Edinburgh Journals

The Strange Case of Auld Reekie

Best of IgoUgo

A travel journal to Edinburgh by Mutt

Quote: I have visited Edinburgh almost every year since 1996 to attend the annual arts festival held there for three weeks every August and it is a city that I have fallen in love with.

The Strange Case of Auld Reekie

Overview

Quote:
The Scottish capital, Edinburgh, is built on five rugged hills, and has been known by a number of nicknames over the years: "The Paris of the North", "The Athens of the North" and, less prosaically, "Auld Reekie", due to its history of unfortunate sewage problems. The city, like native son Robert Louis Stevenson's literary creation, Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde, has something of a split personality. With the dark brooding closes and wynds of the old town contrasting with the wide avenues of the new town. Dominating it all is Arthur's Seat a 251m extinct volcano in the heart of 260ha of untamed wilderness right in the middle of the city that makes a pleasant getaway when the crowds get to m...Read More

Beach

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Attraction | "Life's a Beach, Even in Scotland"

Quote:
Okay, chances are you haven't come to Edinburgh for the sun, sea and sand. Indeed, few people realise that there is a beach within city limits, and on a hot August day, which does occur occasionally, what could be better than escaping the crowds and heading off for a spot of sun-bathing and swimming? The suburb of Portabello, once nicknamed "The Brighton Of The North", is located 3 miles east of the town canter, along the London road, on the coast of the Firth of Fourth, a short way down from Leith. Founded in 1739 on what was an area of wasteland, this was a thriving beach resort during the Victorian times that was popular with both local workers and the more well to do alike and is typical of...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 25, 2002

Beach
Portabello
Edinburgh, Scotland

Mary King's Close

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Attraction | "Marlin's Wynd & Mary King's Close"

Quote:
Chronic overcrowding and rapid development made 16th & 17th century Edinburgh a city of tall tenement blocks and dark brooding alleyways, two of these alleyways have recently been uncovered and opened to the public to give a fascinating insight into the city's past. Marlin's Wynd was built in 1532 and is believed to have been the first paved street in the City, and its paver John Marlin was so proud of it that he had himself buried underneath after his death, but it did not last long. The upper half was covered over in 1637 with the building of the Tron Kirk and the lower half was demolished in 1786 to allow for the construction of the south bridge. All was not lost however and when the fl...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 25, 2002

Mary King's Close
Old Town
Edinburgh, Scotland EH1 1PG
08702 430160

The Underground City

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Attraction

Quote:
Legend abounds in Edinburgh about a city beneath the streets, where people lived in ancient times, and which still exists to this day, forgotten by the world above. Like most good legends, there is an element of truth to this, an element that can still be seen. Edinburgh Castle is built high on a craggy rock approachable from only one side, making it ideal for defence purposes, but not much good for building a city around. The geography was formed at the end of the ice-age as the glaciers receded and scraped away everything in their path except the tough basalt hill on which the castle is now built and the softer sandstone slope that stood behind it. It is on this narrow slope now called the R...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 25, 2002

The Underground City
Old Town
Edinburgh, Scotland

Holyrood Palace/Palace of Holyroodhouse

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Attraction | "Hooray For Hollyrood"

Quote:
At the foot of the Royal Mile lie some of the greatest treasures that this city has to offer, the ruins of a Norman abbey, a working royal palace, 260 hectares of untamed wilderness and an extinct volcano, all in the heart of the city. King David I was hunting on this land when he encountered a mystical white stag, with a rood (old Scottish for cross) between its antlers, taking this as a divine sign, the King founded Hollyrood Abbey here in 1128 to house a fragment of the true cross that he obtained from his mother St. Margaret. Sitting outside the city walls the abbey was continually ransacked and rebuilt, most notably by Charles IV who added an east wing and stone roof, until it finally coll...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 25, 2002

Holyrood Palace/Palace of Holyroodhouse
The Royal Mile
Edinburgh, Scotland EH8 8DX
+44 (131) 556 5100

Greyfriars Kirk and Kirkyard

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Attraction | "Greyfriars Kirkyard"

Quote:
Just off the George IV bridge is a quiet little graveyard that has entered into popular legend thanks to the machinations of a Victorian author called Eleanor Atkinson, a 20th century film maker called Walt Disney, and a 19th century Skye Terrier called Bobby. The land of a former Franciscan monastery destroyed in the reformation was given to the city by Mary Queen of Scots in 1562 to act as an overflow cemetery for the rapidly overflowing Cannongate cemetery and would serve as such for the next 350 years. The Kirk itself was added later in 1620 and has an eccentric design based on the monastery that preceded it. The graveyard's estimated 100,000 inhabitants include the world's worst poet Will...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 25, 2002

Greyfriars Kirk and Kirkyard
Greyfriars Place
Edinburgh, Scotland EH1 2QQ
+44 131 226 5429