The Stockbridge Duck Race

Edinburgh is renowned for many architectural and historic sights, so a glimpse of a thousand yellow plastic ducks sailing down the Water of Leith may come as something of a surprise to the unsuspecting visitor. But, every summer, that is exactly what happens at the Stockbridge Duck Race, an enduringly popular event that, having taken place annually for the past 30 years, is now ingrained in the village’s calendar.

During the past three decades, the Stockbridge Duck Race has become one of the most eagerly anticipated charity events in the city, raising tens of thousands of pounds for good causes. The ducks are sold in advance of the race at cafes, restaurants, bars and shops throughout Stockbridge for a nominal fee, and are then taken to the event on the day, where they are dropped by the duckload into the river from the bridge adjacent to the village’s Pizza Express.

The rules are somewhat simple: in the spirit of Poohsticks, the ducks float downstream, bobbing along on the current while the eager crowd cheer on from the side-lines, with those that cross the finishing line first winning their owners a variety of prizes donated by local businesses.

A shot in the duck While victory really is in the lap of the gods, the Stockbridge Duck Race is essentially good natured fun that brings together the local community and visitors, with a serious mission to raise much-needed funds for local charities. The picturesque Water of Leith, with its strong downward currents, creates the perfect setting for the event and, in keeping with a commitment to protect the local environment, every single plastic duck is retrieved from the water by specially-appointed duck wardens. In the spirit of the world’s greatest competitions, the event is followed by an après-duck party, hosted by a local public house. Scotland has always enjoyed a proud sporting tradition and, while there may be a considerable slice of luck and absence of skill in the Stockbridge Duck Race, there’s little doubt that passions run just as high among spectators and competitors as at a Six Nations match against the country’s oldest adversary, England.

VIEW MORE ON EDINBURGH

Lochend Park

Lochend Park

There’s so much to see and do in Edinburgh’s city centre, however, if you’re a local whofancies a change of scene or a visitor who would rather avoid the city’s busier, more well-known attractions, Newhailes Estate is a lovely option for a countryside day trip.

Lochend Park

Newhailes House

There’s so much to see and do in Edinburgh’s city centre, however, if you’re a local whofancies a change of scene or a visitor who would rather avoid the city’s busier, more well-known attractions, Newhailes Estate is a lovely option for a countryside day trip.

Corstorphine Walled Garden

The “lost” Walled Garden on Corstorphine Hill was built for Hillwood House, a mansion adjacent to the garden, but due to lack of upkeep became overgrown with weeds and sections of the walls were in need of repair.

Secret Herb Garden

Sitting in the shadow of the Pentland Hills, the Secret Herb Garden stretches out over seven acres and is home to a beautiful shop, cafe, rose garden, fairy wood, several vegetable gardens, beehives, plus it’s the only gin botanical garden with a distillery in the UK.

Jupiter Artland

Jupiter Artland

Sitting on the outskirts of Edinburgh, Jupiter Artland is a spectacular hidden gem set in over 100-acres of meadow, woodland and indoor gallery space.

Jupiter Artland
Newhaven Main Street 2

Newhaven

Sandwiched between Leith Docks and Granton Harbour, Newhaven (meaning “New Harbour”) is a charming neighbourhood which was once a thriving, tight-knit fishing village and, despite its close distance to Edinburgh, was known for its distinctive dress and traditions.

Newhaven Main Street 2
stockbridge duck race

No listings with this search