Monday, 26 August 2013
Scotland 2013 - #6 - Edinburgh - secret places off the Royal Mile
As you wander down Edinburgh's Royal Mile from the Castle to Holyrood Palace the sides of the road are lined with old buildings several stories high with narrow alleys running between them.
At first these entry-ways may not look very enticing but venture down a few as I did and all sorts of surprises can be found.
You can, of course, go on a guided tour - there are several on offer and you'll learn all about the history of the area (hubby and daughter sampled the Ghost and Torture tour a while ago) - but I prefer to wander around on my own and discover things by accident.
Some alleys lead down to court-yards with curious buildings hidden there. I rather wish I could have gone inside this one to explore the strange staircase. A neighbouring building was open to the public, being used as an exhibition space for a group of crafts-people, so I could have a peep inside that with its amazing plaster ceilings - but didn't take photographs.
Some give you a glimpse of Edinburgh's historic high-rise dwelling.
Others lead to quiet spots more reminiscent of a village than a city centre.
and some have gardens hidden behind those towering buildings.
This was my favourite though - Dunbar's Close.
Through the short tunnel, I was amazed to find a wonderfully peaceful garden with flowers, herbs and fruit trees