Friday 20 April 2012: Leith #6 - The Water of Leith
This afternoon, when it stopped raining, I went for a walk along the Water of Leith, near The Shore, and then I went shopping for some food.
The Water of Leith is the main river flowing through Edinburgh. It ends up in the port of Leith and flows into the sea through the Firth of Forth. It is 22 miles long (about 35 km). It travels from the Pentland Hills through Balerno, Currie, Juniper Green, Colinton, Slateford, Longstone, Saughton, Balgreen, Roseburn, Dean Village, Stockbridge, Inverleith, Canonmills, Warriston, Bonnington and finally Leith.
There is a walkway beside the river, which is a great place to go for a walk or a cycle on sunny days. It's probably the best place to find interesting wildlife in Edinburgh, such as kingfishers, herons, wagtails, woodpeckers and dippers. The path goes through woodland, former railway tracks and the remains of tunnels and bridges. If you have time, it makes a very interesting walk.
In the old times the rapid flow of the river was used to drive waterwheels in mills at over 70 sites along the river, establishing a long line of villages. In the past, the river played as well a crucial role in developing Edinburgh as an industrial city. Before the artificial harbour was built, the mouth of the river served as the port of Leith, which became a focus for shipping, shipbuilding and whaling. During these industrial times the river was rather polluted, but when the mills closed and the sewers were constructed, it finally recovered and it's now being taken care of by the Water of Leith Conservation Trust. You can still see millstones and mill buildings scattered along the river.
The water is looking a bit muddy today because of the rain we've had this last week. I have to say though that the weather has been much better than I expected!
This evening I'm having a pirate night with my friends. Basically, we're going out dressed up as pirates. It could be fun!
Gonna try now and get on with the translation of my friend's article before I go out.
Thanks very much for all your comments on my Port O' Leith shot. I hope you all have a great weekend! :)