The Royal Mile, Edinburgh – 3
Somewhat incidental places to see on the Royal Mile.
GLADSTONE’S LAND is a surviving 17th century high tenement situated in the Lawnmarket part of The Royal Mile. It has been restored and furnixhed by The National Trust for Scotland. It is open to the public and well worth a visit. The whole building is not available for the tour. The attendants work mainly voluntarily and are well informed.
Beside the Palace of Holyrood is THE QUEEN’S GALLERY. Generally they have a fine exhibition which stagggers me to understand what a collection Her Majesty owns when I see the scope and breadth of these exhibitions. The space for the gallery is very fine and not too huge, Sometimes that can be a blessing for all but the most intense tourist. You can buy a joint ticket for both the Gallery and the Palace. One of my favourite parts of the Palace is the ruins of the Abbey of the Holy Rood. It sits in magnificent gardens.
Close to John Knox’ house is the SCOTTISH STORY TELLING CENTRE where you can relax with your kids and drink either a calming or enervating something along with a biscuit or sandwich. You can buy a ticket for a tour of John Knox’ house in this same place.
Across the way from the Queen’s Gallery is the curious building which houses THE SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT. I liked going into the debating chamber as there is plenty of room for all and seems to me to support the idea of Scottish democracy – there is a saying “We’re all Jocck Tamson’s bairns – meaning we are all equal with one another.
If you have been lazing and sitting about too much, you can make yourself feel better by climbing ARTHUR’S SEAT or SALISBURY CRAGS. The view at the top is wonderful in 360 degrees. On a sunny daay (yes, we do have some ! ) it can be really exhilarating – just don’t stand too close to the edge of the crags as it is a long way down !
OK so now you have climbed the Crags and need another wee libation. You can find more than one delightful Victorian pub for a thirst quenching something and nowadays most have an interesting menu of Pub Grub. One of these is THE DEACON BRODIE named after an historic person. He was a real special character – a pillar of the community by day and a highwayman at night.
If you can still move yourself go up to near the castle and into the CAMERA OBSCURA which allows you, through the miracle of past science, to see a panorama of the whole city. This is greatly entertaining for kids of all ages and intellects.