South Bridge Street, Edinburgh

South Bridge Street, Edinburgh

The city of Edinburgh straddles several hills and five bridges span the valleys; one of these is South Bridge Street.

Construction of the bridge that was to link the Old Town High Street to the University buildings began in 1785. Built over 19 arches, the bridge is over 1000 feet long and very wide. At its highest point it stands at 31 feet and the foundations are buried 22 feet into the ground.

For many years the locals refused to cross the bridge, believing it to be cursed, as the first person to cross when it opened was meant to be the wife of a well-known judge, but she died before the opening. As she had been invited to this auspicious moment, she was carried across in her coffin and for many years the locals believed her ghost haunted the bridge.

Houses, offices and shops were built along each side of the bridge and tenement houses, taverns and workshops were built into the vaults underneath it. These were damp, miserable places which quickly degraded until they were only inhabited by the poor seeking refuge. They were eventually filled in for health and safety reasons.

In 1985 the vaults were partially reopened as part of the city’s “Ghost Tours”. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday night is August you can join the “Vault Vigils” and spend the night in one of the vaults. Ghost-hunting equipment is set up so that “vigils” can record any supernatural movement.

This is only recommended for the brave – not because of any lingering spirits, but because the vaults are dank and cold even in the hottest summers. The vaults have been classed as one of the most haunted areas in the United Kingdom.

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Edinburgh, Scotland within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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South Bridge Street on Map

Sight Name: South Bridge Street
Sight Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) containing this sight: Famous Squares and Streets Walking Tour  

Walking Tours in Edinburgh, Scotland

Create Your Own Walk in Edinburgh

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Creating your own self-guided walk in Edinburgh is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Cannongate Walking Tour

Cannongate Walking Tour

The Canongate district takes its name from the main street called the "Canongate" and forms the lower, eastern half of the Royal Mile in Edinburgh's historic Old Town. It contains some other notable public buildings, including Huntly House (now the Museum of Edinburgh) and the historic Canongate Tolbooth (now housing the People's Story Museum), as well as the Canongate Kirk and...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.1 Km or 0.7 Miles
Religious Sites Walking Tour

Religious Sites Walking Tour

Edinburgh is an enchanting city and home to numerous places of worship. The city is open to all religions and features magnificent Presbyterian and Catholic churches, the main two religions in Scotland; as well as Jewish synagogues and Islamic mosques, and even Buddhist centers. Check out this tour and visit some of Edinburgh’s beautiful religious sites.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.3 Km or 3.3 Miles
City Orientation Walk

City Orientation Walk

Comfortably yet tightly packed on the hilly terrain, Edinburgh – the Scottish capital – is a picturesque city much popular with tourists, in large part, due to its unique architecture comprising medieval (Old Town) and elegant Georgian (New Town) buildings. The cityscape is dominated by Edinburgh Castle, once the seat of the Scottish royals and now home to the country's crown jewels. To...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.4 Km or 3.4 Miles
Kids Entertainment Tour

Kids Entertainment Tour

Edinburgh is a city with a thousand and one things for children to enjoy. There are many sources of amusement for children of all ages, from tots to teens, such as playgrounds, toy stores, children's museums, sweet-shops, and wonderful ice cream stores to keep them happy. Take this tour and discover the best kids entertainment venues in Edinburgh!

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 Km or 1.6 Miles
Souvenir Shopping

Souvenir Shopping

It would be a pity to leave Edinburgh without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Edinburgh, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 Km or 1.4 Miles
Museums & Galleries, Old Town

Museums & Galleries, Old Town

Popular for its rich cultural heritage, Edinburgh attracts a large number of tourists towards its numerous history and science museums that tell the compelling story of Scotland. Edinburgh is also a city where many locals spend their free time visiting galleries and attending art events. You can find amazing collections of original artwork in the many exhibitions around town. Take this tour and...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 Km or 1.4 Miles

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