Travelled: Only to Edinburgh by train £4.40pp (return)
Visited: Edinburgh Castle £16.50pp (free for us), Mary King’s Close £12.50pp
Stayed: Newcraighall park-n-ride £0.50 per day. N55.93298, W03.09262
We get a phone call from Jo and Ian in the early evening to confirm our location. An hour later we are having a drink, discussing tomorrows adventure.
By 9pm most of the cars have gone home and there are 4 motorhomes left in one corner. Motorhomes are like wagons in the old west we gather close for a feeling of security. Anyway another quiet night passes. We all meet at 8.30am as planned and walk the 100 metres to the railway station and purchase our tickets. By 8.45am the platform seems crowded as the train arrives and we continue on to Edinburgh/Waverly railway station. Sounds a bit epic but its only two stops and we are there in 15 minutes.
The P+R trip is seamless and we are soon out on the street looking for a big dark castle on a hill.
The beer shop across from the station presents well !
Walking up the hill towards the castle. Overlooking the Princes Garden the monument to Sir Walter Scott stands proudly. They take their poet and writers very seriously in Scotland.
We arrive at Edinburgh Castle about 20 minutes before opening and the line is 50 metres long. So we wait outside the gates on the opposite side of the road. Our strategy was correct, virtually everyone needed to buy or collect a ticket. As Scottish Environment members we are ushered straight inside to collect our audio guides.
Another glorious summer’s day in Edinburgh ! The locals are a bit concerned about climate change, they haven’t had 3 days of sunshine since Robert the Bruce was a nipper.
A fine bronze statue of General Haigue (not one of my favourites) outside the Edinburgh War Museum. I should clarify there are several museums within the castle complex.
As usual Pam looks lovely, appropriately layered for Scotlands unpredictable weather.
The original government house, also within the Castle complex. Edinburgh Castle has been home and fortress to the Scottish kings since the 11th century.
Auther’s note: we are both wearing our uniforms.
Some areas within the Castle have been reconstructed to appear as they did during certain periods. During the Napoleonic wars this area was used to house French sailors, hence the canvas hammocks etc.
The original Castle Chapel has been converted into a combined World War Memorial.
The palace within the Castle now houses the Scottish Crown Jewels and the Stone of Destiny, but ‘no photos please’.
Your will notice the series of small headstones placed around the wall of this casement. The castle’s dog cemetery.
It has taken more than 90 minutes to complete our abridged visit to Edinburgh Castle, we hand in our audio guides and start walking down the ‘Royal Mile’. Appropriately named as it was the procession route of the Kings and Queens through the old town to Edinburgh Castle.
Looking down the Royal Mile…
St Gile’s Cathedral stands in the area known as the Heart of Midlothian.
Looking through the naive toward the high alter. Built in the 15th century in the gothic style, like most cathedrals it has been added to over the years. It had an extensive restoration in the late 19th century. Being a sunny morning, it full of coloured light from the stained glass windows.
One of the newer and more vivid stained glass windows in St Gile’s. We notice there is a lunch time concert in the church at lunchtime so we will come back if we can.
Looking up at the ornate ceiling of St Gile’s
We walk just a little further down the Royal Mile to Real Mary King’s Close and book tickets for a tour at 1pm. This gives us time for a coffee before going back to listen to the concert in the cathedral.
Here we are at the start of the Real Mary King’s Close tour. You cannot take photos inside, so I’ll make it brief. The old town of Edinburgh was divided into hundreds of narrow laneways. Many were sealed up and built above in the 18th century. This tour takes you down into those old lanes and the houses that still exist there. It was actually very interesting and we really enjoyed it.
It’s been a long day already, so we decide to turn off the Royal Mile and loop back to Waverley railway station. Looking at whats on the way, we drop in to visit the Surgeon’s Hall Museums.
This is not your usual museum, if you fancy looking at 100 year old cadavers and the odd deformity this is the place for you !
As we continue our walk back to the station the afternoon traffic is building up.
We walk along looking for Greyfrairs Kirkyard. When we spot Bobby we know we are close.
Here is the story of Greyfriars Bobby, you’ll shed a tear.
Greyfriars Kirkyard has lots of interesting headstones and mausoleum, but it’s getting late…
Just an interesting photo looking across the skyline in this part of Edinburgh.
Anyway we find the station and our train soon enough. 15 minutes later we are back at Newcraighall having a drink with Joe and Ian and another day passes through to the keeper.