The Long Steps

The Long Steps form an ancient access route in Colinton, from Bridge Road beside the Colinton Inn to the foot of Spylaw Street. Local landowner of Dreghorn Castle estate, Mr R A MacFie, bought parts of the old Edinburgh Royal Infirmary building upon its demolition in the 1880s. Some of the steps from the infirmary were used to pave the Long Steps. These are still there, but have long since been resurfaced over.

On the left side going down the steps is a garden area which is Council owned, but was long neglected. In co-operation with the Council, the Trust drew up a plan to tidy up and replant the garden. Much care was taken in the selection of the plants, to find ones that would add colour and brightness to the area and live in the shaded environment of the garden.

Before clearing - Autumn 2009

After clearing - Autumn 2009

Some of the heavy work of removal of the old plants was undertaken by the Council's Parks Department and the Community Services section. Re-planting was undertaken by the Trust and a team of volunteers. The ongoing garden maintenance will be undertaken by the volunteers.

After planting - March 2010


It is hoped that the Council will repair the steps and railings.

On the long wall opposite the garden, a series of plaques with a selection of poems from A Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson as part of another of the Trust's projects - A walk with Robert Louis Stevenson - to celebrate RLS's connections with Colinton were unveiled in October 2014.