First off here is the link to Part 1:
Sunday 10th December
Unfortunately we weren’t up in time to see the Great Santa Run but we did see a few of the runners walking around in their Santa outfits as we made our way down to Princes Street. We had a quick look at some of the Christmas Market stalls but decided to come back later as we wanted to go to Carlton Hill whilst the weather was Ok. Talking of the weather, it was cloudier and windier than the Saturday but it stayed dry for most of the day.
The walk up to the top of Carlton Hill wasn’t that bad as there are stairs but there is a winding path for those who want to take that route. We wandered around at the top, battling the wind, viewing the many monuments up there and admiring the views of Edinburgh. You can also go to the top of the Nelson Monument if you wish but we passed on this.
Back down at street level, we headed into the Old Carlton cemetery where I spotted a statue of Abraham Lincoln which, upon further investigation, is a memorial to Scottish American soldiers and is apparently the only American Civil War memorial outside of the USA (you can read more about this at http://www.americancivilwar.org.uk/news_edinburghs-civil-war-memorial_12.htm). We wandered around here looking at the old tombs and memorials.
After this, we walked around for a bit and found ourselves on George Street. There is a tradition when my friend and I travel and that is we try and go to the Hard Rock Café if the city we’re in has one. Well, there’s one in Edinburgh on George Street and as it was about 1.30 we popped in for lunch,
Fully fed, we headed down to Prince Street Gardens where they had wig wams set up for the kids and had reindeer as well by the children’s playground. Also at this end of the Gardens, you get a good view of the back of St Cuthbert’s church which is where we headed next to have a look around a graveyard, again, passing St John’s church on the way.
There was an interesting spire down Shandwick Place so we wandered down to have a quick look, the church being St George’s West. Also just past the church was some lovely Georgian houses (well I think their Georgian) on Coales Crescent and Atholl Crescent which were on opposite sides of Shandwick Place.
We wondered around some of the nearby streets and then found ourselves on Rose Street which seemed to have a pub every few yards. Well, we took this as a sign and the first pub that took our fancy was The Kenilworth where we had a pint of Isle of Skye. This is a lovely little pub with a central bar and tiles on the walls.
When we left here, it was just after 4 so we went to find a pub showing the English football. Wandering along Rose Street, we went into Robertsons who were showing the Chelsea v Arsenal game. This is a small pub (as most of the pubs we went into seem to be) and we managed to get a seat at the back of the pub with a view of the TV. 2 pints of Belhaven Best later and we were ready to move on.
The idea was to go and have a look at the Christmas Market but then we walked by the Abbortford on Rose Street and this looked just too interesting a pub just to walk by. A great central bar with plenty of room to sit around and it also had a fire going so that added to the atmosphere. We were only going to stay here for one but they had 2 beers on that we hadn’t tried yet so we ended up having 2 pints. The 2 beers were An Teallach Ale and Goldie Hops.
We now thought it would be a good time to go and spend some time wandering around the Christmas Market thinking it would be quite good at night. However, it closes early on a Sunday and we were too late. Well, the only thing to do was to hit another bar so we headed off towards Victoria Street where we stopped off at the Bow Bar for a pint of Dent Brewery Aviation Ale. This bar has about 7 or 8 beers, most of them guest beers, and it would be great to get there early and have a good session. However, on a Sunday night it was very quiet and we wanted to try one of the other pubs on Grassmarket.
We walked along Grassmarket and finally settled in The White Hart where they has a singer to provide some entertainment with his Scottish folk songs. He was actually quite good and the pub soon filled up. Luckily we had already claimed our seats at the bar where we had a pint of Santa’s Little Helper. I then went onto the Guinness for the last pint of the night (it’s those Irish roots of mine) whilst my friend stayed with Santa’s Little Helper.
All that remained was to stop off at the chippie on Grassmarket for a very late dinner and then it was back to the hotel. Our flight was leaving at 11.30am on Monday so there wasn’t any time for any further sightseeing. That will have to wait for my next trip.
The link below will take you to the photos from this day.