Dating from the 1300s, The Grassmarket was one of Edinburgh’s main market places. Located directly under Edinburgh Castle, it carries a gruesome history. A traditional place for public executions, it has also been the location of riots. But not since the 1700s – so nothing to fear these days! Famous residents have included William Wordsworth and Robert Burns.
In the centre of Edinburgh’s medieval Old Town, The modern Grassmarket is surrounded by pubs, clubs, hotels, shops and cafes. Directly connected to the Cowgate and Victoria Street, the neighbourhood has a lot to offer. Widely untouched since medieval times, its winding closes and traditional architecture gives the area a historic feel. Mostly consisting of tenement flats, there are also pockets of The Grassmarket boasting modern apartments and conversions.
The Grassmarket hosts a number of restaurants, including the famous Mamma’s Pizza, the Grain Store, Howies and Maison Bleue. There are numerous pubs, including Maggie Dicksons, Black Bull, Beehive Inn and The Last Drop (famous for a regular ghost and being the site of the Grassmarket’s last hanging). Combined with some quirky shopping such as Armstrongs vintage clothing, The Red Door Gallery and Walker Slater – it’s certainly an interesting place to be.
A ten minute walk from Edinburgh Waverley train station, The Grassmarket has excellent bus links and is an easy walk to Princes Street. If you have a car, usually a permit is required. This can be arranged through the Edinburgh City Council.
There are a number of excellent local Primary Schools, including Tollcross Primary School and St Peter’s RC Primary School. The Grassmarket is in the catchment area for James Gillespie’s High School and St Thomas of Aquin’s RC High School, but is also in easy reach of a number of public schools including George Watson’s and George Heriot’s.