Princes Street Gardens and South Side
The Gardens contain the Ross Bandstand (an open-air theatre), a war memorial to U.S. soldiers of Scottish descent and a floral clock, together with other attractions. Two of the main Scottish art galleries, the Royal Scottish Academy and the National Gallery of Scotland, are located at the foot of The Mound. Further along is the Scott Monument, a huge intricate Gothic monument dedicated to Sir Walter Scott, the author of the Waverley Novels, after which is named Waverley station, which lies at the east end of the Gardens, its westward lines dividing them. Next to the station on its north side is the former railway hotel, previously known as the North British Hotel, latterly renamed the Balmoral Hotel, and the North Bridge which sails at high level over the station. The hotel has a counterpart at the extreme west end of Princes Street. The Caledonian Hotel, now the Caledonian Hilton, sits at the north end of Lothian Road. This was built by the Caledonian Railway for their Princes Street Station which closed in the 1960s along with the lines it served.
At the west end of Princes Street, St. John's Episcopal Church at the corner of Lothian Road is built at street level above a basement crypt and a small churchyard. In addition, there are several fair trade outlets in this space as part of the church, whilst St Cuthbert's Church stands just to the south of it, in a far larger and older churchyard, west of the gardens.
Princes Street remains popular, although it has now fallen from its status as the most expensive place to rent shop space in Britain outside London. Princes Street may be one of the few streets in the UK to have an order of Parliament placed on it to prevent any further building on the south side, so as to preserve its open vista.
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