Edinburgh New Town
Fine architecture and shops for tourists
Edinburgh's New Town is a collection of some of the finest architectural works in the world. Unfortunately, it is often neglected by tourists in favour of the Old Town of Edinburgh. Most visitors don't know that north of Princes Street there is another, just as interesting part of Edinburgh, waiting to be discovered.
History of Edinburgh's New Town
The New Town was built in the 18th century so it's hardly new by today's standards. By that time, the Old Town was getting far too crowded, dirty and noisy. Edinburgh could no longer cope.
The Old Town was so overcrowded that the rich had no choice but to live in the same buildings as the poorest people in Edinburgh. They would take the basement, bottom and very top floors while the lawyers, doctors and the rest of the middle class would live on the floors in between, away from the squalor of the streets.
Plans were launched to build a New Edinburgh, a huge extension to the north of the City. James Craig is the young architect who won the competition for the New Town design and his original blueprints for the New Town are on display in the Huntly Museum on the Royal Mile.
The wealthy soon began to move out and into the New Town and this resulted in the Old Town falling into decay and misery.
Princes Street and Princes Street Gardens now divide the two parts of Edinburgh -- the New Town and the Old Town, while North Bridge is the original link between the two parts of the city.
In those times, wealthy families would own entire buildings in the New Town. These days, however, each building is divided into separate flats and sold or rented out separately. Edinburgh has become an expensive place to live in.
Shops and accommodation in the Edinburgh New Town
The New Town is very close to Edinburgh's City Centre. It's quiet, peaceful and has select shops, restaurants, cafes and bars. While the New Town is still a residential area, many Edinburgh businesses now have their offices here. It's also home of some of Edinburgh's luxurious accommodation such as hotels, self-catering apartments and other type of rooms. Hotel prices are at their highest during the summer months and during the winter holidays.