Friday, 25 July 2008


When the weather's nice (or hell, even when it's tipping down) I often get an urge to go up to Victoria Street and the Grassmarket for a gander. For those of you familiar with this wee area in Edinburgh's Old Town, you'll know that it is home to some real gems. For those of you less familiar - this wee area is home to some real gems. You can find enough to keep you amused for hours so don't be surprised if you come away from it rich with new paraphanelia but a little more cash poor. This area is home to some of my favorite places, one of which being the Red Door Gallery. This boutique art space supports and exhibits the work of emerging and independent designers and artists, and sells an amazing collection of various bits from books and accessories to jewellery and cameras. It was in there that I came across The Locals' Guide to Edinburgh.

This brilliant book is a guide to the city compiled not by some tourist body in a bid to increase visitor numbers to the castle, but rather is made up of recommendations by Edinburgh locals. These are the places that generic guides forget resulting all too often in visitors missing out on some of the best places the city has to offer. It is beautifully presented and has the feel of a hand written journal which someone has put together just for you. Having gone through a recent phase of feeling little disenchanted with my city, this little book made me fall in love with it all over again. I have rediscovered wonderful places I had all but forgotten and I can see this amazing city again for the magical place it is. If you live in Edinburgh, I guarantee this book will delight and surprise you with places you didn't know existed. It would serve as an excellent memento of the city as well as an indispensible guide to the real Edinburgh for any tourist. If you have even the vaguest interest in this city then I urge you to get yourself a copy here or here. An absolute must.

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