Things to do
It is the perfect base for a City break from where you can enjoy Scotland as many areas are accessible within a short drive or by public transport.
Tucked away just behind Shandwick Place, the West End Village is one of Edinburgh’s hidden gems. At the very heart of the village lies both William Street and Stafford Street, where the colourful, stylish boutiques and some much-loved pubs and bars combine to create a bohemian feel to this part of Edinburgh. This is a delightful area to explore for both locals and visitors alike.
William Street and Stafford Street are both within easy walking distance of the city centre.
The area is well served by public transport options. If travelling by bus, Lothian Buses routes 3, 25, 31 and 33 will drop you off on the area’s main street, Shandwick Place on a regular basis. Haymarket Train Station, which has services from across Scotland, is close by, and the Airlink 100 bus to Edinburgh Airport has a stop directly outside the station. Running from York Place to Edinburgh Airport, Edinburgh Trams stop at stop between Atholl Crescent and Coates Crescent, conveniently placed to get you into the heart of the action quickly and easily.
The broad streets of the West End were designed in 1813 by James Gillespie Graham. Building was slow, involving many different architects. As a result, the area is a variety of grand Victorian terraces to intimate Georgian shopping streets. Built in 1825 to provide cheaper housing and shops, William Street is a particularly well-preserved street of Georgian shopfronts. The cast iron balconies under the shop windows, designed to allow customers to get a closer look at the goods, are a rare surviving feature.
In recent years the West End has been transformed by the development of The Exchange District, Edinburgh’s main financial and commercial hub. The area is now home to a number of well-known companies, including Scottish Widows, Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management.