Edinburgh’s ‘New Town’ (a UNESCO world heritage site, like it’s older compatriot) was designed to be more than just a modern city; it was built to be a city of architecture, of style (and dare I say of class?). Although originally a lot of the New Town was tenements, rather more of it was built as town houses – the state in which most of it remains.
I’m jealous – to the point of bitterness – of many of the lucky people who own these houses (or even just the flats) as I am yet to see one which is not more than ‘well appointed’ or well decorated (not that I’ve seen that many, I should say). It would also be very convenient as they’re in the centre of town. They’re also rather expensive.
But on top of designing helpfully laid out streets, the city architects of old clearly liked greenery and liberally scattered plenty of parks and gardens throughout – you only have to look at the three main streets and you have two enormous gardens (Princes Street and Queens Street) and two fairly large grassy squares (Charlotte and St Andrews). And – ignoring the (let’s be kind and say) ‘mess’ the council have created on Queens, George and Princes Streets – very little has changed. Many of the streets still remain quiet and residential, with their communal gardens full of daffodils, grass and freshly painted white benches sitting peacefully behind their railings. It’s all rather nice and – in case you hadn’t guessed – I’d quite like one. Might be a little out of budget for now though.