The Canal Village, Ratho, West Edinburgh, Scotland

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Ratho, Edinburgh. With lockdown continuing, I’ve turned my attention to my own home village of Ratho, which is located ten miles west of Edinburgh City Centre. Even though we’re so close to the city, it still has a rural feel, although this is changing fast with more and more development. It’s a great wee village and I hope my video inspires you to come along and visit 🙂 Come along, enjoy a walk along the Union Canal, visit Jupiter Artland, admire the amazing views from Tormain Hill and finish your day with a delicious cake n’ coffee at Cafe No. 77, or a pub lunch at the Bridge Inn.

About Ratho
Ratho is a small rural village of around 2,000 people, located ten miles west of Edinburgh City Centre. The older part of the village was designated a Conservation Area in 1971. The village can be traced all the way back to 1243 and its name is thought to originate from ‘Rath’ the Scottish Gaelic word for hill fort. Excavations have found Neolithic and Bronze Age artefacts close to the village, including cup-and-ring stone markings on Tormain Hill, just a few minutes walk south west of the village. Before the arrival of the Union Canal, the village was primarily an agricultural settlement with distilling, corn grinding and farming being the main employment. The Union Canal, which opened in 1822, runs right through the village and links Edinburgh to Falkirk and the Forth & Clyde Canal. The Canal is 31 and a half miles long and follows the 240ft contour, which just happens to go right through the village. The opening of the canal brought great prosperity to the village, which became an important stop-off for passengers, canal workers and their horses seeking refreshment and shelter before continuing their journey. Sadly, this prosperity wasn’t to last, when the first railway service between Edinburgh and Glasgow opened in the 1840’s and the village, along with the fortunes of the canal, went into great decline. Today, however, it’s a beautiful, thriving little village. A little oasis just a stone throw away from Edinburgh. Ratho is fortunate to have the Seagull Trust, located next to The Bridge Inn, which provides free cruises for people with special needs. It’s also home to the Edinburgh International Climbing Arena, which is the biggest climbing centre in Europe. The future for Ratho is exciting, with a new surfing centre called ‘Wavegarden’ being built in the disused Craigpark Quarry, close to the village, which will include a surfing lagoon, surfing school, cafe and accommodation. It’s expected to open in 2021.

Ratho Marina
Ratho Marina is located close to the Bridge Inn and is part of the Living on Water initiative from Scottish Canals. There are moorings for eight boats which are all currently filled. Each mooring comes with its own parking space and there’s a fully equipped service block with storage. If you fancy a life on the water this is the ideal place to set up home.

Ratho Parish Church, Baird Road
Ratho Parish Church is a medieval cruciform church, dating all the way back to the 12th century. The remains of an ornate 12th century doorway can still be seen. In 1932, a stone Celtic cross was discovered, suggesting very early worship on the site. Of particular note, located in the south porch, is a 13th-century, tomb slab, belonging to one of the Knights Templar who owned Ratho in the Middle Ages. The graveyard contains lots of really interesting headstones, including a fascinating panelled coffin, carved from just a single piece of stone. This intriguing stone coffin belongs to master stonemason, John Mitchell, who died in 1749.

Wavegarden Project At Craigpark Quarry
In October 2019, construction started in Craigpark Quarry in Ratho of the first inland surfing lagoon in Scotland. It is scheduled to open in 2021. The facility is designed to occupy an area of 48,500 square metres, and will have a user capacity of up to 100 surfers per hour. The amenities will include a surf school, surf shop, and cafe/restaurant as well as accommodation of mixed sizes including bothies, pods and lodges.

The Almond Aqueduct
The Almond Aqueduct, at Lin’s Mill, is just a 5-10 minute drive away from Ratho. It carries the Union Canal over the River Almond, and was constructed by Hugh Baird and Thomas Telford between 1819 and 1821. It’s 130m long and 23m high and utilises an iron trough design to contain the water of the canal above. Today, it’s a scheduled monument and the river Almond below marks the boundary between Edinburgh and West Lothian. There are great views of the river and surrounding landscape from the aqueduct, and lovely woodland walks, which makes it well worth a visit.

For more of my ‘Must-See’ places to visit in Scotland, please visit:

MUSIC CREDIT: 1. Varyra – Sandra Marteleur, 2. Showed Me How To Heal – Dayon, 3. Love For The Nature – Etienne Roussell, 4. Affectionate Love – David Celeste, 5. Gold Among The Sand – Trevor Kowalski, 6. To Better Times – Alder

The Canal Village, Ratho, West Edinburgh, Scotland

Street Food Edinburgh 2021, The Canal Village, Ratho, West Edinburgh, Scotland.

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The response always appears to lie in fish. A fair couple of friends shop regularly at Farmer’s Markets and health food shops. This is a traditional Scots villager but has no less than 3 major pipeline bands.

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