Victoria Street in Edinburgh, Scotland
Victoria Street in Edinburgh, Scotland
Edinburgh Castle atop Castle Rock
St. Giles Cathedral
Governor’s House-Edinburgh, Scotland
The only remaining part of Calton Jail. At one time, it was the largest prison in Scotland.
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.
It was our first time in Scotland and the end of our trip. After two weeks of near perfect May weather, our last day met us with a chill. Rain came down, fog rolled in, and it was a precise reflection of our mood. We were sad. More than that. We were downright melancholy. For at that time we had no idea whether we would be able to return to Scotland. Was this a once-in-a-lifetime thrill? Did we just fall head over heels for a place that we would never again lay our eyes upon? It is, after all, an expensive proposition to fly almost 6,000 miles and to lodge and live in a foreign country for two weeks. And to my way of thinking, if we can’t go for at least two weeks, then why bother going at all. It is a long, expensive journey to only take a small taste of the place. And I don’t want only a taste! I want a whole, heaping plate full.
Feeling glum, Mr. C and I decided to get out for awhile rather than sulk about our morning flight home. So, we did a little shopping, attended a wonderful afternoon church service at Grace Church Leith (an overwhelmingly emotional experience for we two sad saps), and finally, as the weather cleared a little, we made our way over to Holyrood Park.
It. Was. Breathtaking.
It was magical.
It was bittersweet.
Don’t mess with the castle. They have cannons!
Looking toward Waverly Station – Edinburgh, Scotland
Happy Hump Day!
A little window shopping in Edinburgh for you today. I’ll let you decide which one may have gone from browsing to buying. 🙂
Hope everyone is well. Today we are going to hang out in my favorite city – Edinburgh. I booked us a champagne afternoon tea at luxurious Prestonfield House. So touch up your lip gloss, Ladies. Men, grab your wallets. A warm welcome, fine dining, and hospitality awaits!
When Mr. C and I travel to Scotland (or anywhere where we stay more than two or three nights, for that matter), we always prefer to rent a private residence rather than stay in a hotel. It not only allows us the experience of living like locals, but it’s so much more pleasant and economical. A rental provides all the amenities of home – a laundry facility, plenty of room to spread out, and perhaps best of all – a fully equipped kitchen.
Oh, now don’t give me that look. What, you don’t like to cook when you’re on vacation? Haha -that’s okay. Me either, actually. But, luckily for me, Mr. C does! And on top of that, his culinary skills are sublime. He’s definitely a keeper.
Clocktower in the Royal Palace at Edinburgh Castle
Hello faithful readers,
This is an update to my original article that I posted about a week ago, just before Halloween. The Real Mary King’s Close was so kind to grant me permission to use their awesome photos. All photos in this post are credited to them. Many, many thanks, indeed! Now you’ll really be able to get a feel for this hidden treasure. Enjoy.
Sooo, who’s ready to meet some ghosts? Me too. Let’s go!
In my previous blog post (What Lies Beneath-Part 1 ), I gave you a little history of how the city of Edinburgh was built. How it expanded east from the castle and how Mary King’s Close and the other nearby alleys came to find themselves frozen in time underneath the City Chambers. So now we are ready to head below ground and visit what I think is one of Edinburgh’s most compelling attractions, The Real Mary King’s Close.
Are you feeling adventurous? I hope so because I would love for you to join me on a little trip below the City Chambers on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile. Below the Chambers, you ask? Yep! We’re soon going to head underground to visit The Real Mary King’s Close. So, if you’re game and not too afraid of the dark, come on! I promise, I won’t jump out and scare you (although I can’t promise no one else will…).
Deep below ground, beneath the tourist hustle bustle, the souvenir shops, pubs, performance artists, and busking bagpipers, there lies a hidden labyrinth of narrow alleyways and abandoned dwellings. It is an utterly fascinating and well-preserved peek into what life was really like in Edinburgh’s 17th century past. But to understand it more clearly, I need to tell you a little bit about how the city of Edinburgh grew. That’s what we are going to focus on today.
You might recall that the city of Edinburgh had its beginnings outside the walls of Edinburgh Castle and eventually spread east along the sloped stretch of road called the Royal Mile. Because the city was surrounded by a wall meant for protection from invaders, Edinburgh’s residents (who coped with extreme overcrowding) were unable to expand the city outward and were therefore faced with no other alternative than to build up. What they ended up with was a web of narrow alleyways (called closes) that led off of the Royal Mile, with buildings that grew many stories high.