St. Andrew Square, Edinburgh
If you want to take a little time out from visiting Edinburgh’s marvellous houses and museums, but don’t feel up to a long walk, the best place to go is to St Andrew Square.
This square was constructed in 1772 as the first part of James Craig’s design for the New Town. The lovely houses surrounding it once were the homes of the city’s elite and Dundas House on the east side of the square is a fine example of the architecture of the 18th century.
Today it is one of the most important financial areas in Edinburgh, with most bank and insurance company headquarters here. Dundas House is the home of the Royal Bank of Scotland. There are also some up-market designer shops, restaurants and pubs to visit.
The best part about the square is, of course, the gardens which were once only open to residents but are now a favourite place in the summer for tourists and the people who work in the area.
On the south-west side of the gardens is a small pond with benches all around it. The lawns are well-kept and there is an air of tranquillity about the place, even if cars and buses somewhat break the illusion of being in the country-side. The gardens have an excellent pavilion café that serves snacks, tea, coffee and soft drinks.