A taste of Scotland at the Scotch Whisky Experience

A taste of Scotland at the Scotch Whisky Experience

On a night in December 2014 when the weather outside was frightful, I was delighted to be welcomed to the Scotch Whisky Experience, along with a group of travel bloggers for the Edinburgh Travel TweetUp (#EdinTravTweetUp).  The team there made us all very welcome, and had a few surprises for us as they prepared for the 2015 Year of Food and Drink.

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Bring in the New Year in Edinburgh #blogmanay

Bring in the New Year in Edinburgh #blogmanay

It’s been a while since I’ve written about spending New Year in Edinburgh – mainly because we’re usually booked well in advance.  We’re all booked up again this year, so don’t delay if you’re looking to bring in 2016 in Edinburgh.

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Robert Louis Stevenson Day – 13 November 2013

Since the first “Previously…Scotland’s History Festival”, the number and range of events being staged to market Robert Louis Stevenson Day has been growing, and this year the events take many forms – from a morning walk to Swanston, to readings of his poetry for children, to afternoon tea and an hour of lively discussion.  My personal choice of events would be to go on the walk at 10:30; followed by a visit to the Writers’ Museum at 2 pm; then a quick sprint downhill to 17 Heriot Row for Afternoon Tea and a Talk; with the day being rounded off by the discussion at the Royal College of Physicians at 7 pm.

This is of course, just the beginning of an extravaganza of exploration into Scotland’s History – what events will you be going along to?

former home of Robert Louis Stevenson

The door to 17 Heriot Row, Edinburgh

Read more: Events for Robert Louis Stevenson Day

Scotland’s History Festival: Previously…

We’d love to welcome you to Craigwell Cottage if you’d like to spend a short break in Edinburgh during November – an ideal time to come as the city gets ready to celebrate the festive season, with Light Night being on 24 November this year.

Nigel Planer and Ian Rankin at the 2011 History Festival

Nigel Planer and Ian Rankin at the 2011 History Festival

The great indoors – #ScotlandHour November 2013

Wild winds in Edinburgh

Autumn breezes in Edinburgh

This month’s #ScotlandHourTwitter chat is about the Great Indoors: Visitor Attractions & Museums – and of course, a Hallowe’en special.

As the weather turned wild and windy on Sunday during our weekend walk through Inverleith Park after a trip to the Royal Botanic Gardens, we thought “The Great Indoors” was indeed a good theme!

Ideas for the great indoors if you’re heading for a short break in Edinburgh:

  1. Within a mile of Craigwell Cottage, there are so many visitor attractions you can walk to.  In our research for #ScotlandHour, we took a look at the ASVA Website which has a list of Scottish Visitor Attractions which you can search by location.  There were more than 20 within a mile of EH8 8DR  (our postcode).
  2. As the seasons change, there are fabulous opportunities to take advantage of sunny spells in the weather for walks around the city.  The Royal Botanic Gardens has several cafés on-site, which means you can pop indoors, or steam gently in the giant glasshouses while sheltering from the elements.
  3. Find a pub with a cosy fire and enjoy being indoors after your bracing walk.  We found at warm fire and a warm welcome at the Blue Goose Country Pub (opposite the Water of Leith Visitor Centre).  We’re on the lookout for more to recommend.
  4. Sample some real hot chocolate at The Cocoa Tree in Bruntsfield.
  5. Spend a day exploring the National Galleries on the mound and have refreshments at The Scottish Café – a whole day and no need to go outdoors as you walk between the Scottish National Gallery and The Royal Scottish Academy via the Hawthornden Link.

What are your favourite recommendations for visitors to spend time indoors in Edinburgh?

 

 

5 things to do near Craigwell Cottage, Edinburgh

5 things to do near Craigwell Cottage, Edinburgh

When you’re staying in a city centre cottage, in the heart of Edinburgh’s historic Old Town, there’s so much to do within a few hundred yards of your front door.  Here is a quick selection for you to try

  1. Visit the Scottish Parliament
  2. Visit the Queen’s Gallery
  3. Visit the Palace of HolyroodHouse
  4. Visit Dynamic Earth
  5. Visit the Museum of Edinburgh

Where do you like to visit around the Canongate section of the Royal Mile?

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Exhibition – new art from Edinburgh gravestones

It was with interest that I read this article on the local STV website this evening, about an Artist bringing life to Edinburgh’s Decaying Cemeteries, as it announced that there would be a photographic exhibition opening soon. Sleep: Historic Cemeteries of Scotland by Bob Reinhardt runs from July 30 to September 1 at Edinburgh Central Library.

Detail from Gravestone in Dean Cemetery

Detail from Gravestone in Dean Cemetery

Gravestones are not only a monument to lives gone, but in their state of decay a source of inspiration for artists, such as Frieda Oxenham whose explorations of graveyards have  influenced her quilting.  I found out about her work as she’s a contributor to blipfoto, the daily photo blog, and this has led me to spend much time looking at the inspirations she has used for her beautiful quilts.

Craigwell Cottage is situated near to Calton Cemetery (just off Waterloo Place), and next to New Calton Cemetery (entrance via Regent Road), both of which can be interesting places to visit and explore the history of Edinburgh’s people, and maybe to inspire you to find out more about your Scottish ancestry – or, like Bob Reinhardt, or Frieda Oxenham, to be inspired by the shapes and patterns of the old stones.

To walk from Craigwell Cottage to Edinburgh City Library for the Exhibition, access the Royal Mile at the Canongate via Campbell’s Close; turn right (uphill) and stay on the Royal Mile until you reach the junction with Lawnmarket/George IV Bridge.  Turn left along George IV Bridge, and the Central Library is on the right after you cross Victoria Street.