Blackford Hills 

Hermitage of the Braids

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The Blackford Hill is a nature reserve and can provide the whole family with many interesting things to do. There is a children’s play area and a pond that has many different birds (swans, geese and ducks and many more). Explore the hill and visit the Royal Observatory and see the stars in the sky. Follow the Braid Burn for some 2 miles or climb to the top

of Blackford Hill (540 feet) for a great view of the city and coast. The main entrance is on Charterhall Road, you can also gain access from Observatory Road or Braid Road.

Follow the Braid Burn through to the Hermitage at Morningside where it is a short walk to the Braid Hills, where the

Braid Golf Course is situated. The Braid golf course is where the professional golfer Thomas Armour played as a boy before immigrating to America.

HERMITAGE HOUSE

BRAID HILLS EDINBURGH

Old Hermitage House was built circa 1780. The House is now used as Headquarter of the City of Edinburgh

Countryside Natural Heritage Service Visitor Centre.

The first recorded owner of the area was the son of a Belgian knight called De Brad, in the 12th Century. 

The forest and hills were a popular place for hunting deer and Boar. The Braid Burn runs through the area. In 1937, the Hermitage was given to the people of Edinburgh city as a public park by the the owner John McDougal .

The pillar in front of the house is a memorial to the gift given by him. The park opened to the public in 1938.

The Do’cot was a place the occupants of the manor house could get fresh meat. As the pigeons were the source of fresh meat all year round. The walled garden would be stocked with vegetables, potatoes and herbs

ENTRANCE
BLACKFORD HILL NATURE RESERVE 
 BLACKFORD POND
Braid Burn and Waterfall Hermitage Edinb
Hermitage of the Braids Woods Edinburgh

Braid Hills Hotel

Edinburgh Attraction

The Braid Hills Hotel a historic building. was built in 1886 and has accommodated golfers for over a century.

Originally a place for golfer to change (a locker room) with Boxes to rent. In 1894 two window were unveiled with stain glass figures of Ben Sayers and the brothers Hugh and Andrew Kirkaldy. Andrew in 1889 tied for first place in the Open losing to Willie Park Jr. in a playoff. He also was runner up in both 1879 and 1891.  Hugh however won the open at St Andrews in 1891.

Braid Hills Golf Course

The Braid Hills golf course opened in 1889 and the first club to be part of the course was Harrison Golf Club founded in 1889 and remain at the course to this day.

Western Golf Club founded in 1899 and are also based at the Braid Course was where Tommy Armour first joined a golf club in 1912 and his first competition win was in 1913 on the Braids golf course. Link to Thomas Armour

Braid Hills Golf Course where Thomas Armour Played golf

Western  Golf Club

Braid Hills

Western Golf Club founded in 1899 and are also based at the Braid Course was where Tommy Armour first joined a golf club in 1912 and his first competition win was in 1913 on the Braids golf course. Link to Thomas Armour

 

George Harrison Archway

Braid Hills Edinburgh

Sir George Harrison was born in 1812   Lord Provost of Edinburgh 1882-1885 and also founder of Harrisons of Edinburgh 1863 which are now in Exeter and Saville Row London. He died in 1885 and is buried in Warriston Cemetery.

 

The Red sandstone arch next to the Craigmillar Park Golf Course at the foot of Observatory Road was erected in 1888 as the entrance to Blackford Hill, which George Harrison had been instrumental in purchasing as a public park for the city. The Blackford Hill opened as a public park 1884.

 

The archway takes the form of three Roman arches.  

A large central archway over the road and at each side smaller arches to allow pedestrians.  

The Arch was built to commemorate Lord Provost George Harrison’s work for the people of the city of Edinburgh.

George Harrison Memorial Arch Blackford

On the centre of the structure at the top is a bronze medallion of George Harrison’s head.

Below the medallion is an inscription that reads;

IN COMMVNEM MVNICIPII REM DILIGENTIA IN SINGVLOS 

 MVNICIPES BENIGNITAS IN OMNES HOMINES IVSTITIA ET FIDES

Inscription on George Harrison Arch.JPG

On the left hand side tablet the inscription reads; BLACKFORD HILL | WAS AQUIRED & OPENED |TO THE PUBLIC BY THE | CITY OF EDINBURGH | 1884 | THE RT HON | SIR GEORGE HARRISON .LL.D | LORD PROVOST.

On left hand side tablet the inscription reads; THIS ARCH IS ERECTED | 12TH SEPT 1888 | TO COMMEMORATE |THE WORK AND CHARACTER OF | GEORGE HARRISON | KT. MP. LL.D | WHOSE LIFE WAS DEVOTED | TO THE PUBLIC GOOD | BORN 1812 DIED 1885

Memorial to George Harrison Lord Provost

Royal Observatory 

Blackford Hills

The first Observatory in Edinburgh was founded in 1776 on Calton Hill by Thomas Short and was demolished in 1850 and moved to Castle Hill, the building where the Camera Obscura is now.

The Gothic Tower was used for several years as the site of a new observatory before the City Observatory was built in 1818. In 1822 it became the Royal Observatory and moved to Blackford Hill in 1896 where it still stands. It has been a world leader in astronomy from then to this day.

 
THE ROYAL OBSERVATORY BLACKFORD HILL

HILLEND ARTIFICIAL SKI SLOP PENTLAND HILLS

The Pentland Hills are a range of hills circa 20 miles long (33Klms) in the south of Edinburgh. Hillend being the beginning or end of the Pentland Hills has had an artificial ski slop open to the public since the 1960s and is the largest dry ski slop in Europe.

There are activities for all ages Skiing, Snowboarding and Tubing with floodlights on all slops for evening use and a chairlift and towlines to get you to the top.

You can hire equipment and visit the lodge or take the lift to the top for a fantastic view.

A great day out for the whole family especially on hot days. Which are few and far between in our wonderful Scottish climate.

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© 2020 by All About Edinburgh. 

started 16 / 03 /2017

About East Lothian Attractions