I’ve been to Edinburgh several times before, most recently for a conference in 2014, but R has never been. So we decided to take a long weekend there.

Calton Hill

Our hotel was very near the base of Calton Hill, so after leaving our bags we went up for a first look at it (and a first experience of walking up hills, which is a key skill for the Edinburgh tourist).

View across town from the path up.
1/500 at f8, 23mm, ISO200
Looking across to Salisbury Crags from the top.
1/250 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 55°57′14″N 3°10′51″W


On the way to a restaurant, we went into town and across the bridge by the railway station.

Looking down from part of the higher-level street.
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The railway station on our return.
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Edinburgh Castle

On Saturday morning we visited Edinburgh Castle. We took the tram a stop further than necessary and walked back around Castle Rock.

Looking up the Rock at the castle walls.
1/500 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 55°56′50″N 3°12′4″W
Purple pipe below the castle.
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The actual castle has a lot of buildings, mostly Victorian, hosting various museums. We followed a guided tour then looked into as many of the more interesting parts as we could.

Statue in the sunlight.
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Window (I think in an old cell block).
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Iron bars.
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1/30 at f2.8, 23mm, ISO800 55°56′55″N 3°12′0″W
Cannon aimed at tourists below. Cathedral to right, Calton Hill to left.
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Arthur’s Seat

Our afternoon plan was to climb Arthur’s Seat, a popular hill (or as R would have it, mountain) near the centre of Edinburgh. It’s easy to climb although the route is sometimes a little steep.

Gorse beside the path uphill; ruined St. Anthony’s Chapel in background.
1/250 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 55°56′59″N 3°9′42″W
Looking back along the stepped path at the view out over the Firth.
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1/250 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 55°56′45″N 3°9′41″W

R waited a little short of the top while I climbed the last bit.

View over the city from the top. (With crow.)
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Rocks on the way down.
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Small tree at ground level.
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Nice lamp-post on the way to our hotel.
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We spent Sunday morning at the National Museum of Scotland (there’s actually two museums joined into each other).

View of station again, with blue buses behind.
1/500 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 55°57′7″N 3°11′18″W
Alley on the way to the museum.
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Sloping lane.
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Side of building.
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There's a rooftop terrace you can visit.

Steps to the roof.
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View from roof through concrete frame.
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Another view of Salisbury Crags.
1/1000 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 55°56′48″N 3°11′24″W

Water of Leith

For the afternoon, we followed the path beside the Water of Leith from the city to Leith docks.

Water (not of Leith) running down the side of a building.
1/500 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 55°57′1″N 3°12′32″W
Cute buildings painted yellow.
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View from bridge over the Water of Leith.
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Another bridge (with railing).
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Same bridge (without railing).
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St Bernard’s Well, by the river.
1/500 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 55°57′20″N 3°12′41″W
Gateway taking riverside path under a bridge.
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Pleasantly bulbous bridge.
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Pipe bridge.
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Flood defence gate.
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Powderhall Waste Transfer Station.
1/500 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 55°58′2″N 3°11′29″W
And one of the trains it loads waste onto.
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Tall brick sewer vent.
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Nice old building.
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Water of Leith, house, road cones.
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Multicoloured window sills and washing.
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Leaving the river, the path followed the route of a disused railway into Leith.

Road bridge over the footpath (1).
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Road bridge over the footpath (2).
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Leith itself has various buildings relating to use as a port.

Graffiti made positive?
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Tall windows of an engineering firm on Timber Bush.
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Victoria Swing Bridge.
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Alexandra Dry Dock Hydraulic Station (which used to power the swing bridge).
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View of dock and ships.
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Imperial Dock grain elevator.
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Another view of the dock.
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Calton Hill

On Monday morning, we walked up Calton Hill again.

View toward where we stayed. Island in background is Inchkeith.
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One of the silly buildings on Calton Hill.
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Inchkeith again, through the building.
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Observatory buildings.
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Observatory gate (nice lettering).
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Our reflection, with railings.
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Dugald Stewart was a philospher and mathematician.
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Rock House, below the hill.
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Town and cathedral

We walked back to the end of the Royal Mile and visited the cathedral before heading to the station and our train home.

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Cathedral roof (1).
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Cathedral sunlight.
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Cathedral roof (2).
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Tat shop near castle. (The state of their UK flag may be a metaphor?)
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Roofs near castle.
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Cathedral window and banner.
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1/250 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 55°57′0″N 3°11′17″W
Scotsman steps.
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At bottom of steps by station entrance.
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We then got a train which was supposed to take us home but gave up at Carlisle along with the rest of the railway line. But we did eventually make it back, a couple of hours late.

All images © Samuel Marshall. All rights reserved.