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My Top 5 Favorite Places in Edinburgh

I was fortunate to get to take a research trip to Edinburgh, Scotland, in September and I enjoyed every minute of it. Here, in no particular order, are five of my favorite places to visit. There were actually several more I wanted to add to the list, but I had to restrain myself.

The Scott Monument, in Princes Street Gardens, is a memorial to Sir Walter Scott and is the largest built for an author in the world. Completed in 1844, the Gothic structure is an icon and easily recognized in the Edinburgh skyline. Maybe I'm a glutton for punishment but I was thrilled to get the opportunity to climb all 288 steps to the top of the 200 foot structure. The views out over the city are spectacular (and not for those who are afraid of heights). The monument is covered in the most interesting statuary, representing many of Scott's characters, sixty-eight in total, along with representations of other authors, poets, kings and queens. The largest and most prominent statue is of Sir Walter Scott and his beloved dog.

Edinburgh Castle is one of Scotland's most beloved and popular landmarks. The crown jewels of Scotland, called the Honours, reside here. The oldest building in Edinburgh, the beautiful and serene St. Margaret's Chapel (built around 1130), is located here. The castle's medieval great hall (completed in 1511) is incredibly impressive with its collection of historic weaponry and exquisite wooden roof. It's easy to spend all day here exploring the many buildings and rooms. This is a fantastic place for historical research.

Craigmillar Castle is a hidden gem on the outskirts of Edinburgh. Since I visited in September, this castle has become well-known as a filming location for the TV series Outlander. Hardly anyone was there when we visited, but the castle is fantastic! It is, for the most part, a well-preserved ruin and contains lots of rooms, nooks and crannies to explore. Fantastic for research and I loved climbing to the battlements and checking out the views over the countryside. We could see Edinburgh Castle in the distance. Another thing that made it extra special was that I got to visit it on my birthday.

St. Giles Cathedral, aka the High Kirk of Edinburgh, is located on Royal Mile a short distance down from Edinburgh Castle. This is the main place of worship for the Church of Scotland in Edinburgh. Saint Giles is the patron saint of Edinburgh and was a popular saint during medieval times. The present church dates from the 1300s but was restored in the 1800s. The vaulted ceilings and the stained glass windows are stunningly beautiful. This church has a serene, calm and peaceful feeling.

Arthur's Seat is one reason I want to go back to Edinburgh. I didn't get to hike it this time, or ever. Several trails lead to the top, which is 800 feet above sea level. It's about a mile walk up at a steep incline… probably a strenuous hike for anyone who isn't terribly athletic. I'll have to get in good shape for that one. I understand there are amazing views of the city and the sea from the top. The site is interesting because it's an extinct volcano, surrounded by nature, surrounded by the city. Some say the name came from a legend that this area used to be Camelot. Others say it's from a Gaelic phrase. Either way, it's on my list of must-explore places in Scotland.

Thanks for checking out my blog post!

Find a couple of these pics plus more in my Scotland 2018 calendar. I took the photos in Scotland in 2017 and 2015. The calendar contains holidays for the UK, UK and Canada.


Highlander Entangled: Lady Kristina MacQueen suffered devastating injuries at the hands of a ruthless Highland chief, Blackburn MacCromar. Two years later, he kidnaps her for a journey across the chilly, windblown Scottish Highlands to flush out her sister, Anna—the woman Blackburn forced to wed him. Red Holme, Blackburn's second-in-command, is equally brutal and determined to possess Kristina. A Highland warrior and future chief, Colin Cameron has no intention of becoming entangled in the whims of another highborn lady. However, upon witnessing Lady Kristina being held hostage by the enemy, a knife to her throat, he resolves to rescue her and bring her to safety. When Red Holme sees Colin Cameron, he recognizes his enemy from a decade earlier and craves revenge even more than he lusts for the lady. But he is determined to have both. Colin is the most charismatic and heroic man Kristina has ever met, and he awakens her woman's instincts. He might be her only chance to experience a brief moment of passion. Even so, she holds no illusions about marriage, for no worthy man will find her blindness and scars appealing, or see them as beneficial traits in a wife. But she can't see how he looks at her. Though Colin has sworn to never fall in love again, he cannot defend his heart against the strong, spirited and lovely lass who is like none other he has ever met.

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