Lovely Lauriston

Hi Friends.

How would you like to join me today for a stroll around the grounds of one of the prettiest castles in Scotland?  Oh good, I’m so pleased!  I promise that you are going to love it.

Today we are in Edinburgh at the oh-so-lovely Lauriston Castle.

Just a quick history of the castle:  Lauriston’s tower house – the original construction on the left – (see picture below) was built by Sir Archibald Napier sometime around 1593 and the pretty Jacobean-style extension was added in 1827.  Over the centuries, the castle passed through numerous hands until it came into the possession of its final owners – William and Margaret Reid. The Reids acquired the property in 1902 and lived there until Mrs. Reid’s death in 1926.  Because the couple had no children, they left the castle to the city of Edinburgh under the condition that it be preserved unchanged.  And so the promise was kept.  The remarkable Edwardian interior, filled to the brim with their fine furniture and artwork, is now a museum maintained by the city.  For a nominal fee, you can take a guided tour of this home (uh, castle) which remains exactly as it was at the time of the Reids.  The manicured grounds, which boast a view of the sea and a stunning Japanese garden are a real bargain – free!  Lauriston truly is a gem in Edinburgh.

The photos that follow are from Mr. C’s and my first trip to Scotland, which we took in the month of May.  The weather that day was magnificent.  I think you will see that with scenery like this, it was impossible not to fall crazy in love with the place.

I do hope you will enjoy today’s pictorial blog.

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Off the Beaten Path: Redhouse Castle

Hello Friends.  Guess what?  It’s almost Friday!

Today I would like to take you to another ‘off-the-beaten-path’ place.  You probably know by now that those spots are my favorite.  There is something fun about seeing things that the typical tourist doesn’t know about.  Mr. C and I discovered this one completely by accident.  Today I’m going to take you to see Redhouse Castle.

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Dirleton Castle

Hello again everyone,

Did anyone try the recipe I posted last week for the Victoria Sponge?  My goodness that was a delicious cake.  I was also quite impressed by how well it held up.  I was afraid the filling would cause the cake to become soggy, but I stored it in the refrigerator and three days later it was still fine.  I’m not a fancy baker but that cake made me feel fancy.

Anyway, it’s been awhile since I have featured a castle on my blog so today I thought it would be fun to hop in the car and head over to East Lothian.  About 20 miles to the east of Edinburgh just off of the A198, lies the pretty little village of Dirleton.  And in the heart of Dirleton sits the awesome, robust remains of Dirleton Castle.

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Off the Beaten Path: Newark Castle

My husband has always been fascinated with castles.  From the earliest years of our marriage he possessed large picture books about castles, movies that take place in the age of castles, role playing games where the quests led to castles, and Legos that he would design and construct into crazy, massive, elaborate castles (yep, he’s kind of a nerd).  And although I thought castles were interesting, I could never quite grasp what all the fuss was about.

And then I went to Scotland.

Most tourists only ever visit Scotland’s “biggies”-Dunnottar, Stirling, Eileen Donan, etc.  And trust me, if you are lucky enough to set your feet on Scottish soil, you will absolutely want to see those.  There are probably ten to fifteen castles throughout the country that are extremely popular with tourists and for good reason-they are stinkin’ awesome!  But I must confess.  As much as I love and appreciate the castles that are well trodden, I am a huge sucker for the ruins.  The quiet, melancholy ones that time has all but forgotten.

Meet Newark Castle.

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Follow the Cobblestone Road-Part 2 (Grassmarket)

Reader, I’m glad you are back!  I am so enjoying writing this blog. Writing is such a fun hobby for me and I feel privileged that you indulge me in sharing something I love.  I hope you are having fun as well, learning a little bit about Scotland.  Thanks for popping by!

A few days ago I gave an introduction to Edinburgh’s Grassmarket by telling you a story of one of the most famed individuals to ever be associated with this area. Raise your hand if you remember her name.  I’m kidding.

Her name was Maggie Dickson, i.e. Half-Hangit Maggie (see previous blog post) and I’m sorry to say, she was not the only one who faced her mortality on those gallows.

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Follow the Cobblestone Road-Part 1 (The Royal Mile)

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Ramsay Lane, leading up to Edinburgh Castle

On a breeze,
Catch the past.
A cobble mile
Of trodden path.
Feel its life
Course through
Your veins.
You’ll never leave.
All will stay.

-Helen Walker

 

The Number 11’s brakes squealed and let out a whoosh as the bus jerked to a halt on Edinburgh’s busy Princes Street.  The driver opened the door and two people who had never before crossed an ocean now found themselves about to step out into the heart of Scotland’s capital city.  We bubbled with anticipation.  Excited about the day ahead, we climbed off of the red and white double-decker and took our first tentative steps onto the bustling street.  Buses, cabs, cars, bicycles, pedestrians…all were players in the well-organized chaos around us.  Ahead, the Scott Monument-very Gothic and very impressive-pointed sharply toward the sky.  The squeal of a bagpipe cried in the distance.  It was May, the weather was fine, and we had a destination in mind.  Edinburgh’s Old Town and the Royal Mile.

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I Heart Edinburgh

You have probably heard it said that it’s not about the destination but the journey. The Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson once said, “For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.”  I like your point, RLS!  But if your destination is Edinburgh, Scotland, then I want to submit to you that your journey has only just begun.

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Edinburgh, Scotland

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