Tytler Gardens

Tytler Gardens is one of the few surviving remnants of Caledonia Romana, wedged neatly between Milton Street and the East Coast Main Line (just behind that rambling wall in the photograph, left). That the Romans got this far before Rail Privatisation is a miracle in itself, but that's not the only remarkable thing about Tytler Gardens, oh no...

Even before the Romans came, there was a mystic energy to the place (not to mention this fine view of Arthur's Seat) which, over the centuries, has attracted travellers from many cultures near and far (some even travelling by, as you see, flying saucer). Perhaps that's why the Romans ventured so far north from Hadrian's Wall to come here.

But a mix of cultures need not mean a clash of cultures. From the remains of the dwelling places, we can see how peaceably Tytler Gardens accommodated both the indigenous Pictish tribespeople, marking their entrances with the distinctive hengelike triliths of British natives, and their Roman visitors, dwelling grandly behind porticoes.

Even in today's cynical world, there is enough of the child left in those who frequent this little nook that they leave mattresses out for the fairies, hoping perhaps to catch a glimpse of them at twilight from the corner of an eye.

If, once you've found your way to this idyll, you should ever wish to leave, you can pass through this arch, under the railway line, but beware...

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