…by Rachael / from Scotland / studying English Literature / 4th year
I want to introduce you to Dean Village; a tranquil refuge found just minutes away from Edinburgh’s bustling Princes Street.
I have loved Dean Village ever since I discovered it a few years ago, but I held off on writing this post as I had a severe lack of pictures. Usually, I go there to relax and take my mind off things such as my phone, social media and any stress which, as a result, meant that I had very little to show of the beautiful area.
However, I went back this week solely for that reason, and so I can now show to you why I love this little oasis so much.
Dean Village was, in the past, dedicated to mills; their success is still present through the multiple mill stones and plaques you will come across. Yet, the trade eventually diminished and the area consequently became associated with decay and poverty for a long time.
That was until a process of restoration and redevelopment began in the 70s, and now the village stands proudly as a desirable area to live and a popular tourist attraction.
To enter the village, you have to take a turn down an extremely steep, winding road, which is almost hidden by the side of Dean Bridge. From then on, you’ll find an array of stunning houses – my favourite being the yellow – and the most peaceful stream by their side! The area was actually also known as the ‘Water of Leith Village’ due to the mesmerising stream which weaves its way between the streets.
The Water of Leith is Edinburgh’s main river. It travels through 22 miles of the city before flowing into the Firth of Forth! You could probably find out some interesting facts about it, but I just like it because of its utter serenity.
The bridge is something else which caught my eye from the very first visit… It was actually built to carry the Queensferry Road over the Dean Gorge, and then was later raised in height slightly as a deterrent to suicide – something which was unfortunately very common there at a point in time. You can still see the change in stonework to this day. But what attracted me is that, through the means of Dean Village, you’re now able walk underneath the bridge. And, for some (perhaps strange) reason, I love the architecture.
I feel that Dean Village is underrated; more attention needs to be brought to this beautiful place – but not too much, please, I enjoy the peace 😉 And I bet the people who live there do, too! Nevertheless, I definitely recommend visiting here if you’re passing. There isn’t much to physically do there, nor are there any restaurants or shops, but it’s just a pretty cool place to see and appreciate. And, on the plus side (for some), walk back up the steep hill that you came down and you’re returned once more to the hustle and bustle of the city!