Four Amigos at Craigmillar Castle, Scotland

This morning, we departed our lodgings (in Edinburgh) and drove into the centre of the Old Town. Here we walked down the Royal Mile commencing with St Gile’s Cathedral, past numerous tourist shops, World’s End Pub, John Knox House to reach the Palace of Holyroodhouse and Scottish Parliament.

Next, we drove round, past the Royal High School to visit Calton Hill, a high elevation point overlooking Edinburgh, Port of Leith and Firth of Forth. This is also known as the ‘Athens of the North’ due to Greek inspired architecture. There is a war memorial ( National Monument) with, incongruously, a wedding party having refreshments in the rain, Nelson’s Monument and two observatories.

St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, Scotland

Royal Mile, Edinburgh, Scotland

John Knox House, Royal Mile, Edinburgh

Tolbooth, Royal Mile, Edinburgh

Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh

Nelson Monument, Calton Hill, Edinburgh

Edinburgh viewed from Calton Hill, Scotland

National Monument, Calton Hill, Edinburgh

Leith viewed from Calton Hill, Edinburgh

Next, we drove south of Edinburgh for about seven miles to visit the popular Rosslyn Chapel. This dates from the 15th century and is renowned for its extensive collection of high quality stone carvings, both inside and out. (Photographs not permitted inside.). In recent times the ‘Da Vinci Code’ has resulted in a huge increase in visitor numbers.

Rosslyn Chapel, Scotland

Next, we drove north for as few miles to visit Craigmillar Castle. This impressive structure evolved from a free-standing Tower House in the 14th century. For the first 250 years it was owned by the Preston family and then acquired by the Gilmours in  1660. It was finally abandoned in the 18th century. Mary Queen of Scot’s visited in 1563 and 1566.

Key aspects of the castle are Laird’s Hall, battlements, Tower House and defensive curtain walls.

Clouds over Pentland Hills as viewed from Craigmillar Castle

Arthur’s Seat from Craigmillar Castle, Scotland

P-Shaped pond at Craigmillar Castle, Scotland

Lord’s Hall, Craigmillar Castle, Scotland

Craigmillar Castle, Edinburgh, Scotland

In the late afternoon we returned to our lodgings and dined in a local pub.

Tomorrow we visit the Scottish Borders region.

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