Edinburgh is currently in the grips of Pokemon Go mania and people are viewing the city in a whole new light
If you’re still unaware, Pokemon Go is Nintendo’s first smartphone app, which has seen the Japanese pocket monsters come to life across the world, via your phone’s camera.
Unlike other popular video games, a subtle side effect of Pokemon Go is that it requires people to get out there and explore their city.
Lived in Edinburgh for 18 years. Lived in Leith for 8 of those.
Went to Pilrig Park for the 1st time yesterday.
— FatConan (@FatConan) July 15, 2016
Many local landmarks, buildings and businesses have been transformed into gyms and health centres for the purpose of the game, meaning gamers are rediscovering their local area.
The location mappers for the game have shared their criteria for defining important locations, as places with a ‘cool story’ or ‘unique architecture’.
Here are a number of spots across the Capital, which people are rediscovering in their quest to catch ’em all.
— Scypix (@Scypix_OCE) July 7, 2016
Something of a conundrum for Pokemon Go players right now. The iconic castle happens to be one of the most high profile Pokemon gyms in the city – but is unreachable without forking out the £13 entrance fee. At least you’re getting a slice of Edinburgh history for your buck.
Castlehill, EH1 2NG
Princes Street Gardens
The sweeping green space on the edge of bustling Princes Street will be no stranger to Edinburghers on a summer’s day.
However, the city centre park is now also home to a number of wild Pokemon and has seen plenty of gamers wandering around and sampling nature. A site open to the public since the 1700s finding a whole new purpose.
Princes St, EH2 2HG
St. Margaret’s Well
Proof, if needed, that this game can certainly lead to discovery. St Margaret’s Well is tucked away in the West corner of Princes Street Gardens under Castle Hill and is an authentic slice of Edinburgh history.
The well was constructed in 1362 and was named after Queen Margaret (wife of Malcolm Canmore, King of Scots).
It provided water to Edinburgh Castle and was attached to the defensive gateway of the Well-House Tower. It’s now being stumbled upon as a competitive Pokemon Gym.
Princes St, EH2 2HG
A trip out to Slateford reveals a Pokemon gym linked to Edinburgh’s proud history of beer.
Having originally been built in 1869, ‘The Caley’ is the only surviving brewery site of the 19th century that’s still in use.
The Victorian architecture makes for a pretty striking location to do battle with other Pokemon trainers.
42 Slateford Rd, Edinburgh EH11 1PH
Forget the ‘Dear Green Place’, Edinburgh is teaming with underused outdoor spaces that are attracting fresh visitors perusing for Pokemon. The Restalrig public park dates back to the 16th century and features a picturesque loch in the centre as well as the Lochend Castle Doocot.
The park is known for the herons, moorhens and swans usually found around the area, but it’s now also home to Psyducks and Poliwags too. We’d recommend looking up from your screen and taking in the surroundings (at least briefly, anyway).
Went up to the park to see if I could catch any Pokemon, can't believe I actually seen other people doing it too.
— Lisa Anderson (@lfandersonx) July 14, 2016
Lochend Road South, EH7 6DQ
Church of Scientology
CC / Flickr / Connie Ma
Poke-stops are areas where you can heal, buy items and also catch wild monsters – with the game’s creators having selected the easily overlooked Scientology Church located on South Bridge.
The ‘Hubbard Academy of Personal Independence’ (or HAPI as its known) has been the home of Scientology in Edinburgh since the late 1960s and does make for an intriguing place to track down Pokemon.
— Callum (@EdicalScot) July 14, 2016
20 South Bridge, EH1 1LL
CC / Flickr / John Lord
Once a bustling place of industry and trade, the Leith Docks region is teeming with Poke-stops, Gyms and wild water creatures to be caught.
It also makes for a pleasant walk, delving into the heart of the area’s past.
Albert Dock Basin
— Edinburgh Zoo (@EdinburghZoo) July 15, 2016
Maybe more used to other types of furry critters, a number of Pokemon have been mixing in with the local wildlife at Edinburgh Zoo.
Originally opened in 1913, the zoo is home to penguins, koalas and giant pandas. Aside from the public aspect, the zoo also does a lot of scientific research into animal breeding in captivity and conservation programmes. Sounds like a perfect spot to take your Pokemon egg incubator for a walk.
134 Corstorphine Rd, EH12 6TS
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art
— National Galleries (@NatGalleriesSco) July 15, 2016
It it takes a phone application to get you exploring the gardens of the Scotland’s Modern Art Gallery then that can be no bad thing.
The twist and turns of the gallery’s green space were designed by American Charles Jencks, and is a landscape abstract enough to have come straight out of a virtual reality game.
75 Belford Rd, EH4 3DR
We can see this being a popular battling ground. The Hibs stadium has been known for a number of wild Pokemon sightings and the Famous Five Stand is apparently a claimable Pokemon Gym.
It’s a brave Hearts fan who attempts to stake their claim on that…
Some 50year old Hibs boy is walking about after the game….no he's not sad….he's trying to find Pokemon 😂😂😂
— แมทธิว (@Mclacks_) July 14, 2016
12 Albion Pl, EH7 5QG
Main image: CC / Flickr / Indrik myneur