London, England

Dear Reader,
Edinburgh (properly pronounced “Edin-bura”) in Scotland’s Lowlands is a half day train or bus ride away from London. Matthew and I visited over the weekend. It rained on its own accord, and the natural beauty of the surroundings were enhanced by the showers, making the air and land incredibly fresh, crisp, and verdant. I just loved this rain-soaked city, its stony charm, and warm, colorful shops selling wool plaid Scottish kilts and cashmere scarves, mittens, and capes. Below are the candids from the trip, and our top favorites of places and good food.
Palace of Holyroodhouse. Worth the admission fee, a tour of some of the Royal Apartments, State Rooms, Abbey ruins, and grounds. The Palace gift shop is very charming and full of gorgeous china and gifts. Also, “Holyrood” is a word meaning “Holy Cross”and is linked in history with its inference to the holy Christian relic of the original Cross.
Holyrood Park and Arthur’s Seat Hike. An incredibly refreshing and breath-taking hike, a must do in Edinburgh. I loved all the dogs that we passed romping and rolling along the way. The rock and hillside was splendid, the ocean visible in the distance, and rain clouds far off, but moving in from the northwest.

Scottish National Gallery. Lovely art, great for when it is really pouring and you have to go inside.
Prince’s Street Gardens One of the most famous Gardens, below and in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle. Lovely park. The link I provided is to a number of other Gardens in Edinburgh as well.
Calton Hill For sweeping, inspiring views of the city and ocean in all directions, a simple hike up and somewhat nearby Holyrood’s Grounds.
Edinburgh Castle. Iconic Scottish Castle. If we had more time, we would have made it there during its opening hours, but did not manage to go. I imagine it would be a fun visit.
Scottish Scotch and Whisky, The Tour. We took the tour which you can join in their official shop and museum just a few paces down from Edinburgh’s Castle entrance. It was neat to learn about how it is made and what each region in Scotland specializes in for flavours and strength of the famous amber drink. You do not leave, of course, without a taste.

LANGUAGE. Scottish English and less common, Scots and Scottish Gaelic.
Urban Angel. 1 Forth Street, EH1 3JX or 121 Hanover Street, EH2 1DJ. Appropriately obsessed with the chai tea latte and true Scottish haggis I had for breakfast there. Delicious. Serves lunch and dinner, too. Haggis, by the way, is sheep organs ground with barley, onions, and spices. Quite a sweet meat-esque dish; very hearty, fulfilling, tasty, and chock full of iron and trace minerals.
Hotel Missoni. 1 George IV Bridge, EH1 1AD A decent brunch buffet if that is what you are looking for. Serve lunch and dinner, too, but we never tried.
Smoke Stack. 53-55 Broughton Street, EH1 3RJ. Cannot speak for the food myself, but we almost stopped for brunch here and looked foodie worthy.

The Outsider. 15-16 George IV Bridge, EH1 1EE. Lamb rump with the perfect au jus and duck leg with wilted greens and pumpkin; seasonal, juicy, and always busy (reserve a table ahead of time if you can + 0131 226 3131). It is one of those places that does not advertise (no website), but delightfully romantic and lively atmosphere with real wax candles dripping from wooden blocks and the most delicious chunky bread to start from a bakery called DoughReMi.
Iglu Restaurant 2b Jamaica Street (down from Frederick Street), EH3 6HH. Never got to eat here, however sustainable menu and good reviews makes it foodie worthy.

Real Foods. 37 Broughton, EH1 3JU. Full-range organic grocer. Stock up on some mineral water, dried apricots, salted hazelnuts, and a cartoon of fresh raspberries before your climb to Arthur’s Seat.
Hula Juice Bar. 103-105 West Bow, EH1 2JP. Craving your daily greens juice or a really yummy breakfast? Here.

Authentic Scottish Shopping on the High Street, (a.k.a The Royal Mile) runs from the Edinburgh Castle at the peak of Edinburgh’s old city center, and makes its way down to Holyrood Palace, a working Palace of the Monarchy when Her Majesty is in Scotland. There are cashmere and wool shops lining the whole way; The House of Edinburgh and Barbour being two of the better shops.

Photo. Rose Knows, Edinburgh Edition.

Photo. Matthew and Rose on George IV Bridge Street, taking it all in.

Photo. Making our way from Calton Hill to Holyrood Palace, is the Meadows Croquet Club that was looking rather quiet, but for a man reading the paper on the sidelines.

Photo. Duchess Catherine and Prince William admirers, this is for you. Prince George’s celebratory French-blue and gold-plated China. Absolutely, completely lovely. For sale at Holyrood Palace’s gift shop.

Photo. Palace of Holyroodhouse. Inside the King’s Apartments, the Bedchamber, where he would only receive the most privileged of guests. The blood red velvet, and Chinese-inspired lacquer cabinet, are exquisite.

Photo. The Holyrood Abbey connected to Holyrood Palace was originally settled by the Augustinian order. Of its structural remains is much of the lofty architecture minus an actual roof which creates for a rather open, heavenly communion with God.

Photo. Portrait of Epic Proportions; along the way to Arthur’s Seat.

Photo. Matthew climbed these rocky crags, of course.

Photo. On The Scotch and Whiskey Tour, inside the historic alcoholic amber library. I sampled an aged Highlands’ Tomatin Whiskey with notes of vanilla, stronger and sweeter than perhaps a more light and citrusy Lowland number.

Photo. I find this very funny when it happens. #pointlessumbrella.

Photo. At the Parish Church of St. Cuthbert with a cemetery surrounding. The headstones were cloaked in velvet green moss.

Photo. The Cemetery of the Parish Church of St. Cuthbert; high above is Edinburgh Castle.

Photo. View from the St. Cuthbert Cemetery and adjacent to the trains that run below Edinburgh Castle high above.

Photo. Walking along Prince’s Street, above Prince’s Street Gardens and in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle, this man carried an ancient egg-shell blue suitcase Matthew and I contended was as old as the last world war.

Photo. A Study in Motion; this little Terrier looks so smart in a Barbour chien’s blanket.

Photo. An orange beauty from Autumn’s harvest – Real Food Grocer. Hip hooray for organic shops.

Photo. The inspiring view of Edinburgh City from Calton Hill.

Photo. Rose made it down from Arthur’s Seat.

Photo. From the ruins of St. Anthony’s Chapel, you can look down to St. Margaret’s loch which is home to a variety of foul; particularly the swans are visible in the corner of this still.

Photo. Arthur’s Seat, jutting loftily into the sky; a mystical and healing hike.

Where have you traveled in the UK? In your opinion, what is your favorite place? Share with me in a comment below.

Dream, Travel, Explore,
Emily Rose

© by Emily Rose Reeder, est. 2012. All Rights Reserved

6 thoughts on “SCOTTISH SECRETS

  1. You beautifully describe every sight and smell–I feel like I'm there! Loved the photo of “Arthur's Seat.”
    God bless all your adventures.


  2. Dear Friend, Thank you for writing. I am so glad you enjoyed this, I so enjoyed writing it and putting together the photographs. Stay tuned. Oh, and if you write again, do tell us where you are writing from. Blessings, Rose


  3. Beautiful pictures and narrative. Edinburgh looks like an interesting place. Are you sure you are old enough to have that glass of whiskey in your hand little girl?


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