Bookshops of Edinburgh

Both of us like wandering old book stores, which have become hard to find in Toronto. Edinburgh still has many, though, so we made a point to seek them out.

Edinburgh Books Basement

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Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle

We were undecided on whether to visit Edinburgh Castle, but in the end, I  booked tickets because I had fond memories of wandering around it years ago. Unfortunately this time was different, as every inch was rammed with people. There was no escape from the crowds.

In the end, Josie’s photo of the towering castle as seen from the Grassmarket  down below was far more impressive. And free.

Leith Walk Apartment

We’re staying at an Airbnb just off the Leith Walk, roughly halfway between central Edinburgh and the Leith Shore.

Airbnb ViewLeith has traditionally been an area of industry and shipbuilding. After WWII the area fell on hard times, and later became famous as the setting for the Trainspotting novel and movie. Leith has now heavily gentrified but still maintains some character.

Our Airbnb is in the top floor of a former tenement building, with view looking south to Calton Hill… and directly down onto a Lumber Yard, which starts operating forklifts at 8am.

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Calton Hill

Any view east down Princes Street from the center of Edinburgh terminates with Calton Hill. At just over 100 metres in height, it can be climbed with modest effort and provides nice views of the city.

Calton Hill
Calton Hill from our Window

Not content to simply enjoy the natural views, Edinburghers of the past built numerous monuments on the hill. The Dugal Stewart Monument was built in 1831 to honour a Scottish philosopher.

The Dugald Stewart Monument
The Dugald Stewart Monument

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Greyfriars Kirkyard

Greyfriars Kirkyard is a well-known graveyard in Edinburgh’s Old Town. It’s been a burial place for prominent people since the 16th century, and it is a creepy yet atmospheric place to wander.


Recently, the kirkyard’s association with Harry Potter has brought in many new visitors.

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Arrival in Edinburgh

Scott Monument on Princes Street

We timed our visit to Edinburgh well, escaping Toronto’s heat just as it exceeded 30C for the first time this year. The much cooler and windier Scottish weather is a bit of a shock, though.

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