains of these can be seen in the weirs and buildings along the length of the river. Now, the river and surrounding woodlands are home to a great variety of wildlife.
You may discover many old buildings along the Water of Leith, including two 18th Century grottos and Redhall Doocot. Between Dean Village and Stockbridge you will see two mineral wells, one of which is St Georges Well, built in 1810. St Bernard’s Well was discovered in 1760 and the Roman Temple was built in 1789, it became popular for the believed healing power of its mineral water.
- Kingfishers nest along the banks of the river and can often be seen patrolling their territory. Increasingly there is otter activity along the length of the river.
More than 80 species of birds, including a variety of finches, tits, dippers, wrens, herons and owls can be seen along the river. On land; voles, frogs, rabbits, hares, weasels, stoats and foxes can be found. You may also see roe deer in the Dells.
- Public Toilets
- Toilets are located in the Water of Leith Conservation Trust Visitor Centre (see link for opening times and more details); public toilets are located at Stockbridge.
- Why don't you?
- Take a stroll along the banks and see if you can spot a heron
- Visitor information
- For information regarding the fisheries or restocking please contact the Honorary Bailiffs
The Water of Leith Conservation Trust offers experiential, outdoor education for primary and secondary schools, tailored to meet the needs of the Curriculum for Excellence. Through guided visits to the water exhibition at the Centre and outside on the river, students learn about river habitats, woodlands, land and river invertebrates, biodiversity, the water cycle and the human history of the river. They offer outreach and JASS programmes. Contact the education officer at at 0131-455-7367, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.waterofleith.org.uk for more details.
- Other useful links
- Water of Leith Conservation Trust