Travel to Scotland

Day 8 Forth Road - Edinburgh (Calton Hill, Princes Street, Royal Mile) (106 Km.)

(in 80 km.) Forth Road: We stop at Queensferry to admire the Forth Road and Forth bridges. The Forth Road Bridge is a freeway suspension bridge over the Forth Fjord. The bridge was built between 1958 and 1964 and was at that time the largest bridge of its kind in Europe. It has a length of 2.5 kilometers and links the towns of North Queensferry and South Queensferry. A few meters away is the Forth Bridge, a rail bridge in a corbel of several arcades that crosses the Firth of Forth. On July 5, 2015 it was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco. The bridge is considered, even today, as a masterpiece of engineering. It is 2.5 km long, and its double railway track rises to 46 m above the maximum water level.

Forth bridge

Forth bridge

(in 16 km.) Edinburgh: We started the Edinburgh tour by the hill of Calton Hill. From this hill you have very good views of the city. In Calton Hill we find the most important buildings of the Scottish government, like the House of Saint Andrew, and the Scottish Parliament. The hill also includes several monuments and emblematic buildings such as the National Monument based on the Parthenon of Athens and dedicated to the Scottish soldiers and sailors who died fighting in the Napoleonic Wars, the Monument of Nelson, 32 meters high dedicated to memory of Vice Admiral Horatio Lord Vizcount Nelson, and of the great victory of Trafalgar, the Dugald Stewart Monument, the New Parliament (Royal High School), the Political Monument to the Martyrs and the Observatory of the city.

Calton Hill

Calton Hill

We descend from Calton Hill in the direction of Princess street, one of the main streets of the city. After crossing the North bridge we will find on the left the luxurious hotel Balmoral. A little further on we will find the Princes Street Gardens, a public park created in the 1820s after the drainage of the old Nor Loch. The gardens are decorated with many statues and monuments, especially on the strip that borders the south of Princes Street. The most outstanding of them is the one that is known like Scott Monument, constructed in 1844 in honor of the writer Walter Scott, next to which we found a Festival wheel of 33 meters of height. In the east area of the gardens there are also statues dedicated to David Livingstone. In the western zone there are statues erected in honor of Allan Ramsay, Thomas Guthrie and James Young Simpson and other monuments, such as the Ross Fountain and the music kiosk, the Scottish Memorial of the American War and a floral clock.

Princes Street Gardens

Princes Street Gardens

After the gardens we find the neoclassical building of the National Gallery of Scotland. The gallery exhibits the most important collection of paintings and sculptures in Scotland. The works range from the Renaissance to post-impressionism, while later collections are exhibited in a separate museum. At the end of Princess street we find St Johns Church. At this point we go around the hill of Edinburgh Castle until we reach Grassmarket, a lively square full of lively pubs. Formerly it was a traditional place of public executions. A memorial near the site that formerly occupied the gibbet was created in 1937. We continue on the left ascending the curve of W Bow Street and Victoria Street, full of colorful shops, including one dedicated to Harry Potter items.

Scott Monument

Scott Monument

Victoria Street ends in front of the National Library of Scotland, from which we turn a few meters to the left to find the High Court building (former Parliament of Scotland) and the most famous street in the city, the Royal Mile. Along the Royal Mile, which is 1.8 km long or a Scottish mile, there are four areas or districts: Castlehill, Lawnmarket, High Street and Canongate, which link Edinburgh Castle, on the upper part, and the Palace of Holyroodhouse. The Royal Mile is the main attraction of the old city (Old Town). The first section we travel is the High Street, with buildings as emblematic as the Cathedral of St. Giles, the visit of which we leave for the next day. The central focus of the Royal Mile is the intersection with the North Bridge to Princes Street and to the right with thr South Bridge.

W Bow and Victoria street

W Bow and Victoria street

Beyond this crossing continues the area called Canongate, with the Moray house (now the School of Education of the University of Edinburgh), the old prison of Canongate (now a museum of social history called: The People's Story and the Canongate Kirk (the parish church of the Canongate). Near the end of the Royal Mile, on the left, is another of the most interesting alleys, the White Horse Close, famous among other things for the inn where the whiskey of the brand "Whitehorse" began to be made. After leaving White Horse Close, just across the street, we find the modern building, built in 2004, which houses the Scottish Parliament.

Royal Mile

Royal Mile

(in 10 km.) Edinburgh Park: Due to the Edinburgh Festival the prices of the hotels were very expensives, which is why we went to stay at a hotel located on the outskirts of the city. Moving around the city was also complicated because during the Festival many of the streets are cut off from traffic.