Duddingston - The village within Edinburgh

  • Edinburgh Guide
  • 16 February 2011
Duddingston - The village within Edinburgh

The Sheep Heid Inn, Duddingston

12th century village home to Sheep Heid pub and loch from Henry Raeburn painting

Duddingston, next to Holyrood Park on the southeastern slope of Arthur’s Seat, is a pretty village that dates back to the 12th century and is a dedicated conservation area.

The village’s oldest surviving building is Duddingston Kirk , which still retains some Norman features and is one of the oldest places of worship still in use in Scotland. One of the village’s best known buildings – and most popular attractions - however, is the Sheep Heid, a pub with its own skittle alley and an ideal spot for a pint after a walk up Arthur’s Seat. The pub is known as Scotland’s oldest, as there’s been a building bearing the Sheep Heid name on the site since 1360. Also of interest is Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Cottage, where the Prince stayed before the Battle of Prestonpans in 1745, although this is now a private house.

Duddingston Loch is the only freshwater loch in the city and is home to a variety of wildlife including waders and otters. The loch is also the home of curling - the rules of the game were penned in Thomson’s Tower, which is now open to visitors. The loch has also long been popular with skaters, as depicted in Henry Raeburn’s famous 1795 oil painting of the skating minister, which is on display in the National Gallery.

Duddingston Kirk
Old Church Lane, 0131 661 4240

The Sheep Heid
The Causeway, 0131 661 7974

Thomson’s Tower
Dr Neil’s Garden Trust, Old Church Lane, 07849 187 995

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