Another bright sunny morning, we checked out of our hotel and enjoyed a full Scottish breakfast in The Standing Order pub once again. We then strolled down the steep hills to Edinburgh’s new town. We passed along Dundas Street, Moray Place and India Street on our way to Edinburgh’s delightful district of Stockbridge made famous by the author Alexander McCall Smith in his ’44 Scotland Street’ and ‘Isabel Dalhousie Sunday Philosophy Club’ books based in this beautiful city.
McCall Smith’s style of writing beautifully portrays life in this genteel part of the city. He is perhaps most famous for his ‘No.1 Ladies Detective Agency’ series but for me, his Scottish stories are my firm favourites. I wonder if many readers of this blog also share my love of his books, I would be very interested to find out!
Our first stop was a visit to the Sunday morning Stockbridge market, a feast of locally produced food, it’s always well supported and on this cold, sunny morning it was bustling with activity. At the far end of the village stands the magnificent Fettes College.
This school was founded in 1870 taking both boarders and day pupils. Originally a boys school, it has also catered for girls since 1970. We continued wandering through the neighbourhood, pausing frequently to look around the interesting small, independent shops and later enjoying lunch in Pizza Express. The Stockbridge branch has to be one of their nicest, with its tall clock tower and position overlooking the Waters of Leith.
Returning to Edinburgh’s new town up the steep cobbles of Gloucester Street we arrived back onto Queen Street and collected our luggage from the Travelodge. There was just time for afternoon tea before heading to nearby George Street to watch the Edinburgh Christmas Lights being switched on as darkness fell at 5.00 pm. This was the icing on the cake of our lovely weekend in Edinburgh.
A rock choir performed on the main stage followed by the Scottish singer Susan Boyle switching on the lights and leading the singing of the carol ‘Silent Night’. To finish, a magnificent firework display enthralled the huge crowds of Edinburgh and I then had just enough time to return to Waverley Station for my rail journey home after another delightful weekend in Scotland’s capital city.
Other posts in this series: