Enjoy sunshine on Leith – even on dull autumn days, writes Susan Welsh
First came the marvellous music created by Scotland’s most famous twins – Charlie and Craig Reid, better known as The Proclaimers.
The title of their second, and possibly best-loved album, Sunshine on Leith, was used by award-winning playwright Stephen Greenhorn when he created a stage musical of the same name.
First performed by Dundee Rep Theatre, the show, which uses Proclaimers tracks to push along the narrative, was an instant success and filled theatres up and down the country.
Last year, a movie based on the stage show was released and quickly earned a reputation for being a timeless, feel-good film with one of the big attractions in it being the city of Edinburgh itself.
There are some fabulous shots of Auld Reekie in
this film, from stunning aerial cityscapes to walks down some favourite streets.
Highlights include the fabulous finale, which sees hundreds of people gather in an upbeat singalong to the Proclaimers’ hit 500 Miles outside the National Galleries near the bottom of the Mound.
The good news is you don’t have to walk 500 miles to follow in the film’s footsteps.
Visit the website www.thisisedinburgh.org.uk/film and you can download a handy free map that swings past many of the locations featured in the movie.
The map offers walkers a chance to take in the dramatic city skyline and historic Old Town and the cobbled streets and cosy village atmosphere of Leith.
As well as being designed to show the locations used in the film, it also provides inspiration to explore further all that Edinburgh and Leith have to offer.
Starting on Sandport Place, the suggested route takes in Shore and Commercial Street (Letter from America), Port O Leith and Nobles Bar (I’m on My Way), North Bridge and the Grassmarket, Calton Hill (Misty Blue), St Giles and the High
Street in the Old Town, George Street and the Mound precinct.
With its elegant Georgian streets set against the dramatic silhouette of Edinburgh Castle and the mediaeval turrets and spires of the Old Town, there’s plenty of shopping, dining and architectural splendour to be enjoyed en route.
Cross the North Bridge to explore the historic Royal Mile and the vibrant Grassmarket area.
The map takes in local shortcuts such as the News Steps, while, at the foot of the Mound, there’s the Scottish National Gallery and Princes Street Gardens waiting to be discovered.
Meanwhile, the cobbled streets of the Shore, Leith, are lined with bistros, traditional pubs and stylish bars. For a taste of Leith’s creativity, explore the galleries with works by local artists, before heading to Leith Walk for a shopping experience like no other.
Locals boast that there’s nothing you won’t be able to find on this street, which connects Leith to Princes Street.
Also available to download from the website is a movie tour map connected to The Railway Man, which was based on the best-selling memoir by Eric Lomax and tells the extraordinary true story of a British Army officer who is tormented as a prisoner of war at a Japanese labour camp during World War II.
Filming took place in Australia, Singapore and Scotland, with the shoot based in Edinburgh for several weeks, while locations such as North Berwick, the Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway, Perth’s Victorian railway station and St Monans Church in Fife were deployed.