A Day Out in Edinburgh

Yesterday was one of those lovely crisp, blue sky autumn days so we took ourselves off to Edinburgh, parking the car at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. After a quick look at the exhibits we took the path by the Water of Leith which leads to Stockbridge again. It’s becoming a favourite walk with us and quite a few others, you can hardly believe that you are in the middle of a city. There are plenty of ducks but it’s the heron that always amazes me. I suppose it must get fish there but it’s amazing how patient it is.

This photograph is just a wee bit further on, you can see one of the massive supports of Dene Bridge to the right.

A bit further on again and you reach St Bernard’s Well which is mentioned in Frankenstein. It was a very popular place to ‘take the waters’ in Victorian times. I wonder how many survived it!

The usual stroll around the Stockbridge bookshops ended with me buying only two books. Both of them hardbacks, Hatter’s Castle by A.J. Cronin (to replace the paperback which I’m sure is in the house somewhere but I can’t find it) and another Rosamunde Pilcher one, Coming Home, which is pristine and cost me all of 99p. I know I’m not meant to be buying any more books and I had intended only buying Viragos or vintage crime but the people of Stockbridge are holding on to those ones themselves.

It’s only about a 10 or 15 minute walk from there to Rose Street and we thought we would go there and have a late lunch at The Black Rose which is a typical Scottish pub, bare floorboards but no sawdust nowadays! We took a bit of a chance as we hadn’t been there before but the food was fine. We didn’t sit outside though because we aren’t quite that mad. Joan in Pennsylvania, but now ‘pining’ for New England had a memorable holiday in Edinburgh some years ago, staying in a flat in Rose Street and I’m wondering if it has changed much since she was last here but I don’t think it’s easy to make out much from my photographs. It’s quite difficult to photograph Rose Street as it’s so narrow. Well, that’s my excuse!

Rose Street used to always be called ‘notorious’ in years past. Not only because it is full of drinking dens but there used to be a famous brothel there. So it was a popular destination for stag nights. Classy!

It has been pedestrianised and ‘tarted up’ – no pun intended, honest. And now there are small, high class jewellery shops and such as well as betting shops and bars.

Looking east.

Looking west.

There are a few mosaic stone roses laid into the paving on Rose Street. Here’s one.

There is an Art Deco type building halfway along Rose Street, the red sandstone one.

It seems to have been a John Menzies once. Maybe it was their headquarters.

There are a few more photographs of Edinburgh to come tomorrow.

4 thoughts on “A Day Out in Edinburgh

  1. Hi Katrina,
    I’ve just spent a very pleasant hour looking through the photos we took while we were in Scotland from 13th September to 20th September 1997. But we didn’t take any photos of Rose Street! I can’t believe it, unless it was too narrow for photos! You did a great job, though.
    The flat we rented from Carl and Agnes Robinson was at 73 Rose Street. It was small but so lovely and well fitted out. We loved it.
    We saw all the things the normal tourist sees in Edinburgh and went to Boswell’s Court, Greyfriars Kirk and the Greyfriars Bobby statue (being dog lovers), Gladstone’s Land, the Camera Obscura, Royal Scottish Academy, Royal Botanic Garden, Jenner’s, Marks and Spencer, lots of book stores, both used and new, and some antiques stores.
    Having been raised a Presbyterian, I felt obligated to visit John Knox’s house, although my journal notes that there is no evidence he ever actually lived there.
    We rented a car and drove to Stirling and saw the town and the castle. We drove to Loch Ness, Inverness, Fort Augustus, Fort William, the Caledonian Canal, and the Firth of Forth (and over that, for me, terrifying bridge – I’m afraid of heights). We had hoped to see Hadrian’s Wall and Abbotsford, but we planned badly.
    The pubs and restaurants we ate at were: Abbotsford Pub, Cafe Royal, Tiles, Scott’s, all on Rose Street. Also, Ensign Ewart’s, Decon Brodie’s Tavern, The Granary (Queensferry St.,), The Standing Order (George St.), and I’ve listed enough that I’m sure you’re bored. We both like bitter and also liked the 80 ale we were introduced to in Edinburgh.
    My husband is a great fan of single malt whisky and was in heaven at the Scotch Whisky Heritage Center, although he bought the bottle he brought back at a less expensive store nearby.
    My husband was intrigued by the small gas dual purpose (instant hot water / flat heat) in the flat, something we hadn’t seen in the States and still don’t see. So very efficient, though. I think Europe and Britain are years ahead of us in conservation efforts of all sorts and energy efficiency.
    Over my stove, I have a metal tray of chickens and I also have a plastic try of wood ducks (we had lots of wood ducks at our last house). I couldn’t remember where I had bought them except that it was at a botanic garden in the British Isles. Thanks to re-reading my journal from that trip, I found that I had bought them at the Royal Botanic Garden!
    Sorry for the long, long post. I’m just so excited remembering our travels to Scotland! You live in a beautiful country!

  2. Hi Joan,
    I enjoyed reading your comment. It looks like you’ve seen more of Edinburgh than I have. I haven’t been to the Camera Obscura but I love the Botanic Gardens. Having been brought up a Presby. too I feel obliged to say that John Knox was 59 when he married a 16 year old girl so he was a dirty old man!
    We went to Inverness for our honeymoon in August 34 years ago (I was a child bride but at least my husband is only 5 years older than me), I think that Fort William is an ugly town and I always feel sorry for tourists but I suppose it’s fine if you just want to ski. I’ve been to Hadrian’s Wall and it would be great to walk the whole length of it but that might be a bit ambitious. We haven’t been to Abbotsford either.
    You certainly did a bit of a pub crawl, I’ve never developed a taste for bitter (Scots call it heavy) or 80/- shilling. Although it is my husband’s poison of choice. He doesn’t like whisky at all which is very weird as we both grew up in a distillery town where they made Johnnie Walker and J&B amongst many other blended whiskies. I prefer cider, which I should have probably grown out of by now.
    Our house is heated by a gas boiler such as you describe, how strange that you don’t have them in America.
    I know what you mean about the scary Forth Road Bridge, it’s nearly always windy on it too and they often have to close it to high-sided vehicles. Then when you go across in a wee car it’s terrifying.The beginning of Ian Rankin’s book Let it Bleed features a car and lorry crash on it, I think you’d enjoy it!
    I’m glad that you’ve been reminded of your happy trip to Scotland. We’re going to Stirling tomorrow.
    Don’t tell me that you didn’t manage to get over to the west of Scotland! I think Glasgow is quite overlooked by a lot of tourists but it’s a great place. Thanks for the interesting comments.

  3. Lovely photos–and thanks for sharing. It’s nice to have visuals since I’ve been reading books set in Edinburgh. I love that stream that runs through the city–it looks more like it’s in the middle of the country with so many trees and bushes! As soon as I finish an Agatha Christie I am reading (hopefully tonight) I will start the Ian Rankin.

    • Danielle,
      I’m sure there are a lot of people living in Edinburgh who don’t realise how close they are to a lovely rural walk. It’s the same in Glasgow so you can always get away from the traffic of the city if you want to.
      I hope you enjoy Ian Rankin.

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