The beach, Portobello
Cycling along Portobello Promenade
Portobello High Street
Portobello
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Portobello once had a heyday. It may at one time have been described as Edinburgh's beach, a seaside destination on the capital's doorstep where folk would go to have fun by the water and sand. As far back as 1795 a Mister John Cairns erected bathing machines on Portobello beach, and Edinburgh's middle classes would turn up in some numbers to indulge in mineral springs, hot and cold sea-water baths, and all that kind of thing. In the 19th century Portobello continued to grow as a holiday destination, more so when the railway was built and hoards of ordinary working-class folk came to be entertained. There was a pleasure pier, fun-fair, Punch and Judy shows and everything that one expects in a fine seaside resort. But then, in the latter half of the 20th century people started jetting off to foreign climes, and Portobello's heyday died. Today, as you walk along the wide promenade, far too much of what remains feels dead and abandoned. There is no pleasure pier, the fun-fair is no longer funny, and all in all it's pretty grim. You can see children playing, their parents desperately trying to recapture those good old seaside days while hoping their offspring don't stand in dog-mess. It's all a bit sad. And yet, for all its current failings, there remains something inexplicably magical about strolling along the promenade. Views out over the wide Firth of Forth are simply stunning. And from the great sweeping curve of coast in which Portobello sits you can see so many places; places whose heyday, like that of Portobello, will some day return.
THE BEACH, PORTOBELLO
CYCLING ALONG THE PROMENADE
PORTOBELLO HIGH STREET
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How to
GET THERE


You can get a bus to Portobello from Edinburgh.
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