Dean Village often comes as a pleasant surprise to Edinburgh visitors. Situated just a few minutes walk away from the bustle of Princes Street it's like a little bubble of chocolate-box countryside.
The Dean Village area is often called the Water of Leith by locals, although strictly this refers to the river rather than the village.
How To Get To Dean Village
So where is this peaceful and picturesque spot? You'll find it just to the north of the West End of Princes Street; a few minutes walk down Queensferry Street towards Queensferry Road will take you to the Dean Bridge, designed by Thomas Telford. This provides some great photo opportunities: when tour buses go over the bridge there's usually frantic scrabble for cameras!
Although called a 'village' for historical reasons there's very little other than residential buildings at water level, you'll need to go back up to Queensferry Street for your afternoon tea.
Dean Village used to be a centre of Edinburgh's milling industry, using the flow of water along the Leith river to power several grain mills. After many years of prosperity these were overshadowed by the larger scale mills in Leith itself and eventually closed. Dean Village officially became part of Edinburgh itself in 1826.
A natural spring was discovered near the village in 1760 and is marked by St Bernard's Well.