Why Dean Village Needs to Be on Your Edinburgh Itinerary (Plus Travel Tips for Visiting)

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Dean Village Edinburgh’s Best-Kept Secret

So, you are planning to visit Scotland’s capital, and you’re looking for the best things to do; rightfully so. You may have even checked out my Edinburgh itinerary and learned about Dean Village – Edinburgh’s fairytale village. Let me start by saying Dean Village is a must on any Edinburgh itinerary, especially if you love magical-looking places.

In this Dean Village guide, you will get all the Dean Village travel tips you need to know for visiting, along with photo inspiration!

Dean Village in Edinburgh

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission at no cost to you. Disclosure. 

Where is Dean Village

The enchanting Dean Village is nestled between the Stockbridge and West End Neighborhood in Edinburgh. From the west of Princes Street near the Ross Fountain, it is just around a 5-minute walk down to Dean Village. 

Dean Village has records dating back to the early 1100s and was used primarily for the milling of water mills. You can still find remnants of this industrial area while walking around.

I would love to delve deeper into Dean Village’s history, but there is surprisingly not that much historical information except for a few paragraphs on the Official Scotland website. Maybe the village is still very much under the radar. 

In the 1880s, the most popular building, Wells Court, was built to house workers. The area is still residential, so please be very respectful when visiting. 

Dean Village Fun Fact: The Dean Village Bridge and the St Bernard’s Well were designed by Thomas Telford, a well-known Scottish Civil Engineer. 

Leading to Dean Village sign

How to get to Dean Village

Getting to Dean Village is easy since it’s not too far from Edinburgh’s city centre. The best option is to walk to Dean Village. This is because the streets within the Village are closed to driving throughout the day. This allows the streets to be clear of cars. The roads are also extremely narrow.

If you are staying too far away to walk, the Drumsheugh Place bus station gets you very close to the entrance of Dean Village. Those buses are the 13, 19,36, 37, 41, and 47. If you go to Waverely train station near Princes Street Gardens, you should be close enough to walk. 

Additionally, you can take a cab or Uber, but they most likely won’t be able to take you all the way down due to the road restrictions. 

I suggest walking in from Bells Brae Street and to the Bells Brae’s Bridge. This is where you will see the first glimpse of the beautiful Dean Village. 

View From Bells Brae's Bridge of Dean Village Edinburgh
View from Bells Brae’s Bridge
Dean Village View From Water of Leith Bridge
Dean Village View From Water of Leith Bridge

What to do in Dean Village

Visiting Dean Village is really about admiring this lovely little oasis that surrounds the Water of Leith. After viewing Dean Village from the Bells Brae’s bridge, take a short walk down Hawthornbank Lane to get a close-up of these Bavarian-style homes. 

As you continue, make your way to the Water of Leith Walkway Bridge. This is one of the most Instagrammable places in Edinburgh. You can cross the bridge to Damside and make your way back around. 

If you leave the same way you came, you will have to walk back up the steep Bells Brae Street. However, I found a shortcut if you prefer stairs instead. I found it easier. On Hawthornbank Lane between Dean Village River B&B and Bell’s Brae Bed and Breakfast, you will see a staircase. It will let you out on Belford Road. We were able to call an Uber from here.  

Another thing you can add to your Dean Village itinerary is walking down by the Dean Bridge to the St. Bernard’s Well or walking around the Dean Cemetery located on Dean Path.

If you are looking for a wee escape from the city to get a touch of nature, you can walk down the Water of Leith Walkway, which runs 12.2 miles. The walkway was finished in 2002 and passes through several areas, including Stockbridge, Craiglockhart Dell, the Water of Leith Visitor Centre, Saughton Gardens, Colinton Village, the Scottish Gallery of Modern Art, and the Royal Botanic Garden and Leith.

You can even get a free audio guide here and a Walk of Leith map here.

Because this area is a residential area, there are no restrooms, restaurants, and few places to stay. So, plan to eat before or after visiting, and it is best to stay closer to the City Centre.

Dean Village Colorful homes
Leith Way Sign Dean Village

Other Edinburgh Attractions Near Dean Village

After exploring the picturesque Dean Village, there are several attractions nearby. In my very detailed 2 Days in Edinburgh itinerary, I recommend starting in Dean Village and then making your way to the Princes Street Garden, The Scott Monument, and the Scottish National Gallery. 

Bells Brae's Bridge
View of Bells Brae’s Bridge

Dean Village Edinburgh Itinerary Wrap-up

This concludes everything you need to know about visiting the magical Dean Village. I hope you have added Dean Village to your Edinburgh itinerary and that you have a great time visiting Scotland!

Want more Dean Village inspiration? Take a quick walk with me through Dean Village! Find more information about visiting Scotland in my Scotland Travel Guide.

Did you enjoy this Dean Village Edinburgh Scotland itinerary? I’d appreciate it if you could share it below!

Dean Village Edinburgh Scotland Itinerary
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Samantha Oppenheimer

Samantha Oppenheimer (Sam Opp) quit her corporate marketing job in 2018 to travel the world and become a travel writer, blogger and content creator. She loves experiencing authentic travel experiences, photography, and nature. Sam shares helpful travel itineraries, travel tips, budget tips, and travel advice from her personal experiences. You can also find Sam's words featured in large publications including Mirror, Thrillist, and Well + Good.

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