Day Fifteen - Edinburgh - the Castle & Holyrood House

return to 2019 UK trip index

return to mdimage site index

After a really nice breakfast at the Star & Garter Hotel, the four of us walked about 50 feet to the ScotRail station, bought tickets, and walked up a flight of stairs to the platform.  Waverly Station, in the center of Edinburgh, is a 25 minute ride away.  

Star & Garter from ScotRail Linlithgow station local house seen from the platform

There's a surprising amount of open farmland between Linlithgow & Edinburgh, pleasant to see. 

From Waverly Station we walked upstairs to Princes Street and then a little north to see the immense Scott Monument, Victorian architecture to the max. for a National hero. Then we migrated uphill with the general flow of tourists on foot, ascending The Mound & generally aspiring towards the Castle. 

Edinburgh, see note

note - look for the Castle, High Street, Palace of Holyrood, and Greyfriar's Kirkyard

note - you can enlarge any part of a picture by left-clicking in and then out again.

Scott monument, near Waverly Station sometimes called  'a Gothic rocket ship' Sir Walter Scott & his favorite dog a key part of Scottish history  
  The Mound first view of Edinburgh Castle Princes Street Gardens  
expensive hotel close to the Castle on the Royal Mile impressive Edinburgh Castle  
  the Castle looking south from Castle entry the four of us
Portcullis   wide view of the City (looking east) view of Calton Hill & beyond
a bit of green in the Castle Docent for a 30 minute walking tour oldest part of the Castle
Castle view looking north-east
autumn light Arthur's Seat, from the Castle

The four of us were at the Castle for about 90 minutes. Soon we were back on the Royal Mile with a side trip to St. Giles Cathedral.

the Royal Mile is always crowded near the Castle St. Giles Cathedral interior
firebrand John Knox preached here statue of Adam Smith, see note
top of St. Giles Royal Mile mid-afternoon

note - Adam Smith (1723 - 1790) was one of the leading figures in Edinburgh during the Scottish Enlightenment.  As the writer of the hugely influential "Wealth of Nations" book, he's normally remembered as being the first modern economist & explainer of capitalism, but, in fact he held the prestigious Chair of Moral Philosophy at Edinburgh University.  He was a leading thinker and every economist in the world since then has studied his ideas.   


Around 2:30 pm we arrived at the lower end of the Royal Mile, and toured Holyrood House & adjacent Abbey and gardens.  I've been here before and it's a stuffy old Palace. 

On the other hand, if you like learning about the history of British Royalty, you could easily spend one to two hours here.  After all, Holyrood is a very old Royal Palace and there are many historical displays.  (photos are not allowed here)

I walked quickly through to get to the end & outside again, where it was an attractive sunny afternoon. The old Abbey and associated gardens are great to walk through.  

Scotland's Parliament buildings     above is a steady grade going to Arthur's Seat people like ants at Arthur's Seat
  old Abbey atmosphere   door w/ character
    celestial light see note below  
beautiful park popular at times there are many ways to Arthur's Seat

note - see the healthy looking palm tree in the center of the photo, at the apex of the 'spiritual' light pattern.        

Once we escaped the spell of Holyrood Palace, we hopped in a cab for a 5 minute ride to the Greyfriar's Bobby Pub & Nicholson Pie House, with one of the best menus in town, where we had an uncrowded 4 pm dinner. 

Next to the restaurant is the atmospheric Greyfriar's Kirk yard, which we strolled through at sunset. 

We found some stairs that took us up to the top of the Mound, steep in parts, and then we found a familiar road downhill towards Waverly Station, where all four of us had to run to catch the next train to Linlithgow.  

next to the Greyfriar's Bobby Pub the Kirk yard family monuments against houses fall light
Castle at upper left someplace in Edinburgh near dusk  

Soon we were back at The Star & Garter Hotel.  There's a special travel-related thrill when you can exit a train, walk down a flight of stairs, across a small parking area, and then into your Hotel, and up two flights of stairs to your room.  It seemed amazing, and maybe old-fashioned.... 

return to 2019 UK trip index

return to mdimage site index