Tucked behind Arthur's Seat, and about an hour's walk from Princes Street via Holyrood Park, this little community, formerly of brewers and weavers, still seems like a country village. The Duddingston Kirk has a Norman doorway and a watchtower that was built to keep body snatchers out of the graveyard. The church and adjoining garden overlooks Duddingston Loch, popular with bird-watchers. Pathways meander down to loch-side Thomson's Tower, an octagonal tower built by William
Playfair in 1825 as a curling clubhouse. Recently restored, it's home to a small museum. Moments away is Edinburgh's oldest hostelry, the Sheep Heid Inn, which serves a wide selection of beers and hearty food. For £13 you can have a go on the oldest skittle (bowling alley) in Scotland. To get here, take Lothian Bus 42.