This morning, I met my guests at the Scotsman Hotel in central Edinburgh from where we proceeded as follows:


  • Up Royal Mile to Edinburgh Castle. At this site there has been a record of  a stronghold since around AD600. The current castle is the product of various architectural styles developed during a complex history dating from the 1100s. We joined a tour led by a specialist Castle tour guide which proved very satisfactory. He provided a useful overview of the history and development of the caste right through to the present day.

Edinburgh Castle

St Margaret's Chapel

  • Next we walked slowly down the Royal Mile taking in various historical sites including New Parliament Square (former home to the original Scottish Parliament), St. Giles Cathedral (we were unable to enter due to a service in progress), Mercat Cross, Statue of economist, Adam Smith, various closes which show their medieval origins (e.g.Fleshmarket), World’s End Pub, John Knox House, Chessel’s Court (1748), Dundas Gardens, and the new Scottish Parliament building with its controversial architecture.
  • After a spot of lunch at Holyrood Palace, we toured the Palace and nearby ruined Abbey. The latter dates from 1128 and the former is mainly late 17th century from a design by Sir William Bruce. This palace is the official home of the Queen in Scotland.

Palace of Holyrood House

Abbey at Holyrood

  • After the Palace we ventured up to Calton Hill, past the monument (based on a circular Greek Temple) to poet Robert Burns and the Royal High School ( 1825-29) to view the two old observatories, Nelson’s Monument (1816), the National Monement, the Playfair Monument (1826), Firth of Forth, Fife Coast, Forth Rail Bridge, City of Edinburgh, Arthur’s Seat and the Salisbury Crags. Great views in the warm sunshine!

National Mounument

Nelson's Monument

  • Next we walked down to Princes Street and then to George St and the spectacular Dome Restaurant ( a  former bank Head Office) where we enjoyed some afternoon refreshment.
  • Final visit was to Charlotte Square and the Georgian House which dateS from the period 1792-1820. The House is run by the National Trust and affords a useful insight into the way of life in a high status family home in the early 19th century.
  • Our tour completed with a walk back to North Bridge and fond farewells
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