Walking Tour

The Old Town - the medieval part of town -stretches along the Royal Mile to the east of the castle and southwards to the Grassmarket and Greyfriars. This walk delves into the Old Town's many interesting nooks and crannies, and involves a fair bit of climbing steep stairs and closes.

Begin on the Castle Esplanade (1), which affords grandstand views southwards over the Grassmarket; the prominent quadrangular building with all the turrets is George Heriot's School, which you'll pass later on. Head towards Castlehill and the start of the Royal Mile. The 17th-century house on the right, above the steps of North Casde Wynd, is known as Can-nonball House (2) because of the iron ball lodged in the wall (look between, and slighdy below, the two largest windows). It was not fired in anger, but instead marks the gravitation height to which water would flow naturally from the city's first piped water supply.

The low, rectangular building across the street (now a touristy tartan-weaving mill) was originally the reservoir that held the Old Town's water supply. On its western wall is the Witches Well (3), where a modern bronze fountain commemorates around 4000 people (mosdy women) who were burned or strangled in Edinburgh between 1479 and 1722 on suspicion of witchcraft.

Go past the reservoir and turn left down Ramsay Lane, and take a look at Ramsay Garden (4) - one of the most desirable addresses in Edinburgh - where late-19th-century apartments were built around the nucleus of the octagonal Ramsay Lodge, once home to poet

760 EDINBURGH •• Edinburgh for Children

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