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Travel Guide: Visit Edinburgh, Scotland and discover the city's secrets

27th Jan 2012 2:42pm | By Siri Elise Dybdal

Edinburgh may be world famous for its beautiful castle and love of a wee dram, but there’s much more to the Scottish capital than tartan and bagpipes. We show you the city’s best-kept secrets, still bypassed by most tourists.

Cycle along the Water of Leith

Leith Shore, Edinburgh photo credit: iStock

Below the hustle and bustle of the city, surrounded by leafy trees, the Water of Leith river snakes its way from the Pentland Hills to the Leith shore. Here, otters can be spotted lunching on brown trout by the riverbank, while herons and kingfishers rest on the rocks. The riverside path is a favourite getaway for local walkers and cyclists, and takes you under majestic stone bridges, past historic sites, and through ancient woodland. You can choose to join it and leave it wherever suits. One scenic route starts off in Roseburn, with a detour to the excellent Scottish Gallery of Modern Art, via picturesque Dean Village, finishing with a drink in a Stockridge bar.

Drink in a sailor’s pub

After the regeneration of Edinbugh’s sketchy harbour area, a wide range of new and cutting-edge bars have cropped up in Leith. But at the Port O’ Leith bar, nothing much has changed for 30 years, which is why the pub is still loved by seafarers and locals alike. This Leith institution, where Irvine Welsh, of Trainspotting fame, was once a regular, is a real sailors’ pub, complete with ship flags on the roof, and a display of banknotes from around the globe.The scruffy, but charming, tavern oozes character, draws an interesting mix of people and has cheap beer. We guarantee that you will never be lonely here – nor will you be sober when you leave ...

Port O' Leith Bar, 50 Constitution Street, 0131 5557019