Secret Edinburgh: An Unusual Guide by Hannah Robinson is a welcome addition to a crowded market place. It is one of a major series of guide books by the French publisher JonGlez. Others in the series include Rio de Janeiro, Tuscany, Prague and Granada – proud company perhaps.
Secret Edinburgh will delight natives and residents of Edinburgh as much as any visitor. While there is a dreary sense of deja vu about most Edinburgh guides, Secret Edinburgh feels fresh. The author has clearly done a lot of research and visited all the locations – as has her photographer. While most of its competitors neglect the suburbs, SE does not. From the shale bings of West Lothian to Cockenzie and Port Seton, this is a book which truly spans this city.
Now, at the risk of sounding smug – and I probably do – I would say that I probably know about 80% of the places listed. But in that sense, I am highly unusual. Most people in Edinburgh will know far fewer, since I’m one of those types who’s gone out of his way to discover such places… through my own researchs and wanderings, and various Doors Open days.
Inevitably there is some overlap between Literary Corstorphine and Secret Edinburgh. Here are a few of the places you can find in both:
- Cammo Estate
- The Dower House
- Gogar Cabinet Works
- Saughton Park and Winter Gardens
- The White Lady of Corstorphine
And while I don’t deal specifically with the Airport Prayer and Quiet Room, and Corstorphine Hill Walled Garden, I do have entries on Edinburgh Airport and Corstorphine Hill.