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Ideas for visitors to Craigwell Cottage, Edinburgh – www.2edinburgh.co.uk

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blogmanay, hogmanay, new yearIt’s been a while since I’ve written about spending New Year in Edinburgh – mainly because we’re usually booked well in advance.  However, guests who booked over 2 years ago have suddenly found they are no longer able to come to Edinburgh to see the New Year 2015 in.  So, if you’re thinking about whether to travel here for the Hogmanay and New Year celebrations, here are some ideas of things to do while you’re in Edinburgh.

  1. Bring your Christmas money and go shopping – arrive at Craigwell Cottage on the 27th and head for the shops.
  2. Visit Edinburgh Zoo – open every day of the year, so spend a day here and see the pandas.
  3. Go skating at St Andrew Square – new for 2014!
  4. Get wrapped up and join the Torchlight Procession on the 30th December.
  5. Rest up for the big night out – relax and enjoy a meal in one of Edinburgh’s cool bars – we like brunch at Hemma Bar (just a short walk from Craigwell Cottage).
  6. Head out to the Concert in the Gardens, the Keilidh or the Street Party – all three guaranteed to give you a view of the spectacular midnight fireworks from Edinburgh Castle.
  7. Make your way to the National Museum of Scotland to start your New Year’s Day journey – free event, discovering mystical and magical SCOT:LANDS
  8. Or, if you’re brave enough – head to South Queensferry on New Year’s Day for the Loony Dook (brrr!)
  9. Climb a city-centre hill – Arthur’s Seat, Calton Hill, or Salisbury Crags are all favourites
  10. Join in #Blogmanay – take photos of the city (as we did for #Blogmanay 2013/14), and add them to Instagram or Twitter using the tag to find others things to do around the city.

Craigwell Cottage is a city centre cottage with parking and wi-fi, sleeping 4 people in 2 bedrooms (one double, one twin).  We’re available from 27 December 2014 – 5 January 2015 from 5 nights (minimum) – full details of offers here.

 

 

 

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About the author: Susan McNaughton is a Director of the family-owned Sandcastle Holidays (Scotland) Ltd which operates two holiday properties in Scotland – Craigwell Cottage in Edinburgh and Sandcastle Cottage in Crail, Fife. She loves to welcome guests to Scotland and has lots of recommendations of wonderful places to visit, eat, relax and enjoy.

Apple blossom time at Dunbar's Close Garden

We really like the questions which have been chosen for April 2014′s #ScotlandHour, so we’re writing an article for our guests at Craigwell Cottage who may be interested in using our city centre cottage as a base for walking or other outdoor adventures in Edinburgh or around central Scotland.

Tell us what is your favourite walk & why? #Scotlandhour

We love city centre walking in Edinburgh because there are so many options, and plenty of opportunities for a coffee as you progress!

  • Walk the Moonwalk – a midnight marathon (and more) around the city of Edinburgh more…
  • A circuit of Arthur’s Seat more…
  • Walking the Water of Leith Walkway between Stockbridge and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art One and Two more…
  • Walking the John Muir Way more…
  • Walking the Fife Coastal Path more…
  • Walking across the Forth Road Bridge more…
  • Starting a pilgrimage to St Andrews more…

Eyes on the prize...#EdinBRA by Sandcastle

June 12, 2011 : iPhone 4 : f/f/2.8 : 1/310s : 77/20mm : ISO 80

What’s your best place to see the sunrise, or sunset, and why? #Scotlandhour

On Facebook! Our friends at Edinburgh Spotlight are often found posting photos of Edinburgh sunsets.  Dependent on the time of year, they’re either from Granton foreshore looking towards the Forth Bridges, or at Newhaven Harbour near the Lighthouse.  The Facebook page Real Edinburgh is another great one to follow for sunsets. We’ve added some ideas of places to see sunrises and sunsets to our Pinterest Board about Walks and Outdoor Activities.

Sunrises: Portobello Beach, Arthur’s Seat, Royal Mile (especially in winter)

Sunsets: Portobello Beach, Foreshore at Silverknowes, Newhaven Harbour, Forth Bridges from South Queensferry, Calton Hill

What resources do beginners need to take when walking? #Scotlandhour

Sensible shoes.  Walking in Edinburgh city centre will inevitably involve crossing cobblestoned roads as well as uneven pavements, and with the opportunity to head up Calton Hill or Arthur’s Seat always a temptation, it’s a good idea to have a good strong pair of walking shoes at all times.  Dress for the weather, and remember “four seasons in one day” was written with Scotland in mind.  Take a map or guide book, but when walking around the city, don’t forget to allow yourself to stray and discover.

Besides walking, what’s your favourite outdoor activity? #Scotlandhour

How about going to festivals and events such as:

How did they do that? #Blogmanay by Sandcastle

December 31, 2013 : DMC-FZ200 : f/2.8 : 1/5s : 4.5mm

Meet the fisherman #CrailFF by Sandcastle

June 16, 2013 : Canon EOS 350D DIGITAL : f/10 : 1/500s : 163.0mm : ISO 320

What gardens around the country are the real gems to see? #Scotlandhour

  • Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh more…
  • Get outdoors with Edinburgh Parks more…
  • Kyoto Friendship Garden at Lauriston Castle more…
  • Edinburgh Zoo – not just animals, but beautiful grounds too more…

Lauriston Castle, Edinburgh by Sandcastle

April 12, 2014 : iPhone 4 : f/2.8 : 1/1774s : 3.9mm : ISO 80

Share your pictures from around the country & where they were taken! #Scotlandhour

You’ll find us in many places sharing photographs from our journeys and visits around Scotland:

Blackness Castle with Ben Lomond in the distance by Sandcastle

April 15, 2014 : DMC-FZ200 : f/4 : 1/1300s : 24.8mm

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About the author: Susan McNaughton is a Director of the family-owned Sandcastle Holidays (Scotland) Ltd which operates two holiday properties in Scotland – Craigwell Cottage in Edinburgh and Sandcastle Cottage in Crail, Fife. She loves to welcome guests to Scotland and has lots of recommendations of wonderful places to visit, eat, relax and enjoy.

Edinburgh’s Pubs #ScotlandHour

in Edinburgh, Food & Drink

When you’re on holiday, visiting a local pub might be on the agenda, whether as a means of grabbing a quick refreshment on the way to do something else, or as a destination for an evening with friends or to listen to music.  The Twitter chat #ScotlandHour in March 2014 got us thinking about local pubs which we like to recommend to guests, or ones which our visitors have commented about in our visitors’ book.  There are hundreds of different types of pubs to choose from on a visit to Edinburgh, so here are some favourites for you.

Pubs with a View

We’re still trying to think up the best answer to this one – perhaps #ScotlandHour participants will be able to help us out.

What local pub would you direct an overseas visitor to, and why?

We’d send our visitors at Craigwell Cottage out to explore in the Canongate section of the Royal Mile, or to Holyrood Road where they can find plenty of different pubs to choose from.

Hemma Bar, Holyrood Road – read more or @HemmaBar.

Holyrood 9a, Holyrood Road – read more and on Facebook or @Holyrood9A

Canon’s Gait, Canongate – read more and on Facebook.

Kilderkin, Canongate – on Trip Advisor and Facebook.

The White Horse Bar, Canongate – on Facebook.

5 pubs near craigwell cottage

Or head further up the Royal Mile where there are plenty more to try:

pubs in the royal mile, Edinburgh

Pictured here are The Whiski Bar, Whistlebinkies, The Mitre and The Royal Mile – all on or near the Royal Mile as you walk up from the Canongate towards the central Royal Mile (High Street).

What makes a great pub – drinks, food, music, ambience?

We think the answer to this one lies more in the people you’re with – friends, acquaintances, pub quiz contestants.  We’ve recently been to Scran Salon at Hemma Bar and a Tweet Up for travel bloggers at The Antiquary in Stockbridge.

The Antiquary Edinburgh

 

What’s your favourite story about a pub in 140 characters or less?

Pubs with a story – so many to choose from in Edinburgh.  Here are a few we’ve picked out for personal and historical reasons:

  • The Spotted Dog pub in Leith, at 1 Burlington Street – above which my father was born in 1932.  I need to do some research about this to confirm the exact location of the pub.  At present this is just a family story.  It needs to be corroborated with facts, but the Edinburgh Room at the Central Library was not open on the day I went to do some research. More on our Pin.
  • The Oxford Bar, Rose Street, Edinburgh - featured in many current-day Rebus stories by Ian Rankin. Read more.
  • The Royal Oak, Infirmary Street, Edinburgh - a board there talks of the cellar levels below the pub where the morgue of the original Edinburgh Infirmary was positioned, and where Burke and Hare were rumoured to have carried out their gruesome trade.  Now more famous as a venue for Folk Music in Edinburgh, and the starting point of Rebus Tours with Colin Brown. Read more on the Pin.
  • The Rutherford Bar, Drummond Street, Edinburgh – the frontage remains but the bar does not, being an extension of a nearby Italian Restaurant.  Robert Louis Stevenson writes of having drunk in The Rutherford Bar, and a plaque nearby on the corner of Drummond Street has been erected for the encouragement of those who read it. See our Pin
  • Scott’s Bar on Rose Street, Edinburgh - where Susan and Sandy McNaughton first met. See our Pin.
  • Deacon Brodie, Lawnmarket, Royal Mile, Edinburgh – named after William Brodie who was a Deacon of the Guild of Wrights.  He had to turn to burglary to pay his debts, and was an inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson’s Jekyll and Hyde. See our Pin.
  • Milne’s Bar, Rose Street, Edinburgh - a meeting place for poets in 20th century Edinburgh. Read more on our Pin.

 

Name the pub that serves your favourite pub grub?

Our current favourite: Hemma Bar.  Close to Craigwell Cottage and a great line in comfort food just when we need it.

food at Hemma Bar, Holyrood

And for a holiday treat, try The Scran and Scallie in Stockbridge.  Fabulous food.

lunch at the Scran and Scallie

Share your favourite images of Scottish pubs

We’ve created a set of our favourite Edinburgh Pub photographs on Flickr.

You’ll also find our Craigwell Cottage Pinterest board about Edinburgh Pubs.

Have you a favourite Edinburgh pub you’ve discovered while visiting Edinburgh? Do let us know in the comments below.  We’re always on the look-out for the best places to send guests who are staying at Craigwell Cottage.

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About the author: Susan McNaughton is a Director of the family-owned Sandcastle Holidays (Scotland) Ltd which operates two holiday properties in Scotland – Craigwell Cottage in Edinburgh and Sandcastle Cottage in Crail, Fife. She loves to welcome guests to Scotland and has lots of recommendations of wonderful places to visit, eat, relax and enjoy.

We like to participate in the Edinburgh-centric Edinburgh Hour on Twitter  - it’s a good way to connect with others around the city and find out more about what’s going on.  If you’re thinking about visiting Edinburgh, it can be a good opportunity to find out more about local businesses and places to visit or events.  There’s a schedule for each month’s chat, and a theme with questions to keep the conversations flowing.  All you need to join in is to tag your Tweets #EdinHour.

In March 2014, the theme is Green Edinburgh, and we’ve been taking a look at some of our favourite green spaces in preparation for the chat.

Q1. Of Edinburgh’s many miles of traffic-free paths, which one’s best for a great day out, or just getting to work?

We like the Water of Leith Walkway, particularly the section between Stockbridge and the Gallery of Modern Art.

green spaces gallery modern art

From the city centre, it’s also pleasant to walk by the Union Canal from Fountain Park.

A walk by the canal, Edinburgh

Q2. How do you or your organisation reduce, reuse or recycle, what green measures have you taken?

We have a green policy for Craigwell Cottage, and Sandcastle Cottage in Crail.  We help guests by providing re-cycling facilities in the cottage as there is no collection from our historic building.

Q3. Which of Edinburgh’s 145 parks and many green spaces do you love for relaxing, frisbee throwing or finding a quiet corner to read?

We’ve chosen 5 which we’d recommend to our guests visiting Edinburgh:

Calton Hill

calton hill edinburgh

Holyrood Park

visiting holyrood park, edinburgh

Royal Botanic Garden

Glorious colours at the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh

Inverleith Park

Inverleith park

Princes Street Gardens

 Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh by 2edinburgh

Q4. Which environmental projects, big or small, have enhanced Edinburgh and what issues do we need to address in the future?

We were happy that the Twelve Monuments Project included repairing the Burns’ Monument on Regent Road as it sits above the garden of Nether Craigwell and we didn’t want it to fall down!

burns Monument edinburgh

 

We’re eager to see the High School Yards Steps off the Cowgate repaired as they provide a speedy route from the Cowgate up to The Dovecot Studios and the Stag Espresso Café there.  We also like the projects which take care of things like restoring street lights.

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About the author: Susan McNaughton is a Director of the family-owned Sandcastle Holidays (Scotland) Ltd which operates two holiday properties in Scotland – Craigwell Cottage in Edinburgh and Sandcastle Cottage in Crail, Fife. She loves to welcome guests to Scotland and has lots of recommendations of wonderful places to visit, eat, relax and enjoy.

A week in Edinburgh – July

in Craigwell Cottage, Edinburgh, Edinburgh Itineraries

Guests at Craigwell Cottage have left some wonderful stories in our guest book about the places they enjoyed visiting whilst staying at our city centre cottage.

things to do in Edinburgh

This very busy family packed a lot in to their week-long trip to Edinburgh in July.

  • Edinburgh Castle to hear the One O’Clock Gun
  • Princes Street Gardens
  • Museum of Childhood
  • National Museum of Scotland
  • Edinburgh Zoo
  • Cinema – Omni Centre
  • Open Top Bus Tour
  • Royal Botanic Garden
  • Climb Salisbury Crags
  • Camera Obscura
  • Watch Fudge being made
  • Have caricatures drawn (on the Royal Mile)

During their stay they found plenty of family-friendly restaurants and pubs

  • Foodies in Holyrood Road
  • Gusto in George Street
  • Lunch at Edinburgh Castle
  • The Filling Station, Royal Mile
  • Greyfriar’s Bobby Bar, Candlemaker Row
  • Jimmy Chung’s buffet, Waverley Bridge
  • Frankie and Benny’s at the Omni Centre, Greenside Place
  • Zanzero (now Café Moderne), Stockbridge
  • Pancho Villas, Royal Mile

Our guests were: A family group
Month of Stay: July
Travelled from: UK

If you’d like to book a weekly stay in Craigwell Cottage, hop over to 2edinburgh.co.uk to find out how.

 

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About the author: Susan McNaughton is a Director of the family-owned Sandcastle Holidays (Scotland) Ltd which operates two holiday properties in Scotland – Craigwell Cottage in Edinburgh and Sandcastle Cottage in Crail, Fife. She loves to welcome guests to Scotland and has lots of recommendations of wonderful places to visit, eat, relax and enjoy.

Edinburgh Farmers Market

If you’re lucky enough to be on a short-break in Edinburgh on a Saturday, you can stock up for a delicious meal at the Edinburgh Farmers’ Market. Held each week on Saturdays between 9 and 2 pm, you’ll be able to find plenty to tempt your tastebuds, or some delightful souvenirs to take home.

Even if you don’t feel like rustling up an meal while in residence at Craigwell Cottage, you can graze on prime local food at the market itself – breakfast on delicious baked goods, lunch on take-away prime Scottish buffalo burgers or  pork rolls, or open up some dressed crab and eat straight from the shell, as we saw some visitors do at this morning’s market.

Scotland has an abundant larder of top quality food, and you’ll find a wide variety on offer each week at the Farmers’ Market.  Check their Facebook page to find out who’ll be there each week.

We enjoyed making a quick lunch by following Andrew Fairlie’s recipe for Cullen Skink (buy smoked haddock and leeks at the market), with bread rolls – our choice this week was cheese swirls from The Engine Shed.

leeks haddock and cheese swirls

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About the author: Susan McNaughton is a Director of the family-owned Sandcastle Holidays (Scotland) Ltd which operates two holiday properties in Scotland – Craigwell Cottage in Edinburgh and Sandcastle Cottage in Crail, Fife. She loves to welcome guests to Scotland and has lots of recommendations of wonderful places to visit, eat, relax and enjoy.

January is a busy time for holiday home owners as people start to prepare their holiday plans for the year.  Some people book up a year or more in advance for popular times in Edinburgh, and for people who like to be here for one of our many Festivals, they’ve already been busy… booking August breaks as long ago as last August. Our New Year break for 2014/15 was booked almost 2 years ago!  Of course some people like to book last minute, so when we’re looking to help people make a decision about when they’d like to visit Edinburgh, we’re either focusing on a year ahead or the next few weeks.  We’re joining in the regular Twitter chat, #ScotlandHour on 29 January 2014 where the subject is Trip Planning and Coming Home to Scotland, so here are some ideas about reasons to visit Edinburgh all year round.

January

A great time of year for people looking to escape the extreme temperatures in parts of the southern hemisphere.  When we are hearing about 40˚C and more temperatures on the centre court at the Australian Open Tennis, we’re wrapping up for outdoors activities and welcoming guests from Australia and New Zealand who may be coming to Scotland to visit relatives, or to investigate their family tree.  Our guest blog post this month on the Embrace Scotland website shared a top tip for visiting the Scotland’s People Centre.  This month we’ve been enjoying walking on Salisbury Crags (which you can see from the window of Craigwell Cottage), and looking for ideas of places to enjoy a Burns Supper in Edinburgh.  We’ve also created a Pinterest board of Things to Do in January in Edinburgh.

February

People planning trips to Edinburgh in February may be coming to celebrate Valentine’s Day, or to enjoy Rugby at Murrayfield.  Great time to take a short break in Edinburgh.  Business travellers may also find self-catering a convenient alternative to a hotel stay (and there’s free Wi-Fi in Craigwell Cottage).  Check last minute availability.  We’re collecting ideas for Romantic Breaks in Edinburgh – any ideas to add?

March

By the time we reach March each year, people are planning short breaks to visit friends and relatives, to see the remainder of the Scottish International Rugby  series or simply to start to see the signs of spring arrive in Scotland’s Capital city.  If Easter’s early we’ll be busy with Easter weekend breaks too.  And there are always plenty of ideas for things to do if it rains!

April

The first of the big Edinburgh Festivals is in April each year – with something for all the family. The Edinburgh International Science Festival is a great reason to visit.  We’ve enjoyed being reviewers for the Science Festival in the past for Edinburgh Spotlight, and there’s lots going on for children at the Edinburgh City Art Centre which acts as the HQ.  Lovely time for walks in the Royal Botanic Gardens, and there’s also a celebration of the changing of the seasons as the Beltane Fire Festival takes place on Calton Hill and in the Royal Mile in Edinburgh.

May

Time for the Imaginate Festival, lots of bank holiday weekend breaks and the Edinburgh Marathon. A popular time to visit Edinburgh.  At the time of writing we only have one city break left at Craigwell Cottage in 2014 – check our last minute page for details.

June

A popular time for people to plan a weekly break in Edinburgh.  As Craigwell Cottage is only a short walk from Edinburgh’s main railway station, Waverley, people often use a stay here as a base to make trips further afield.  A favourite review from a Harry Potter fan who stayed at Craigwell Cottage in June a few years back showed just how much this family managed to see in a week’s stay here.

edinburgh itinerary

July 

In July we offer weekly breaks at Craigwell Cottage as it’s Scottish school holidays, and this allows us to be able to combine extra time with our own family while still offering holidays in Edinburgh.  This year, the Commonwealth Games is one of the big events which will be bringing visitors to Scotland, and the Royal Commonwealth Pool is the centre for the diving events.  In early July it’s also a time for us to say Edinburgh really is magic as the Edinburgh International Magic Festival  comes to town.  The Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival takes place during the second half of July.

August

Festivals galore! Edinburgh International Festival, Edinburgh Art Festival, the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Edinburgh International Book Festival and the Edinburgh Mela.  We’re celebrating! If you’re planning a trip to Edinburgh, and want to book self-catering accommodation, you need to be planning a year or more in advance – so think now for 2015 is our advice.

September

Having staged so many festivals during the month of August, visitors to Edinburgh in September can expect to find us bouncing back from the August excitement, and ready for short breaks or weekly stays again.  A great time to visit friends and family, or for families settling in students who come to study in Edinburgh.  Craigwell Cottage is nearest to the Moray House Campus of Edinburgh University, and within easy walking distance of Old College.  Could be a good time to find a last minute break if you don’t need school holiday dates.  During one of the September weekends, it will be Doors Open Days in Edinburgh too – a great opportunity to visit properties which may not always be open to the public.


 

October

School half-term holidays in October are often on different dates for different areas of the UK, so it can be a good time to book. As autumn sets in, a city break means you have plenty of options of things to do no matter what the weather. We love to visit the Royal Botanic Garden to see the trees turn to autumn colours, and have plenty of ideas for indoor activities too!  Time for museums, art galleries and visitor attractions.  October’s also the month for the International Storytelling Festival centred at the Scottish Storytelling Centre in Edinburgh’s Royal Mile. As the seasons change the Samhuinn Festival takes place on 31 October – Hallowe’en in Edinburgh.  We’ve a whole board of Dark Edinburgh ideas for you too!

November

For most people, shopping for Christmas takes priority during November.  Some people choose to visit Edinburgh as the Christmas decorations start to go up and we prepare for a month or more of winter Festivals.  To make the most of this, book breaks towards the end of November when the Christmas lights will be switched on, the Norwegian Christmas tree will go up on The Mound, and we all try to figure out just how they get that huge tree into Jenners!  Since 2011, Previously… Scotland’s History Festival has been growing in strength and the range of events which take place throughout the month of November.  It has enough literary events to form a book festival all of its own, and plenty of opportunities to do more research into your family history or find out more about a particular event in the history of Scotland.

December

Continue your Christmas shopping, visit friends and relatives, visit Edinburgh’s Christmas Markets, enjoy the events being staged for Edinburgh’s Christmas and prepare to bring in the New Year at Edinburgh’s Hogmanay.  We particularly enjoy the family events such as the Torchlight Parade. Plenty going on here during December!

We hope that this has given a flavour of the things to do and see in Edinburgh when you’re planning a trip here.  Get in touch when you’re ready! You’ll find more details on our Craigwell Cottage website.  Welcome to Edinburgh!

Craigwell Cottage website: 2edinburgh.co.uk

Craigwell Cottage on Facebook: Craigwell.Cottage.Edinburgh

Craigwell Cottage on Twitter: @2edinburgh

Craigwell Cottage on Pinterest: 2edinburgh

Craigwell Cottage on Instagram: 2edinburgh

Craigwell Cottage on Google+: https://plus.google.com/+2edinburghCoUk/posts

 

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About the author: Susan McNaughton is a Director of the family-owned Sandcastle Holidays (Scotland) Ltd which operates two holiday properties in Scotland – Craigwell Cottage in Edinburgh and Sandcastle Cottage in Crail, Fife. She loves to welcome guests to Scotland and has lots of recommendations of wonderful places to visit, eat, relax and enjoy.

Events from The List

0 comments

About the author: Susan McNaughton is a Director of the family-owned Sandcastle Holidays (Scotland) Ltd which operates two holiday properties in Scotland – Craigwell Cottage in Edinburgh and Sandcastle Cottage in Crail, Fife. She loves to welcome guests to Scotland and has lots of recommendations of wonderful places to visit, eat, relax and enjoy.

Edinburgh Old and New #EdinHour 8 Jan 2014

in Edinburgh, Short Breaks

As one of the hosts for the monthly Twitter chat, #EdinHour or Edinburgh Hour, I’d like to share a few ideas which we’ve come up with to answer the  January 2014 theme “Edinburgh Old and New”.

Q1. What tales of the “olden days” in Edinburgh have you heard?

One of our favourite gruesome tales to tell when looking out of the window of Craigwell Cottage is that of Queensberry House (which you can see from the window of our living room).  Legend has it that James Douglas, the lunatic Earl of Drumlanrig, escaped confinement to spit-roast and devour a kitchen boy on the night that his father, the First Duke of Queensberry was signing the Act of Union in 1707.

Q2. What do YOU remember of Edinburgh from earlier decades?

Glad to say I don’t remember any acts of cannibalism, but Craigwell Cottage can be remembered as a former brewery and then cash and carry warehouse before becoming a dwellinghouse back in 1987.

craigwell cottage old and new

Q3. How can we protect and showcase Edinburgh’s history but still compete and meet the needs of modern visitors?

By finding uses for old buildings which are sympathetic to their history, but adapted to modern comforts and living.  We’d also like to see progress which would redevelop the ugly gap site on Market Street which lies at the heart of the World Heritage site in Edinburgh’s Old Town.

Q4. How do you see, or would like to see, Edinburgh develop and change in the future?

Would really like to see the lower reaches of Calton Hill tidied up and made accessible for both residents and tourists.  Some of the routes between Calton Road and Regent Road could be beautiful considering the great views of the city to be had from there.

 

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About the author: Susan McNaughton is a Director of the family-owned Sandcastle Holidays (Scotland) Ltd which operates two holiday properties in Scotland – Craigwell Cottage in Edinburgh and Sandcastle Cottage in Crail, Fife. She loves to welcome guests to Scotland and has lots of recommendations of wonderful places to visit, eat, relax and enjoy.

When asked to provide “Tip from the Locals” for an accommodation website writing about things to do in Edinburgh in January, I thought long and hard about what to recommend.  Ideas sprang to mind, like the Turner Watercolours Exhibition, galleries, cafés to visit, museums and more.  Lots of indoor ideas as January can be a chilly month in the city.  But then my thoughts turned to the types of visitors we’ve had over the years at Craigwell Cottage, and I thought about the Australians and New Zealanders who come to visit Scotland at that time of year to escape the hot summers in their country, or to come “home” to discover the land of their parent’s or more distant relatives birth.

We’ll be welcoming lots of visitors to Scotland in 2014 who are coming to Scotland for many different reasons, but our January visitors tend to already have a link to the country and want to make connections to places where their ancestors have lived, or to find out more about vital links in their more distant past.  For this reason, my insider tip relates to Scotland’s People Centre – the combination of Register House and New Register House, which stand at the east end of Princes Street.  Outside there is a statue of the Duke of Wellington on his horse.

Register House Edinburgh

 

Inside, you can attend one of the familiarisation sessions to get you started on researching your family history, or if you have already started to build your family tree, you can access original documents which your ancestors have been required to submit when recording births, deaths and marriages.  You can do all sorts of research on-line with Scotland’s People records, but for me there is nothing quite like the feeling of seeing an original signature in the records and realising that the person in question actually touched and wrote on that paper.

My “insider tip” is that to the rear of Register House, accessed via path from the front of New Register House, there is a very special secret garden.  The garden is planted with more than 50 varieties of plants which have a story to tell and a relationship with Scotland.  The Archivist’s Garden is free to enter while the offices are open, and it’s well worth a visit as it’s a tranquil place amongst the hustle and bustle of the city centre.  Even on a December day when I visited there were sculptural forms of plants to enjoy.

Archivists Garden Edinburgh

We’d love to welcome you to Edinburgh in January – find out more about our family-friendly holiday home: Craigwell Cottage.  If you visit the Archivist’s Garden on your trip, let us know in the comments below.

0 comments

About the author: Susan McNaughton is a Director of the family-owned Sandcastle Holidays (Scotland) Ltd which operates two holiday properties in Scotland – Craigwell Cottage in Edinburgh and Sandcastle Cottage in Crail, Fife. She loves to welcome guests to Scotland and has lots of recommendations of wonderful places to visit, eat, relax and enjoy.