Showing posts from September, 2016

Little-Known Places - Doors Open Day: Botanic Cottage, Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh

Although I've never gone to one, in recent years I've become aware of the Open House London event where various, often not usually open to the public, places throw their doors open for a weekend for visitors to take a look. What I hadn't appreciated was that this concept has spread to cities across the world and that there's a similar event, called Doors Open Day, across Scotland throughout September. Even better, this last weekend Edinburgh was one of the locations taking part.

I only found out about this a few days before so the website listing all the places open over the weekend was extensive by that point, where to begin? I decided to whittle down the search by sticking to places that were easily accessible and those hopefully not so likely to be incredibly popular and therefore busy. Lastly, although everywhere is free to enter, that's the idea that you get to see places you can't normally or else would usually have to pay for, some places (popular ones) d…

Little-Known Places - Calton Hill, Edinburgh

On previous visits to Edinburgh I remember seeing what, to me, looked like a version of the Parthenon in Athens as well as other monuments and what also reminded me of a small temple overlooking the city but I couldn't exactly tell you where these were. Well I now know that they are in a park called Calton Hill which we decided to walk to and around one Sunday. Like much of Edinburgh it's up a pretty steep hill but it's well worth it and we were blessed with some fantastic weather that day, so good that I even got to top up my fading Singapore tan just a little.

Calton Hill is one of Edinburgh's main hills right in the city centre. It was formed by violent volcanic activity 340 million years ago and then further shaped by glaciers during the Ice Age. Records for the area show that in 1456 James II granted land by charter to Edinburgh which included this area of the city. With this charter James II granted the community of Edinburgh this area for performing tournaments, …

A Road Trip from Kent to Edinburgh with our Cat

As most of you reading this will no doubt know it's been the plan for the past three months for me and our cat to join my husband, who was already living and working there, up in Edinburgh. Last week I finished my short term contract and the time came for our road trip and big move north.
Back when we were first thinking and planning this we decided for a few reasons that trying to drive all the way from Kent to Edinburgh in one day may be a little foolhardy. Primarily precisely because we would have a generally, very vocal in the car, cat with us. But then came the dilemma of where to stay overnight. I was no expert at all but have always had the impression this is a great deal easier to do if you're travelling with a dog. Places seem to be a lot more tolerant of dogs and, I guess, it's a lot more common for people to travel with their dogs. However, I reasoned that we couldn't be the first people to need to do this for some reason and there must be options. I asked ar…