Only in Auld Reekie can a school have a medieval castle as their backdrop and legitimately argue they occupy the more impressive building.
As one of the leading torch bearers of the European Enlightenment, Edinburgh has long been the dux of the class when it comes to education, and the city’s many beautiful schools are a reflection of this privileged status.
Boasting the likes of Fettes and George Heriot’s, Merchiston Castle and Stewart’s Melville, the sheer number of beautiful school buildings in Edinburgh is quite staggering. Is there another city in the world that can even come close? We don’t think so.
We take a look at a dozen examples that prove Edinburgh has the finest-looking schools in the world.
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1. Leith Walk Primary School
Built in 1875, coincidentally the same year nearby football club Hibernian were founded, Leith Walk Primary was one of the largest, most admired and most expensive schools of its era. The cost of construction amounted to around £9,000, which was equal to £18 for every one of the 700 children enrolled in its first year.
Photo: ALAN LEDGERWOOD
2. Merchiston Castle School
Steeped in tradition, Merchiston Castle, Scotland's only all-boys independent boarding school, is, like George Watson's, also situated on Colinton Road. Merchiston Castle can trace its origins back to 1828, but this beautiful building dates from 1930 when the school's governing body purchased land on the Colinton estate.
Photo: Wattie Cheung Photography
3. Stewart's Melville College
Twinned with Mary Erskine's school for girls, Stewart's Melville was founded in 1832 and is easily one of the finest looking school buildings in Scotland.
Photo: Toby Williams
4. Edinburgh Academy
The senior school of Edinburgh Academy was established in 1824 and stands proudly on Henderson Row. The handsome portico which forms entrance is a testament to the popularity of neoclassical architecture in Edinburgh at the time it was built.
Photo: JON SAVAGE