If anywhere had the reputation for being “unregarded” then surely The Scotsman Steps were a prime candidate. Avoided might have been a better term. These steps link the old town and the new towns of Edinburgh by a step flight of stairs dropping from a landing at the side of the Scotsman Building down to Market Street below right next to an entrance to Waverley Station.
They had been build between 1898 and 1902 and had rather fallen on bad times. The stairs were dilapidated, broken and dangerous. They absolutely reeked of urine, being used as an al frsco lavatory by a community of junkies and alcoholics. It quite literaly ran with pish. It was never the safest route and was avoided where possible.
However in a joint (albeit somewhat belated) exercise the City of Edinburgh, and Edinburgh World Heritage joined forces and asked artist Martin Creed to up the game somewhat. And what a sucess it was. First they cleared the undesirables out and resurfaced the stairs. So far so straightforward but Creed decided to use marbles. Lots of marbles, all sorts of different marbles 103 of them from all over the world to create a funky jazzy wierd stair which is just so good.
Would I recommend this as a useful short cut? Now? Of course and it would be worth the detour at any time.
Copyright David Macadam 2016