Edinburgh property focus: Leith Links

Follow the route down Leith walk and you will arrive at the docks district of Edinburgh, Leith Links.  

This public park extends to around 46 acres and is divided into two main areas, a western and an eastern section.  

A popular area of Edinburgh that is surrounded by greenery, Leith Links is a superb area of Edinburgh to both live in and enjoy visiting. 


Leith Links is an area rich in fascinating historical events.  

On 25 July 1559, during the Scottish Reformation (the process by which Scotland broke with the Papacy and developed a predominantly Calvinist national Kirk [Church of Scotland]), the Protestant Lords of the Congregation made a truce with the Catholic Queen Regent, Mary of Guise. This consensus took place at Leith Links as she agreed to vacate Holyrood house and leave Edinburgh. 

A year later, in the subsequent Siege of Leith, 1560, English and Scottish troops made use of the area by creating trenches. Open to some historical debates, the two mounds on Leith Links, Giant’s Brae and Lady Fyfe’s Brae (perhaps better known as Somerset’s Battery and Pelham’s Battery, respectively) still have their remains on view to this day.   

Leith Links is also famous in the history of golf! A couple of hundred years after the Scottish Reformation, records show that a 5-hole golf course existed and was used regularly up until shortly before 1824 and then revived again in 1864. Charles I and the future James VII were said to have played golf on the Links whilst they were in residence at Holyrood Palace. The clubhouse was on the site of the former Leith Academy building on Duke Street.  

Did you know: The rules of golf developed in Leith were adopted by the Royal and Ancient Company of Golfers on their move to St. Andrews in 1777. 

Leith Links Property

Leith Links originally lay fully to the east of medieval Leith. Only from 1770 onwards did local law permit building outwith the old town wall. The first phase of this development was on the north-west corner (now Queen Charlotte Street) where three roughly identical villas were constructed around 1775.

The entire area was only assigned as a public park (as opposed to a public open space) in 1888 as part of the Leith Improvement Plan. At this time the area was levelled and planted with trees along its perimeter and several paths dividing the area. Cast iron railings enclosing the entire area were placed but these were removed during World War II as part of the war effort.  

Allotment gardens were also created on the north-east edge during World War II and still remain to this day!

Fast forward to the year 2018 and the majority of buildings that face Leith Links are still the first building on their site, mostly dating from the 19th century. Extend slightly outwith the Links perimeters and there are housing developments in full operation to this day. Namely, around Salamander Street and the surrounding areas.  

Properties in Leith Links selling prices are in keeping with the current demand for properties in the whole of Edinburgh. Typically, a 2-bedroom house sells in the region of £180,000 – £280,000 and 3 or 4-bedroom can sell upwards of £450,000, dependant on selling factors.

 Lying approximately 3.5 miles west of Edinburgh’s city centre you will find Corstorphine, considered now to be a suburb of the capital. The area itself is teeming with life. Many small independent shops, charities and eateries make up the main street – the stretch of road acting as a primary route between Edinburgh and Glasgow. Read our Corstorphine property focus blog here.

Food, drink and other amenities

The biggest amenity within Leith Links is simply… Leith Links! 

The public area is great if you fancy taking the young ones to the park to play on the slides. Perhaps you fancy playing in the tennis courts or join the local Sunday league team?

Fancy something a little more relaxing? Then grab a blanket, a good book and catch the rays on a warm weekend. 

There’s a variety of coffee shops that are within an arms reach of Leith Links. Try Hideout Café or Printworks for a midday latte. Fancy something a little fizzier? Then you can’t go wrong with The Compass or the Lioness of Leith! 

For a Sunday roast why don’t you try Chop House Leith or perhaps take a walk along to The Shore and enjoy a scrumptious seafood meal at Fishers.  

Shopping is ideal as the Tesco – that we mentioned in the Easter Road property focus blog – is also best suited for all your weekday groceries.  

Public transport is no problem as there are bus stops that can take you wherever you need to be in Edinburgh.  

That’s Leith Links in a nutshell. We’ll see you on the field.