Stockbridge

Stockbridge, much like nearby Dean Village, is a former suburb of Edinburgh that was long ago incorporated into the city. Though only a short walk from the city core, it maintains a distinctive vibe as an upscale neighbourhood filled with boutiques and cafes.

Stockbridge — Circus Lane
Stockbridge — Circus Lane

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Scottish National Gallery

The Scottish National Gallery is located within the Princes Street Gardens. Opened in 1859 in an imposing neoclassical building, the gallery houses an excellent collection of paintings by “Old Masters,” including many that relate to Scottish history. Admission is free.

Gary Outside the Scottish National Gallery
Gary Outside the Scottish National Gallery

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Rest and Be Thankful

Another stop on our Highland tour was the Rest and Be Thankful pass, which  provides beautiful views of Glen Croe.

Rest and Be ThankfulThe adjoining road (now the A83) was built by the General George Wade in the 1700’s, after the subjugation of Scotland by the British. As his soldiers marched the many miles to Western Scotland, they would rest here.

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Highland Castles

On our day tour of the Western Highlands we stopped at numerous lochs and castles.

Doune Castle Exterior
Doune Castle

Doune Castle was a medieval stronghold near the village of Doune. It was constructed in the 1300’s by Robert Stewart, the Duke of Albany. Various movies and TV shows have filmed here including Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Game of Thrones and Outlander.

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Inveraray

We escaped the city for a day and took a bus tour to see a small portion of the Western Highlands. One of our stops was the small town of Inveraray (pop. 600) on Loch Fyne.

Gary on the BeachMuch of what remains of the town today was laid out in the late 1700’s as the first planned Georgian town in Scotland

Main Street and Parish Church
Main Street and Parish Church

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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.

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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