Morningside is such a cosmopolitan section of Edinburgh that its beauty and open green areas often take a back seat. Nestled comfortably alongside a plethora of trendy coffeeshops, eateries, and independent boutiques are stunning areas of natural beauty. Their close proximity and easy access from any corner of Morningside only adds to the allure of this Edinburgh area.
Bruntsfield Links lies just to the southwest of The Meadows and its southerly perimeter is formed by Bruntsfield Terrace and Bruntsfield Crescent, where lovely Victorian properties frame the Links. Bruntsfield Links are comprised of 35 acres of open space that are the last vestige of the Borough Muir, which is the former woodland that extended southward to the Jordan Burn in the present-day areas of Morningside and The Grange. Bruntsfield Links also maintains a strong historical connection to golf; its golfing society was founded in 1761 although golf has been played at the Links since the 15th century. The Golfing Society is the fourth oldest in the world and the clubhouse, constructed in 1899, overlooks the course and boasts outstanding views onto the Firth of Forth and the hills of Fife.
The entire area is perfectly situated to take in the beauty of the Pentland Hills, the twenty-mile range of hills that extend southwest from Edinburgh toward Biggar and the upper Clydesdale. A mixture of publicly owned land—including Hillend, Bonaly, and Harlaw—and private land, the Pentlands are easily accessible from Morningside and offer a dazzling variety of recreational activities including hillwalking, mountain biking, horse riding, golf, and skiing at the Midlothian Snowsports Centre.
The Braids, which constitute the southernmost of the seven hills upon which Edinburgh traditionally stood, are also located to the south of Morningside. The views of the city, replete with Arthur’s Seat and Edinburgh Castle in the distance, are superb and there are plentiful circular walks that afford the opportunity to capture these excellent views.
The great outdoors are not the only way area residents enjoy Morningside. Cinephiles across Edinburgh flock to the Dominion Cinema, an Art Deco movie theatre. The Dominion is a fourth generation run Scottish family business that offer a luxurious cinema experience complete with recliner seating and full table service.
Churchill Theatre is home to many amateur theatrical companies and is a popular venue during the Fringe Festival. As one of Scotland’s non-professional theatres, it provides an exciting space for a variety theatre performances, concerts, and talks. The theatre is a Category B former church, built by Scottish architect Hippolyte Blanc, known for his gothic style, in the late 1800s as the Morningside Free Church. It was converted to a theatre in the 1960s.
For those folks fascinated by the solar system and astronomy, the Royal Observatory on Blackford Hill is a must-see. This single site university astronomy research group was opened in 1894. The Royal Observatory offers a series of public events that include public astronomy evenings and guided tours, available exclusively by pre-booking. There are extensive programmes tailored to primary and secondary school students and tied to the curriculum for excellence.