Formerly a village in its own right before being absorbed into the
City of Edinburgh, Duddingston dates from 1124 when Duddinston Kirk
was established. Located to the SE of the hilly expanse of
Holyrood Park (it's a popular starting point for walking in the park),
the area is distinguished by
Duddingston Loch which since 1925 has been a wildlife sanctuary, and is
run by the Scottish Wildlife Trust.
The loch was used for
curling and ice-skating for centuries and featured in Henry Raeburn's
portrait The Reverend Robert Walker Skating on Duddingston Loch showing a sartorial clergyman elegantly gliding across the ice. Duddingston is connected by the Innocent bike path and walkway.
The village still retains its old character and feel, with the old
church on the highest piece of land in the area. The grandiose,
neo-classical Duddingston House is the only country house to have been
designed by William Chamber.
The Sheep Heid Inn in Duddingston is said to be the oldest pub in
Scotland dating from 1360 and taking its name from a ram's head
reputedly presented by King James VI to the landlord in 1580.