On the slow train to Edinburgh

Today’s first guest picture, taken by her mother, shows Matilda telling an amusing story to her grandfather.

MatildaThe second guest picture shows just how terrifying Matilda was in her special Halloween costume.

MatildaThe alert reader will gather from the guest pictures that I accompanied Mrs Tootlepedal on her weekly grandmothering trip to Edinburgh.  We gave Sandy a lift across to the train and he spent a happy day wandering around the town and taking pictures which will no doubt appear in his blog in the course of time.

When we got to Lockerbie, the train was a little late yet again.

Mrs Tootlepedal at Lockerbie
Still it hasn’t come.

Sandy got off at Haymarket and enjoyed a ride on the tram before his sightseeing but we went on to Waverley.  Because it was a warm and dry day, I left Mrs Tootlepedal to wander directly down to Matilda’s by herself while I took a more circular route with Pocketcam.

I walked through Princes Street gardens to the foot of the crag that the Castle is perched upon….

Edinburgh Castle…and then took the zigzag path that winds up the side of the rock to the castle esplanade.  It is hard to take a picture of the castle from the esplanade because it is one of the most popular tourist attractions on the country and there are always people milling about wandering if the rather steep entrance fee to the castle itself is worth it.

Edinburgh CastleThe castle stands on a neck of rock and there are good views over the Old Town with the Pentland Hills in the background to the south…..

Grassmarket….and Princes Street, the New Town and the Firth of Forth to the north.

princes street edinburghThere is nothing distinguished these day in the hodgepodge of buildings in Princes Street but its position beneath the Castle and the fact that it has shops on only one side of the road and lovely gardens on the other side still make it worth a visit.

I walked back down the zigzag path (very carefully) and paused to admire the art galleries built in the classical style on the Mound.

Art GalleryThey look very much better now that they have been cleaned than they did in my youth when I was a student here.  I always think though that the magnificence of the pediments in this type of building….

Art Gallery….leave the doors looking a bit weedy.

I crossed over Princes Street and looked down a typically broad New Town street towards Fife on the far shore.

New Town EdinburghI strolled along streets of fine houses, most with access to private gardens until I came to Moray Place…..

Moray Place…a fine oval circus with regular outbreaks of Greek templeitis among its architecture.  The cobbled streets are typical of this part of town and can make for some interesting driving moments for the unwary in wet weather.

Among the impressive streets are many little back lanes….

Gloucester Lane….like this one running down behind Moray Place where the lower orders could gain access to the houses to deliver goods and perform menial tasks.

I left Moray Place and walked down Doune Terrace where I admired this elegant  bridge which leaves access to the basement.  I lived in such a basement under a bridge for three years when a student, though not in quite such a posh part of town.

Doune TerraceThis was as far west as i got and I headed for Matilda’s and lunch, passing round another grand circus, in fact so grand that it is called Royal Circus and then along Great King Street (you can probably see a pattern here).

It is a beautiful part of Edinburgh, with excessively expensive house prices to match but it would be a great place to live.  I like the way that broad streets….

Albany Street
Note the private gardens at the far end.

…have little nooks and crannies behind them…

Northumberland Lane….as well as practical mews lurking behind the cliff-like streets.

Dublin MeuseAfter checking out yet another small Greek temple…..

They are everywhere.

….and wondering whether the love of window boxes had gone a bit too far at the Theatre Royal bar….

Theatre Royal bar…I soon found myself walking along London Road.  The church doors at the top of Easter Road looked well cared for.

Easter Road churchAnd minutes later, I was warmly welcomed in by my hostess for the afternoon.

MatildaAfter a light lunch, we suggested a walk,  Matilda was delighted.

MatildaMrs Tootlepedal, Clare and I had a lovely walk through Holyrood Park while Matilda had an equally satisfactory snooze in her transport solution as we pushed her along.

During the day, I took so many pictures that I am going to devote a special page to Edinburgh pictures which I will add to from time to time. It should be on the go by tomorrow evening.   I already have too many pictures in this post so I will make do with one of the volcanic sill running up to the summit of Arthur’s Seat……

Arthur's Seat….and one of Dunsapie Loch on the far side of the hill which was as far as we got on our walk.

Dunsapie LochIt was an excellent walk and Matilda woke refreshed from her snooze when we got home and rounded off the day by demonstrating complete mastery of rolling over onto her front to loud applause from an appreciative audience.

Soon it was time to go back to the station, where we met up with Sandy.  Our eight coach electric train back to Lockerbie turned out to be a very crammed four coach diesel set and ten minutes late too but we got seats and were safely back in Langholm not far behind schedule.  One of the things that I really appreciate is that on a really full train, there is no necessity from me to give up my seat to an elderly person these days.  I am that elderly person.

We had stopped at St Margaret’s Loch on our walk and there was no shortage of flying birds of the day there.  Getting one in focus was more of a problem in the poor light.  Take your pick!


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

31 thoughts on “On the slow train to Edinburgh

  1. The World’s Greatest Baby is still looking great!

    Thank you for the wonderful tour of Edinburgh as well! I’ve read about it, and have seen some photos, but only some one familiar with a place can really bring it to life as you have.

  2. It was great to walk around Edinburgh with you, such an interesting city. Matilda looked in splendid form, very clever to be able to roll over.

  3. Many thanks for this tour of Edinburgh. I haven’t been there (other than through Waverley Station) since 1973 when I was attending a week-long management curse. My main memory was of working in candlelight as it was the three-day week!

      1. I’m not sure who suffered the curse – that employer and I parted company a year later!

  4. There are never too many photographs in your posts! I look forward to your Edinburgh page as well. I am currently reading a Ian Rankin ‘Rebus’ novel set in Edinburgh so the views of the city were well timed.

  5. Just what I needed, Tom. A tour, a lovely baby, and lots of lovely architecture to peruse. Thank you! I look forward to the rest of your photographs when you post them.

  6. Never too many pictures Mr Tootlepedal. I really enjoyed your walk around Edinburgh, although vicariously (I’m into big words today!). Such a beautiful city.
    Pleased that you gave a warning before showing the photograph of the scary baby. Although, for a scary baby she is rather delightful.

    1. There may be more important things to do in life than looking at inconsequential posts (though I did miss you as a valued and regular commenter).

  7. Edinburgh certainly has a lot to offer but I think I like the little back alleys best. There is something about a place a little run down and dilapidated that appeals to me, maybe because I’m getting that way myself 🙂

  8. A most adorable Halloween baby! She’s so cute. Loved the tour of Edinburgh. I will definitely have to check out your photo page. Makes me want to take wing and fly across the ocean to see it all for myself.

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