Anson Clark is originally from the north east of Scotland, but has lived in Edinburgh for the last 12 years. As an accountant and as a visitor, Anson has travelled a lot (52 countries so far!). “In-fact I got to know Spotted by Locals on my last round the world trip in 2008. “
How do you like being a Spotter?
So often I have wished that I could get some tips from the locals rather than relying on Lonely Planet. I first came across Spotted by Locals using the Barcelona spots when I found myself ‘stuck’ there for 10 days during a six month trip round the world and wanting to explore more than the tourist hotspots. I sent a complaining email to Bart and Sanne as Edinburgh had not yet been covered. They got me back a few years later when they asked me to be a Spotter. It is the ability to provide some ‘beyond the guidebook’ tips to visitors to Edinburgh that I most enjoy about being a Spotter
Although I might be slightly biased, I do think Edinburgh is one of the most beautiful cities I have been to. For me the Edinburgh must do is a walk down the Royal Mile to Holyrood Palace and then a climb of Arthur’s Seat ( or Salisbury Crags) in Holyrood Park to get a great view of the city. Don’t go to any shop on the Royal Mile selling Scottish souvenirs – they will be overpriced and probably made in China!
Which prejudices about Edinburgh are true? Which ones are not?
The perception that Edinburgh is a grey rainy city is often true. We get many days when it is grey and raining that there is a Scottish word for it – dreich. But I think our most famous resident – the castle, looks all the better for a ‘dreich’ day! There is also a perception (particularly of residents of Scotland’s biggest city) that the resident’s of Edinburgh are aloof and a bit posh. Although there are one or two, I think Edinburgh is more like a friendly big town than a capital city.
What do you know about Edinburgh what no tourist will know?
Probably that there is a heart shape in the cobbles just outside St Giles Cathedral on the Royal Mile, known as the Heart of Midlothian. It is supposed to be good luck to spit on it! Or that there is a tunnel which runs a kilometre from Edinburgh Waverley Station under Princes Street to the bottom of the New Town. Unfortunately it is closed – but it would make a great cycle route.
What is the most popular neighborhood to live in Edinburgh at this moment?
Stockbridge is very popular as it is walking distance from the city centre and cheaper than the New Town. It has a village feel with a great selection of bars, a Sunday market and the Water of Leith running through it. The neighbourhood borders the Botanic Gardens and Inverleith Park, so there is plenty green space too.