The main route from the east of Princes Street to Leith, Leith Walk was originally a picturesque gravel walkway. Forbidden to wheeled traffic or horses, this is where it gained its name. The site of the first Royal Botanic Garden before it moved to Inverleith, Leith Walk did not become a residential or commercial area until the 1870s when tenement construction started.
Now it’s hard to imagine Leith Walk as a quiet countryside stroll. Not to be confused with Leith itself (as any Leither will tell you), The Walk is a bustling thoroughfare. It is filled with pubs, restaurants, cafes, coffee shops, gift shops, takeaways and delicatessens.
Properties are mostly period with a sprinkling of modern developments and they vary dramatically in terms of size. Accommodation on Leith Walk is mostly tenement flats, but there are a number of generous townhouses on it and its adjoining streets.
Leith Walk is one of the longest streets in Edinburgh. Spanning from the Omni Centre, with its own multi-screen cinema, bars and restaurants, to the Foot of the Walk, it’s the perfect neighbourhood for a foodie. From pizza at La Favorita to fish and chips at The Tail End, tapas at Serrano & Manchego, pasta at Taste of Italy, Thai at Silver Bowl, middle eastern cuisine at Pomegranate or Indian at Slumdog, you won’t go hungry. That’s not even mentioning Valvona & Crolla, one of the city’s best Italian delicatessens.
Leith Walk is either a quick walk or journey into the City Centre with excellent bus links and easy car routes to other parts of the city. The tram starts just at the top of Leith Walk so provides reliable access through town to the airport. If you have a car, many properties in the area have on-street parking. However depending on which street you are on, a permit is sometimes required. This can be arranged through the Edinburgh City Council.
There are a number of excellent local Primary Schools, including Leith Walk Primary School, Broughton Primary School, Lorne Primary School, Leith Primary School and St Mary’s RC Primary School. It is in the catchment area for Drummond Community High School, Leith Academy and St Thomas of Aquin’s RC High School, but is also in easy reach of a number of public schools including Erskine Stewart’s Melville Schools, St George’s School for Girls, The Edinburgh Academy and Fettes College.