In Sep­tem­ber 2016 my hus­band and I vis­it­ed Edin­burgh. The city is won­der­ful with the per­fect blend of his­to­ry and moder­ni­ty. The bustling life of Princess Street was almost too much for my taste buds and so we always looked for the qui­eter cor­ners of Edin­burgh.

A city map is a “must have”, oth­er­wise you missed all the lit­tle trea­sures ( like all the clos­es and gar­dens) , and runs the risk of get­ting car­ried away by the hus­tle and bustle of the Roy­al Mile and noth­ing else from Edin­burgh.

Nev­er­the­less, we have vis­it­ed the clas­sic tourist spots, because who wants to miss Cal­ton Hill or Edin­burg Castle.

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Stage 1- The Canongate Churchyard and Canongate Kirk

The Canon­gate Church­yard is the rest­ing place of sev­er­al Edin­burgh nota­bles includ­ing the econ­o­mist Adam Smith, the philoso­pher and Smith’s biog­ra­pher Dugald Stew­art, Agnes Macle­hose (the “Clarinda” of Robert Burns), by tra­di­tion David Rizzio, the mur­dered pri­vate sec­re­tary of Mary, Queen of Scots, and the poet Robert Fer­gus­son, whose stat­ue in bronze by David Annand stands out­side the kirk gate. Bish­op James Ram­say is also buried here…

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Canongate Churchyard

Canongate Kirk

The Kirk of the Canon­gate, or Canon­gate Kirk, serves the Parish of Canon­gate in Edinburgh’s Old Town, in Scot­land. It is a con­gre­ga­tion of the Church of Scot­land. The parish includes the Palace of Holy­rood­house and the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment. It is also the parish church of Edin­burgh Castle, even though the castle is detached from the rest of the parish. The wed­ding of Zara Phillips, the Queen’s grand­daugh­ter, and Mike Tin­dall, took place at the church on 30 July 2011.

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Robert Fer­gus­son stat­ue in bronze

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Canongate Manse

Locat­ed in Reid’s Court par­tial­ly hid­den by mod­ern blocks on the north side of Edinburgh’s Roy­al Mile, the Canon­gate Manse is a sim­ple ear­ly-18th cen­tu­ry man­sion, com­pris­ing two storeys with wings, which were added in the lat­er 18th cen­tu­ry. The build­ing still serves as the home for the Min­is­ter of Canon­gate Kirk, as well as the church offices.
(Source “The Gazetteer for Scot­land”)

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After all this we had a nice Break in Dun­bars Close Gar­den right next to the Kirk­yard.
Dunbar’s Close on the Roy­al Mile in Edinburgh’s Old Town is a hid­den gem. The gar­den has been laid out in the style and char­ac­ter of a 17th cen­tu­ry gar­den. To enter you trav­el along a nar­row, cob­bled close. It opens out into a sur­pris­ing­ly tran­quil and ele­gant parter­re of clipped shrubs under a cosy green canopy of trees. Beyond, the gar­den are fur­ther parter­res, each with dif­fer­ent atmos­pheres and all are shel­tered thanks to high church walls on the west side and clipped hedg­ing on the oth­ers.

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Stage 2 — White Horse Close and Scottish Parliament Building

White Horse Close, or “White­horse Close”, is an enclosed court­yard off the Canon­gate at the foot of the Roy­al Mile at the east­ern end of the Old Town of Edin­burgh, Scot­land. It was for­mer­ly known as “Ord’s Close”, after Lau­rence Ord, the puta­tive builder of the 17th-cen­tu­ry inn at its north­ern end.

Tra­di­tion main­tains that Jaco­bite offi­cers were bil­let­ed in the close dur­ing Charles Edward Stu­art’s occu­pa­tion of near­by Holy­rood Palace dur­ing the Jaco­bite Rebel­lion of 1745.

The close is wide­ly regard­ed as the most pic­turesque group of build­ings on the Roy­al Mile, but we  almost over­looked it like many  vis­i­tors to the city who fail to enter the pend which con­nects it to the Canon­gate

White Horse Close

And when you leave this Close you can see how past and future always find togeth­er in Edin­burgh — the very mod­ern Scot­tish Par­lia­ment Build­ing is just around the cor­ner

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Scottish Parliament Building

Stage 3 — In front of Palace of Holyroodhouse

We did­nt made it inside (of course…so here just a look at the entrance to the Palace :))

Stage 4 — Calton Hill

The City Obser­va­to­ry is an astro­nom­i­cal obser­va­to­ry on Cal­ton Hill. It is also known as the Cal­ton Hill Obser­va­to­ry.

The site is enclosed by a bound­ary wall with a mon­u­ment to John Play­fair, pres­i­dent of the Edin­burgh Astro­nom­i­cal Insti­tu­tion, in the south­east cor­ner. The old­est part is the Goth­ic Tow­er in the south­west cor­ner, fac­ing Princes Street and Edin­burgh Castle. It is also known as Obser­va­to­ry House, the Old Obser­va­to­ry, or after its design­er James Craig House. The cen­tral build­ing with the appear­ance of a Greek tem­ple is the Play­fair Build­in, which was closed dur­ing our vis­it. (source wikipedia)

City Observatory

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City Observatory

After being unoc­cu­pied for sev­er­al years, in 2012 the Coun­cil start­ed a £1,000,000 pro­gram to ren­o­vate the remain­ing build­ings in part­ner­ship with the Col­lec­tive Gallery.In 2014. Here how it should look after the ren­o­va­tion.

future view of City Observatory

The Dugald Stew­art Mon­u­ment is a memo­ri­al to the Scot­tish philoso­pher Dugald Stew­art (1753–1828). It is sit­u­at­ed on Cal­ton Hill over­look­ing Edin­burgh city cen­tre and was com­plet­ed in August 1831.

Dugald Stewart Monument

The Nation­al Mon­u­ment of Scot­land is Scotland’s nation­al memo­ri­al to the Scot­tish sol­diers and sailors who died fight­ing in the Napoleon­ic Wars. It was intend­ed, accord­ing to the inscrip­tion, to be “A Memo­ri­al of the Past and Incen­tive to the Future Hero­ism of the Men of Scot­land”.

The mon­u­ment dom­i­nates the top of Cal­ton Hill, just to the east of Princes Street. It was designed dur­ing 1823–6 and is mod­elled upon the Parthenon in Athens. Con­struc­tion start­ed in 1826 and, due to the lack of funds, was left unfin­ished in 1829. This cir­cum­stance gave rise to var­i­ous nick­names such as “Scotland’s Dis­grace”, “Edinburgh’s Dis­grace”, “the Pride and Pover­ty of Scot­land” and “Edinburgh’s Fol­ly”.

National Monument of Scotland

The Nel­son Mon­u­ment is a com­mem­o­ra­tive tow­er in hon­our of Vice Admi­ral Hor­a­tio Nel­son. It is sit­u­at­ed on top of Cal­ton Hill, and pro­vides a dra­mat­ic ter­mi­na­tion to the vis­ta along Princes Street from the west. The mon­u­ment was built between 1807 and 1815 to com­mem­o­rate Nelson’s vic­to­ry over the French and Span­ish fleets at the Bat­tle of Trafal­gar in 1805, and his own death at the same bat­tle. In 1853 a time ball was added, as a time sig­nal to ship­ping in Lei­th har­bour. (Source Wikipedia)

Nelson Monument in Edinburgh

The view from the Cal­ton Hill is over­whelm­ing. On one side you can see the sea, on the oth­er side you look direct­ly at Princess Street. But of course you are always sur­round­ed by tourists and their Self­ie-Sticks 🙂

View from Calton Hill

View from Calton Hill

to be continued.….….……

About Heike Ballegeer

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