Situated five minutes away from Princes Street, visitors can find the Dean Village, a beautiful oasis right by the Water of Leith. Dean Village was previously where milling of water mills took place, of which remains of this can still be seen by visitors. Hidden in the village, you will come across a variety of millstones and stone plaques decorated with baked bread and pies. The Dean Bridge can also be found if you walk along the walkway following the Water of Leith. The Bridge and St Bernard’s Well were both designed by Thomas Telford.

Dean Village

In the past, the village was the centre of the milling of water mills and the remnants of the industry can still be seen today. Look out for millstones and carved stone plaques with baked bread and pies. Follow the walkway along the Water of Leith and you will come to the impressive Dean Bridge designed by Thomas Telford, and the classical temple of St Bernard’s Well.

The most striking building in the Dean Village is Well Court was built in the 1880’s and housed local workers who worked at the water mills. Just a short walk away, visitors can also browse exhibitions in the Dean Gallery and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. Both buildings were previously converted and refurbished to be used as art galleries and many of their exhibitions are free.


Download the Heritage Trail (PDF | 2.3Mb)


Charles McKean, Professor of Architectural History at Dundee University, talks about the fascinating past of the well and the Dean Village.

Download Podcast (Mp3 | 3.1 Mb)

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I. O. Guden October 11, 2018 9:16 am

Dean Village is a beautiful little village hidden away in plain sight in the middle of the city. The architecture is varied and stunning and will make you think you are somewhere on the European continent. There are great paths along the river to wander along as well.

Jocelyn Pettit October 11, 2018 9:08 am

So much to see in the old part of town! Edinburgh Castle, The Royal Mile, Victoria St, and lots of shops and cafes… also Arthur’s Seat and Dean Village just a bit outside of downtown. Have a great trip!

Norrell Cook October 11, 2018 9:08 am

See Dean Village, not far off of Princess St. Google it. Also Rosslyn Chapel, you can take a bus. I would stay somewhere close to the train station and the castle. Walking distance to the Royal Mile, bus stops, restaurants, loads of things. I love Edinburgh. Have fun.

Ozzy August 11, 2018 7:18 am

The Dean Village. Formerly known as the Water of Leith Village, a thriving milling hamlet for over 800 years, with 11 mills powered by the river. Nowadays a great for a wander around…