Let’s take a short walk to one of the loveliest viewpoints in Edinburgh!
The Vennel is a short laneway, leading from the Grassmarket towards Heriot Place and Lauriston Place. Very popular among local Instagrammers, it has a spectacular view of the castle. All you need to do is to climb the stairs… and there it is, looking you straight in the eye! I love that place also because of its vintage vibes: surrounded by stone walls, old houses and beautiful tall lanterns, you can really feel like in a different era.
A little bit of etymology & history
(the term ‘vennel’) originated in royal burghs created in the twelfth century, the word deriving from the Old French word venelle meaning “alley” or “lane”. Unlike a tenement entry to private property, known as a “close”, a vennel was a public way leading from a typical high street to the open ground beyond the burgage plots. The Latin form is venella, related to the English word “funnel”.
Little alleys like that are quite common in Scotland. They can be found in many local towns: Perth, Culross, Linlithgow, North Berwick, Stirling and others. The Vennel in Edinburgh was mentioned for the first time in 1834. It was a continuous slope without any handrails then – just imagine all the struggle in winter! 😉 In case anyone is interested, there are two pictures from the 19th century at the end of the post (found online).
Vintage place requires a vintage outfit! It was a cold day, so I was wearing a thick skirt (Lindy Bop, not sponsored) and cable knit jumper (Primark). The coat is from eBay, the hat was bought last year at the market in London, the scarf was a gift and the boots are from Poland, bought few years ago.
Hope you enjoy this short walk to one of the most pictureque places in Edinburgh. How do you like The Vennel? 🙂
After visiting the Vennel I took a walk in the Old Town. Photos below were taken around Lady Stair’s Close and The Writers’ Museum.
And here are promised pictures of the Vennel back in the 19th century: