17.  Bonnington

This section of walkway was only opened in 2003 and marks the final phase of the project to create a continuous walkway from Balerno to Leith. This was funded by The Millennium Commission and The City of Edinburgh Council. It has opened up a very industrial section of the river which is in stark contrast to the more rural aspects of the upper reaches or the fine architecture through the more elegant New Town.

However, it is not without its own charm or interest. Another Gormley statue makes an appearance in the river – unless he has toppled over in a recent storm and awaits resurrection! The large Bond building nearby was built in 1870 as a sugar refinery and has recently been converted into private dwellings. In fact the whole area around here is undergoing considerable transformation from an industrial landscape to a residential one as the successful development of Leith sprawls up river so to speak. However, we are not yet in Leith, but in Bonnington – or Bonny Toon, a one time village between Edinburgh and Leith. It was an important crossing point, and, lying in a natural flat plain, it was ideal for milling which can be traced back to the 12th century.

Once again you will need to follow the walkway signs carefully to keep on the right track to Coalie Park, where you will find the next audio point – unless of course you are heading upstream!

Video by Jim Cross, Edinburgh U3A Movie Makers Group

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