Julie Scotland 21 Comments

The list of must-see sights in Edinburgh is long. Every visitor knows to visit the Edinburgh Castle, walk the Royal Mile, eat haggis, climb Arthur’s Seat, and go whisky tasting. But there are sights off the main tourist trail that are so worth your time. One of these underrated but incredibly scenic spots is Dean Village.

Even after reading about Dean Village and looking at photos of it online, I still wondered if it was worth our time. A quaint village…simply a small, quiet, residential area in Edinburgh…should we really go out of our way to visit this place?

To add to our conundrum, it was raining in Edinburgh…proper Scottish weather, I suppose, but still not the best of weather conditions to go on a wee stroll through town.

Well, Tim convinced me to go, and I am so glad we did. Once you see these photos, you just may put Dean Village on your list of things to do, also.

Dean Village is a residential area. If you plan to visit Dean Village, please be respectful of the people who live here. Stay on the sidewalks, do not step onto private property, don’t litter, and keep your voices low. 

Photo Tour of Dean Village

A taxi dropped us off at the intersection of Dean Path and Damside. Fortunately, the rain stopped, but the cobblestoned roads were still very slippery. Our first view of Dean Village was from the bridge crossing the Water of Leith, a small waterway that snakes its way through Edinburgh.

Dean Village Edinburgh Walk

Dean Village Building


The best views are just a short walk from here. Walk down Hawthornbank Lane, a narrow, cobblestone road that heads downhill along the Water of Leith. Enjoy the views of the small houses that line the street and the views over the river.

Dean Village House

Dean Village Path

Edinburgh Dean Village

Dean Village View


Tyler and Kara were having such a good time they didn’t even mind posing for this photo. I love this one! Hardly ever do they pose for the camera like this.

Earth Trekker Kids

Dean Village Cobblestones

Must Visit Dean Village


The best views are at the bottom of Hawthornbank Lane. If you don’t mind climbing down to the edge of the river, you can have this view.

Dean Village View from River


For those who do not want to go off-road, cross to the center of the metal bridge for this view.

Dean Village View from Bridge


And from the other side of the bridge, the views keep changing.

Must Do Edinburgh

Scotland Travel Guide

Once on the other side of the river, walk up Damside, back towards your starting point. If you want, you can check out the courtyard to your right.

Dean Village Courtyard


Things to Know About Dean Village

Dean Village is located near the Stockbridge neighborhood of Edinburgh. To get here, we took a 10 minute taxi ride from the National Museum of Scotland. A visit here lasts about an hour, giving you plenty of time to leisurely stroll through the village.

You can also get here on by using the Edinburgh Bus Tours hop-on hop-off bus. They offer three routes through the city and the “Edinburgh Tour” has a stop at Charlotte Square (stop #12) that is near Dean Village. From Charlotte Square, it is a half-mile walk and takes about 10 minutes to get to Dean Village. Thanks for the tip, Barbara!

Keep in mind that this is a residential area when visiting. Respect the peace and quiet of those who live here.

There are no restaurants or bathroom facilities in Dean Village. Also, once here, do not expect taxis to show up without being arranged ahead of time. From Dean Village, you will have to walk uphill on Bells Brae to a much more populated area of town. It is here that you can hail a taxi or grab a bite to eat.

For those interested, you can walk along the Water of Leith through Edinburgh. The entire trail spans approximately 18 miles, quite the distance! For more information on this walk, visit The Walkway website.

Note: We visited Edinburgh and Dean Village as part of a 10 day road trip through Scotland in 2016.

So, what do you think? Does a visit to Dean Village look like it is worth it?

More Information about Scotland

EDINBURGH: Learn about the best things to do and how to plan your time in our 2 Day Edinburgh Itinerary. We also have detailed guides on how to hike to Arthur’s Seat, how to visit Edinburgh Castle, best things to do with kids in Edinburgh, and where to get the best views of Edinburgh.

PLACES TO VISIT IN THE ISLE OF SKYE: For an overview of must-have experiences on the Isle of Skye, read our article Best Things to Do on the Isle of Skye. We also have detailed guides on the Old Man of Storr, the Fairy Pools, the Fairy Glen, Brother’s Point, and the Quiraing.

SCOTLAND ITINERARY: With 10 days in Scotland, visit the highlights, including Edinburgh, Glasgow, the Isle of Skye, and Glencoe.

TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY: For more information about the camera gear we carry, check out our Travel Photography Gear Guide. And tips and tricks for taking great photos in our article How to Take Better Photos while Traveling.


Planning a trip to Scotland? Read all of our articles in our Scotland Travel Guide.

How to Visit and Photograph Dean Village in Edinburgh


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Comments 21

  1. Avatar for Monica Pileggi
    1. Avatar for Julie Post
  2. Avatar for Geronimo

    Is Dean Village just about roaming those quaint streets? Not at all pretending to downgrade the place but wondering if any time of day is the same, especially after 6pm when museums are closed.

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Yes, it’s really just about seeing the views in these photos. There are no shops, no restaurants, so you can do it any time of day.

    2. Avatar for Martinaguilfoyle@gmail.com

      Thanks for info, would u recommend entry in castle or dean village we havnt time for both kind regards.

      1. Avatar for Julie Post

        I would recommend the castle. It’s a more important site to see in Edinburgh and closer to the other attractions, so with limited time it is easier to combine this with other places you may visit in Edinburgh. Cheers, Julie

  3. Avatar for Barbara Breadman
    Barbara Breadman

    We will be visiting Dean Village tomorrow. If you take ride on an Edinburgh Tour Bus (with a live commentary), one of the stops on their circular route around the City, is at Charlotte Square – stop number 12. It is then just a short walk to Dean Village.
    You can ‘hop off’ and ‘hop on’ the buses at their stops.

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
  4. Avatar for Lynne

    We also loved Dean Village. Visited in July, 2016. We enquired at the tourist Information Centre near the gardens on how to get to Dean Village and no one in the centre had even heard of it. A person visiting the Centre overheard us and explained to the Tourist person and us where it was. The Tourist person then proceeded to tell us which bus we needed to catch to get there and which stop would be best to take. Even the bus driver didn’t seem to know about Dean Village. We were dropped off near the bridge over the River Leith and wandered down the cobbled path as per the Julie’s description. We were so pleased we persevered , Dean Village is a beautiful spot, I think I have the same photos as Julie. We decided to walk back into Edinburgh along the River Leith. This was a lovely walk, definitely not taxing and so scenic. Coming up onto Raeburn Place in Stockton we walked through the picturesque cobbled Circus Lane, then passed many architecturally beautiful buildings on Dundas St, we entered one – a department store, stunning old panelling & decor inside and the welcome and service were second to none. A must visit area if you have the time. We found public transport very easy to use.

    1. Avatar for Fátima Inácio Gomes
      1. Avatar for Julie Post

        I don’t know the exact bus stop. You might get off at or near Charlotte Square. You can Google search the bus route or ask your hotel for more info once in Edinburgh. Cheers, Julie

        1. Avatar for Fátima Inácio Gomes
  5. Avatar for Lilly

    These pictures look lovely! Just wanted to know which part of the year you went to the village–we’re going to be in the area mid Dec-Jan, do you think this would be a good time to visit?


    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      We were there at the end of July. I think it would be nice all year round, but it will be cold and you won’t get the same “green” experience that we had. I wonder if the houses have Christmas lights? That would be pretty. Cheers, Julie

      1. Avatar for Scottish lass
        Scottish lass

        Since your visit….our green spaces and beauty spots are marred by locust like plagues of tourists….(I’m from Edinburgh) some so rude that they were trying to access people’s private courtyards etc, standing in groups taking selfies, huge backpacks banging into people, litter, etc……I’m guessing the occupants of Dean village must be fed up with randoms looking in Windows, trying to get into courtyards despite signage saying “private property/no entry ” etc……sadly even our wee spaces are not immune now to overtourism…… Our govt needs to slap a heavy tourist tax ….say £20 per person per day ….maybe then some tourists will have respect! I’m sure lots do but there is the selfish entitled element these days sadly

        1. Avatar for Pat Gordinier
          Pat Gordinier

          Not all tourists are rude. I’m sorry you have had a bad experience. Some people spoil the experience for everyone else. So sorry.

  6. Avatar for Tammy Vig
    Tammy Vig

    We will be going to Edinburgh this next July and doing a 10 day self drive trip. I’ve read enough posts about Scotland, that we are expecting er, Scottish weather. I noticed your kids have on hiking shoes and some kind of quick dry pants? Could you share what you buy in regards to gear for your kids?

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Tyler and Kara wear Merrell hiking shoes (they are in adult size now). They also wear REI brand hiking pants when we travel. These are GREAT…durable, they look nice, and the zip-off feature is awesome. I highly recommend checking out REI, either in the store or online. We buy a lot of our travel gear and clothing here. Cheers, Julie

    2. Avatar for Ruth Hammons
      Ruth Hammons

      Wear shoes that are comfortable as the cobble stones, while picturesque are hard on the feet!!
      All of old town is cobblestone too and there are many up and down walks and streets, stairs and
      the odd close to amble through…it is a wonderful city, so much to see and I found the people lovely!
      I wore out one umbrella that I had brought with me and bought a new one there….you will want one
      if it is rainy. I loved touring Scotland to research my heritage roots…it is a special country!

  7. Avatar for mitchell

    Your comment that “Dean Village is located in the Stockbridge neighbourhood of Edinburgh” confuses me, as they are two very separate ‘neighbouring’ villages (about a 10 walk apart), north of the city centre and of very different character.

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

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