As one of the UK’s best cities for walking, Edinburgh has many options for outdoor sightseeing. Most visitors to the city will experience at least one of these, Arthur’s Seat, the highest point in the city and without a doubt the most crowded outdoor attraction in town. Few tourists realise that just a few hundred metres away another walking opportunity awaits, one that gives some historical perspective on Edinburgh.
At the foot of Holyrood Park is a hidden tunnel, dividing Arthur’s Seat and the crags to the east from the burgeoning city to the west. This tunnel is a formerly railway line, disused for years but now refurbished into a walkway and cycle path. It is called the Innocent Railway tunnel, built in the 1830s to connect Dalkeith in the south with Edinburgh on a main railway line that has since been decommissioned. The tunnel’s name remains in doubt; rumour has it the title refers to the fact that none of the workers were killed during construction of the tunnel (unusual for the time). Others say the word “Innocent” refers to the fact that this railway line used horse-drawn carriages in a time when steam engine trains were thought to be unsafe and thus unpopular. Regardless, this was the first public railway tunnel in Scotland and possibly the first in all of Britain.
It can easily make it to your travel itinerary if you love walking around a city. If that is you plan then make sure to pack in the best walking shoes which will be perfect for your travel needs.