Edinburgh World Heritage - A Walk from Charlotte Square to Stockbridge


A Walk from Charlotte Square to Stockbridge

Moray Place

A walk from Charlotte Square to Stockbridge takes in some of the grandest parts of the Georgian New Town, and through streets little changed since the early 1800s.

Walk from Charlotte Square and down Glenfinlas Street and keep to the left until you reach the crescents of Ainslie Place on the Moray Estate.

The Earl of Moray owned this area, and in 1822 commissioned the architect James Gillespie Graham to design an expansion of the New Town. The plots of three successively grander spaces were sold with the condition that each town house followed strict regulations of style and finish. Each façade was specified with drawings provided by Gillespie Graham, including classical details and a central private garden with “retaining walls and iron railings in a suitable and handsome manner”.

Turn on to the eastern part of Great Stuart Street to enter Moray Place. This has always been one of the grandest addresses in the city, and the Earl of Moray himself once lived at No.28. The plan was much influenced by Charlotte Square, with a series of town houses designed with a 'palace-front'.

Pass through Darnaway Street and Heriot Row until you reach the northward sloping India Street. Look closely at the details around the doorways and you will see subtle differences in design. It was common for streets to adopt a different pattern of railings, and fanlights above the main door. Look out too for the Edinburgh style of square brass door handle.

Follow the slope northwards and turn right onto Circus Gardens leading into Royal Circus. Designed by William Henry Playfair in the early 1820s, the detail in the architecture here is particularly fine.

Walk down NW Circus Place through Kerr Street towards Stockbridge. Once separate to the city, Stockbridge still retains its village feel, and here there are many cafes and small shops to browse.


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