Edinburgh.

When Wil and I visited Edinburgh recently ,we decided to leave be the usual touristy venues such as the Castle, the Camera Obscura, Mary Kings Close and the Scottish National Gallery. All these wonderful attractions are definitely worth visiting ( and we will again, I am sure), but we wanted to explore some other parts of this beautiful city.

The Scottish Capital has extensive parks, extinct volcanos, hidden bars, Harry Potter inspired locations and the most listed buildings in the world. Here are a few images from our trip.

View of Arthur’s Seat from Edinburgh Castle. The peak is an ancient volcano, sitting 251m above sea level.
A William Wallace performs on the Royal Mile.
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A fairy on the Royal Mile.
The colourful curving Victoria Terrace is full of quirky independent shops, and happens to be the main inspiration for Diagon Alley, apparently. J. K. Rowling lived and wrote in the city, so could indeed be true.

Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic Garden is just one mile from the city centre, and well worth the walk, if your feeling active. I must admit I was dying to visit the ornate glass houses, of which there are ten. The Victorian Temperate Palm house below is one of the tallest traditional Palm houses ever built. Because it was quite nippy, it was nice to keep warm inside for a while, so I recommend a Winter trip. Look out for the Gardens cat, a handsome black Tom, called Milo. I didn’t manage to get a picture, but he’ll be the one being fussed over by the tourists. πŸ™‚

You can enter the Palm House for free, and there is a charge to explore the other glass houses.
I think we are in the Cacti Glass House here.
There are lots of quite tame grey squirrels in the park.

From the Botanic Gardens it is a pleasant walk alongside the Water of Leith into Stockbridge, an area of Edinburgh with lots of green spaces and a friendly village atmosphere. It’s plethora of independent shops and cafes makes Stockbridge a great place to linger.

Entrance to Stockbridge Market, a popular Sunday Market.
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Little Free Library.,
A lovely independent bookshop we found called Golden Hare Books on St Stephen Street.
Golden Hare Books.
Cheese and wine in Smith & Gertrude.

Edinburgh is a walkers city! We followed the Dean Path along the waterside to the Dean Village, a beautiful Edinburgh suburb. An Instagrammer’s delight , the Dean Village is incredibly picturesque, but bring a picnic if your planning to eat here. There are no shops or cafes, though plenty in nearby Stockbridge.

St Bernard’s Mineral Well. A statue of Hygeia ` Greek Goddess of Health’ resides here.
Dean Village.
Well Court, Dean Village.

One place we reserved a table for dinner was ‘ The Witchery By The Castle‘ near the castle gates. Fine dining in a gothic setting, this restaurant may set you back a few quid, but it is in a very atmospheric setting and the food is mouth watering.

The Witchery By The Castle.
Dessert at the Witchery. Yummy!

We also discovered some almost hidden bars on our explorations round Edinburgh. Venture down any ginnel off the Royal Mile, and you will find a traditional real ale pub such as The Jolly Judge ( look out for the nearby Writers Museum) and The Jinglin’ Geordie. If your preference is cocktails, The Devil’s Advocate in the Old Town and Brambles in the New Town are both quite hidden from the hustle and bustle, but can get busy even so.

On the Sunday before catching our train home, we took a stroll up Calton Hill which is home to several skyline monuments. From here there are far reaching views over the city and some quite interesting structures, including a building that was once called ‘Scotland’s Disgrace’. It is in fact a half finished replica of the Athens Parthenon , a tribute to the fallen of the Napoleonic Wars. The money ran out and building of the National Monument was never completed. I quite like it though! Other iconic buildings include The Nelson Monument, The Royal Observatory and Rock House, which you can actually rent as a holiday let.

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Nelson Monument.
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Dugald Stewart Monument.
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Royal Observatory.

National Monument.

So there you have it, a weekend in Edinburgh.

Where do you like to visit in the city?

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36 thoughts on “Edinburgh.”

  1. Thanks for sharing your weekend in Edinburgh. Although I’ve been, it was a long time ago (1991) & the photo I remember the most, is our 2 boys & me, standing outside the castle in the pouring rain.(giggle), but I do know I was impressed by the grandeur of what we did see. Take care.

  2. What a brilliant weekend πŸ™‚ we’ve wandered around Edinburgh too -enjoying the architecture and sites, it was during the fringe and a little too busy for comfort but we still enjoyed it immensely – we have promised ourselves that we will go again – just need to get around to it πŸ™‚

      1. I had a strange experience at Mary Kings Close. I felt ripples of energy in a small room where the ghost of a child appears. It was a very strange experience. One I will never forget!!

      2. My sister is very in tune with the supernatural. She feels chills and energy in old places. I’m quite happy to remain out of that loop I think. πŸ™‚ We grew up in a very old house ( supposedly haunted!) and my sister felt alot of presences there. I just wandered round happily oblivious. Maybe you too are in tune with the other worldly. X

  3. It must have been 1990 or 1991 when we visited and I loved the city, we walked and walked, I’ve always wanted to go back one day. Love the book shop and the little library, you found some interesting places to visit:)

  4. This has got me really excited for our visit this weekend! I love Devil’s Advocate and Panda & Sons is a fab little hidden away bar too πŸ™‚ I was thinking on taking a wander around Stockbridge/Dean Village if the weather isn’t too ropey and your photos have definitely persuaded me that I’m making a good decision – so pretty! x

  5. I’ve never been to Edinburgh but I’d like to go now, it looks a very interesting place! If I ever make it up to Scotland, I’ll refer back to your post πŸ™‚

    How long does it take you to travel there from Clitheroe?

    1. Thanks Louise.
      We took a train from Preston and it was about two and a half hours , so not to bad.
      Of course we also had to get a train from Clitheroe to Blackburn and Blackburn to Preston Beforehand. πŸ˜‰ X

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