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Broughton & Calton, Edinburgh

Broughton & Calton
Lying where grandiose New Town townhouses give way to malls and utilitarian housing, Broughton and Calton have long been transitional neighbourhoods with a mixed identity. It’s here that Edinburgh’s gay village found a home in the 1980s. But gay culture is anything but overt along bustling epicentre Broughton Street; even if polished pubs, hip bistros, smart delis and art galleries all speak of affluent good taste. The top of Leith Walk is more ragged. This major thoroughfare boasts a famously gritty gay club, as well as a strip of good Indian restaurants. Regal Georgian and Victorian townhouses preside over largely deserted streets in Calton, where only the occasional restaurant or hotel brings much life. Even so, a steady trickle of idlers and picnickers pass by to climb Calton Hill for its wide-open lawns, wonderful city views, and curious monuments – an Athenian-style temple among them.
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