Sciennes (pronounced “sheens”), an area that once attracted outlaws, is now a district where many University of Edinburgh students study and horse about. The heritage of this area shifted from crime to religion to education, with several historic churches and prestigious schools dotting Sciennes’ landscape. Now a progressive area attracting new businesses and young residents, Sciennes holds onto its history proudly with stone houses whilst welcoming the youthful energy of university students. Many historic landmarks are designated with signs and documented stories, allowing interested travellers the chance to take the old with the new in one shot on their visit to Edinburgh.
- Go out of the way to 16 St Catherine’s Place, which marks the location of the Dominican convent of Catherine of Sienna in Edinburgh, originally built on petition against the pope from war widows.
- Explore the Sciennes Hill House where Scottish writers like Robert Burns, Edinburgh’s own Walter Scott, and other literary figures gathered for small talk and libations.
- Stop by the old Jewish Cemetery in Sciennes, the first in Scotland, where several generations of families covering the nineteenth century have been laid to rest.
The nearest train stop is Waverly Station, a lengthy walk from the area, so railway travellers on their way to Sciennes may wish to take alternate transportation, especially in inclement weather. The Lothian Buses stop along Causewayside, Grange Rd., and other nearby locations. Sciennes is only 1.5 kilometres from the Edinburgh city centre, a 25-minute walk on a nice day, or a very quick bus or taxi ride. For those travelling with their own car, parking space is usually available centrally on Sciennes Road. Many of these attractions in the district are within walking distance.
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