Duddingston: On the edge of the seat
Forever watched over by the green slopes of Arthur’s Seat, Duddingston is safely hidden from the busy streets of Edinburgh and yet just a short walk from everything the city has to offer. Once the site of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s council of war before the Battle of Prestonpans, the area is now a favourite of beauty seekers and nature lovers.
Tucked away behind the main road and the meandering water of Figgate Burn, where the horizon rises up into the shape of Arthur’s Seat, sits Duddington Primary School. Opened in 1958, the school consists of fifteen classrooms, a school hall and gymnasium, a TV room, IT room and all the other facilities little ones could need. There’s even nursery class accommodation just north of the grounds. With 88% of its nearly 400 pupils performing well or very well in reading at p7, Duddingston Primary is the obvious choice for the town’s many young families.
Older children can either opt for Holy Rood Roman Catholic High School. Sitting on the banks of Duddingston Loch, this school currently serves over 1000 boys and girls and boasts a well above average 86% of leavers entering a positive destination. Alternatively, the town in also in the catchment area for Portobello High School. Edinburgh’s largest school, this popular choice operates a house system to keep each child’s experience as personal as possible. With nearly 1300 pupils and an above average number gaining more than five SQA accredited awards at SCQF L6 or better, it’s easy to see why so much of Edinburgh’s youth gravitate here.
Looking at a map, you’d think Duddington was just another part of Edinburgh. But even though it sits on the slopes of Arthur’s Seat, it’s very much its own place. While the main road provides all the essentials; a garage, a Tesco Express, a Post Office, and even a forge, it’s down by the loch that things get a bit more unique. On the corner of The Causeway you’ll find the famous Sheep Heid Inn, said to be Scotland’s oldest pub. Stop in for some local fare before walking through the historic streets down to Dr Neil’s Garden, a truly relaxing lochside retreat set behind Duddingston Kirk. But if you prefer big city life, Edinburgh city centre is just a beautiful walk away.
Out and About
Speaking of which, Duddingston just wouldn’t be the same without the towering crags and rolling hillsides of Arthur’s seat on your doorstep. Take a stroll along the edge of the loch and wind your way along the south side of Holyrood park and Edinburgh’s iconic natural landmark. You’ll soon find yourself emerging on the corner of Leith Walk and Princes Street, where there’s no end to old things to see and new things to do. Or if you fancy getting away from the city, head north east to Portobello and breathe in the sea air on the sandy shores of the Forth.