Today, we had enjoyable walking tour of Edinburgh, capital of Scotland. Weather was incredibly benign with an unseasonal combination of blue skies, sunshine and snow capped hills in the distance.

We commenced at the Grassmarket and then walked up to the Royal Mile. En-route we encountered this gentleman collecting for charity. He proved to be a former WW2 soldier with experience in the North African desert attached to an Australian unit.

Here is a view from the castle looking over Edinburgh to the snow covered Pentland Hills to the south.
This is the entrance to Edinburgh Castle and location of the world famous Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

Edinburgh castle is built on the plug of a volcanic plug. The current castle dates from the 11th century but on the site of fortifications which date back much earlier. We joined a guided tour which took us around the key aspects of this famous monument, finishing in the centre where we went to visit the Scottish National War Memorial and the Crown Room where the Honours of Scotland (regalia comprising crown, sceptre, sword, other items and the coronation Stone of Scone can be viewed.
Re-enactment period actors in the Great Hall

Another view from the castle with the Pentland Hills in the distance.

After visiting the Castle we strolled down the Royal Mile looking at key sites before visiting St. Giles Cathedral which is also known as the High Kirk of Edinburgh and dates form the 12th century. Inside, in addition to the stunning features and contents we also visited the chapel dedicated to the Knights of the Thistle, Scotland’s chief order of chivalry. The chapel was opened in 1911 and is richly endowed with carved wood panelling.
Inside St. Giles Cathedral
About half way down the Royal Mile is the World’s End Pub. In medieval times Edinburgh was a walled city and this is where the boundaries of the city were established. To the inhabitants of the day, this is where their world ended.

This is Chessel’s Court which dates from 1748, so named because it was built by Archibald Chessel. The building on the right was the first real hotel in Scotland. The buildings were restored in 1958-67.
This is the debating chamber of the Scottish Parliament. This building was constructed to house the devolved Scottish Administration and opened in 2004. Eventual cost was some 8-10 times original budget and the exterior architecture (designed by Enric Miralles of Spain) has proved somewhat controversial.
Here is the National Monument on Calton Hill with some choreography in process. This was modelled on the Parthenon in Athens and intended as a tribute to the dead of the Napoleonic wars but was left incomplete when funding dried up in 1829.

Our final visit was to Charlotte Square at the end of George Street. Charlotte Square is part of Edinburgh’s New Town which, as a concept, dates from 1766. Charlotte Square was completed in 1820 to designs by famous Scots architect, Robert Adam. Queen Charlotte was wife of King George III. In Charlotte Square we visited the Georgian House, a building dating from 1796 and fully restored to its original Georgian grandeur by the National Trust for Scotland. There is a good introductory film providing a useful insight into daily life in the Georgian era.
After this visit we walked back to the hotel in Grassmarket via the New Town.This concluded a rewarding day exploring Edinburgh.

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