1 The Fishmarket

There has been a tradition of fishing here from time immemorial. And if fish is caught commercially, it needs to be sold. For centuries, this was done by the fishwife...

2 The Hally

When the Fishmarket was constructed in 1896, an area to the east was reclaimed around the same time. Here, a small working estate was erected with garages, stables and kippering...

3 The Peacock

At one time, in the 18th and early 19th century, this village with a small population boasted (if that’s the correct word) seventeen pubs, inns and hotels.  Of them all,...

4 Annfield

The view from Annfield with uninterrupted views over the Forth towards Fife was stunning because the Annfield beach sat on the other side of the road.

5 Anchorfield

The five-storey tenement building with shops at street level and apartments above defines the eastern limit of the village of Newhaven with the western boundary being at a bend on...

6 Hawthornvale

Lying between Anchorfield and Annfield, the road was first used as part of the main route from Newhaven to Trinity Mains for carts and coaches because of its more gradual...

7 Annfield St

Annfield Street was called Ann Street until 1965 when it was renamed to avoid confusion with a street of the same name in Edinburgh city.  No rationale has been given...

8 New Lane

The picturesque New Lane, familiar in old picture postcards of the turn of the 20th century, was demolished in 1959 and the sensitive recreation that replaced it in 1970 was...

9 Great Michael Rise

This used to be Fishermen's Park, a large sward where children played, fishermen caulked and dried their nets and sail makers and boatsbuilders had their businesses.

10 Victoria School

Until 2022, this building was the oldest state primary school in Edinburgh still functioning, its foundation stone being laid in 1843.  The children have now moved over the road to...

11 Whale Brae

The Whale Brae was the main thoroughfare for fisherwomen carrying their heavy creels up to Edinburgh’s New Town and High Street to sell their produce. The baskets on their backs...

12 Newhaven's Back Streets

Standing at the entrance of Willowbank Row, one of the few street names to have survived the 1960s Clearances, it is not easy to appreciate the network of narrow streets...

13 Main Street (East)

The womenfolk of Newhaven heard most of the local news just by going shopping.  In the days before refigeration, this was a daily occurrence or perhaps every other day.  Everything...

14 Fishmarket Square

In the days when Main Street was the main thoroughfare of Newhaven, full of shops and houses and bustling with people, this square was called St Andrew’s Square.  Its north...

15 Main Street (West)

Looking along Newhaven Main Street, both to the east and to the west, it is hard to believe but at one time Newhaven Main Street supported 83 businesses of all...

16 Newhaven Closes

Looking across the street from here you will see the entrances for three small lanes or Closes, one of the remaining features of the original layout of the buildings on...

17 Old Burial Ground

In this hallowed ground behind the railings to this very day, lie buried 485 ancestors of Newhaven, the first being a French shipwright who died in 1505 whilst working on...

18 Free Fisherman’s Hall

The building opposite used to be the Free Fishermen’s Hall upstairs and the two shops either side of the central door to the hall.  This building was constructed in 1877...

19 Andrew Wood Court

A new street, Andrew Wood Court, was built to replace the loss of people's homes in James Street, Ramsay Row and Square, and Smiddy Close as well as some houses...

20 The Cut (Craighall Road)

During the last Ice Age, the huge ice sheets that covered much of northern Europe, including this part of Scotland, reached their maximum extent about 20,000 years ago. The weight...

21 Newhaven Church

The precarious occupation of fishing meant that accidental death was never far from people’s thresholds.  As a consequence, Newhaven villagers were God-fearing folk. However, it is remarkable that no church...

22 The Dutch Dyke

Stretching from Newhaven Harbour Lighthouse Pier to a now abandoned lighthouse known as Leith Lighthouse at its north end, near the entrance to Leith Docks, is a long breakwater.  It...

23 St Andrew’s Church

This church building overlooking the harbour is one of two that Newhaven used to have.  It  is the result of that momentous upheaval in the Church of Scotland, The Disruption. ...

24 Newhaven Harbour

Looking at the harbour now with its few pleasure craft, it's hard to appreciate that you could once walk across from one side to the other by going from boat...


a Stravaig * through time

No stops found...

* Stravaig v. - to roam, wander (about), travel through.


Newhaven was (and still is) Edinburgh’s fishing village, unique in so many ways.  This virtual heritage trail has been devised to explain to the visitor what was so special about our village.

A fishing hamlet existed here well before King James IV (1473-1513, reigned from 1488) decided the deep bay would be an ideal location for his new Royal Dockyard in which to build the greatest capital ship in the known world, The Great Michael. It became known as New Haven, the “old” haven being further up the Forth at Blackness serving his Palace of Linlithgow.

In many ways, Newhaven was like many fishing communities that lined the East Coast of Scotland but in equal measure, there is a uniqueness to its history that makes its story worth telling.  This virtual Heritage Trail will help that tale unfold.

Our journey together begins and ends at the core reason for the village, Newhaven Harbour.  We start the Stravaig at the old Police Box by looking at the Fishmarket.

Download Route

How it works

example of QR code sign

Step 1

You will find QR plates on lamposts as you walk the trail, a copy of which can be downloaded here

QR code on phone

Step 2

Capture the QR code on your mobile phone.  QR readers can be downloaded for free at Google Play or Apple App Store

Route Stop Page

Step 3

You will be taken to the web page about that particular location.  Pages of additional interest can be accessed from here