The hid­den gem of Gilmer­ton

No. 1 Magazine - - TRAVEL -

The unas­sum­ing Ed­in­burgh sub­urb of Gilmer­ton has an at­trac­tion, a hid­den marvel that should be on the bucket list for any vis­i­tor to the city. Sit­u­ated sev­eral feet below the pave­ments is Gilmer­ton Cove, a se­ries of tun­nels and cham­bers hand carved out of the sand­stone bedrock on which the vil­lage is built. But thereby lies a mys­tery. No-one knows when this com­plex was ex­ca­vated or by whom or what it was used for. Was it a tem­ple for Druid wor­ship? Did the Covenan­ters use it for refuge? Was it an il­licit drink­ing den on the Sab­bath? Did the lo­cal lodge of ma­sons use it for meet­ings? The at­trac­tion of the Cove in this for­mer min­ing vil­lage is the mys­tery sur­round­ing it, and vis­i­tors are en­cour­aged to come up with their own ex­pla­na­tion. Take the 40-minute tour of the Cove – by ap­point­ment only – to ex­plore this hid­den gem for your­self. Guide Mar­gare­tanne Du­gan will sup­ply his­tor­i­cal facts sur­round­ing the Cove, plus some the­o­ries about its for­ma­tion. In 2012, Gilmer­ton Cove was rated num­ber one in ”things to do in Ed­in­burgh” on Tripad­vi­sor. Guide Mar­gare­tanne said: “To be the top-rated at­trac­tion in the city, beat­ing the likes of the Zoo, the Cas­tle and the National Mu­seum of Scot­land is fan­tas­tic for a wee place like this. “We are def­i­nitely see­ing more and more in­ter­est, espe­cially from over­seas.” Did you know, the build­ing hous­ing the at­trac­tion’s vis­i­tor cen­tre, was due to be taken over by a nearby book­mak­ers? How­ever, when the site’s his­tor­i­cal sig­nif­i­cance was re­vealed, the book­ies sold the prop­erty to the Gilmer­ton Her­itage Group – for £1! • Tours cost £7.50 for adults (with con­ces­sions for over 60s, stu­dents and those un­der 16). For a place on the tour, book by call­ing 07914 829177.

The Cove

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