Leith is a buzzing port district, home to hip creatives, longtime locals and full of European landmarks. Leith used to be a very busy port due to trade links with the UK and the rest of Europe. For example, Leith offered ferry services to many European ports, including Hamburg and Oslo. Waterfront Italian, Greek and French seafood bistros dot the Shore area. The Royal Yacht Britannia, a former ocean-going royal residence, showcases elaborate state apartments. The riverside Water of Leith Walkway and Leith Walk, a busy street with European food shops, link the area with the city centre.
A timeline of Leith history can be found at this link.
This walking tour starts at Ocean Terminal and finishes at John Paul Jones View – a distance of about 5 kilometres long. The route is level and should be achievable by most people in 1 1/2 hours. However, the walk does involve cobbles. If you feel you can’t join all the walk, please join part of the walk and/or enjoy the many photographs and links on the website.
The walks starts at Ocean Terminal (point A on the map).
Lothian Buses run frequent service buses (11, 22, 34, 35, 36 ) to Ocean Terminal from the city centre. By car, you can follow the road signs to Leith/North Edinburgh, the brown tourist signs for Britannia and the Leith Attractions signs. Free car parking is available at Ocean Terminal. The Terminal is on Edinburgh’s future tram route. In November 2021 there was a lot of tram construction work in front of Ocean Terminal.
Ocean Terminal is one of Europe’s largest waterfront shopping and leisure centres and offers a multilingual welcome to its bars, restaurants and stores including many high street favourites.
Coming out of the front of Ocean Terminal turn right along Ocean Drive past the roundabout and after about 300 metres turn left at the lane between the Holiday Inn Express and the Britannia Spice Indian restaurant. Walk for 700 metres along the lane to Dock Place (Farmers Market). Turn right and left on to Commercial Street. The Customs House is on your left,