Another British Ramble – Day Six

Salmon Sandwich Tally: 4

Distance Travelled: 460 Miles

Writing Soundtrack: Marvellous Musicals Playlist

I don’t have much to write about today since it was spent travelling. I flew from Edinburgh to London Heathrow and despite getting off the ground late because of having to queue for airspace (or something like that), the flight arrived on time. The day as a whole was rather a headache (I won’t go into boring details) and in the future, I think I’ll stick to the train, but I had airline points to use that made flying a more economical option this trip. And the views from the plane were fabulous. I finally made it to Oxford which is one of my absolute favourite places, so I’m happy.


Another British Ramble – Day 5

Distance Walked: 3.5 Miles

Salmon Sandwich Tally: 4

Writing Soundtrack: Marvellous Musicals Playlist

*** All photos are the property of yours truly – Please don’t use them ***

I spent the first bit of my final full day in Edinburgh (and Scotland) at the Scottish National Gallery on The Mound, something I’ve passed numerous times but never visited. Its collection of art is beautiful and spans several centuries and its outside architecture and location are picturesque as can be, perched between Princes Street Gardens and Waverley Station. And like so many great museums in the UK, admission is free, although a £5 donation is encouraged and a small price to pay. Since I’m odd and love listening to the train announcements at Waverley, I headed there next since I’m flying out of Edinburgh tomorrow and it seemed weird to visit Edinburgh and not hear the announcements.

I finished the day relaxing at a cat café just down the street from my flat that I’ve passed each day I’ve been here. I’m not really a cat person and am missing my dog terribly, but it seemed like a nice way to end the day.

I can’t say that I didn’t do everything I’d planned to Edinburgh, but I know I’ve packed more into my days here during past trips. However, I’m usually here when there are fewer people and after my body clock has had some time to adjust. But hopefully, I can make my way back before too-too long.

Another British Ramble – Day Four

Distance Walked: 4 Miles

Salmon Sandwich Tally: 3

Writing Soundtrack: Sensational Sondheim Playlist

*** All photos are the property of yours truly – Please don’t use them – Please ***

Day Four was a shorter day than I’d originally planned due a combination of too little sleep and too many people. But I’m glad I finally made it to the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh…and that I successfully navigated the very efficient bus system without getting lost (blame my nervousness on California’s car culture). From my Grassmarket flat, it’s a shortish walk up to George IV Bridge where buses 23 and 27 will take you right to the East Gate of the RBGE. Entry is free (the first of the multiple botanic gardens I’ve visited in the UK to be free) but admission to the numerous amazing glasshouses (I met a friendly bumble bee in the orchid one) is £6.50, still quite a bargain that supports a fabulous place. I spent a couple of hours wandering through the various gardens and could have easily stayed longer and seen more and will probably visit again on another trip. It’s also apparently a lovely place to have a wedding, complete with a horse-drawn carriage and a piper (and numerous refrains of “Flower of Scotland”). And it took all of willpower not to buy a packet (or numerous packets) of bluebell seeds in the garden shop. Sigh.

Other highlights from today include Scottish tablet ice cream from Mackie’s of Scotland atop the Royal Mile and glimpses of the often-seen-on-Tumblr Writers’ Museum off Lady Stair’s Close.

Another British Ramble – Days 1, 2, and 3

Hello again! My heart won the internal struggle with my brain and I decided to head back to the United Kingdom for another adventure. As with past trips, I plan to journal them on this little blog but I thought I may do it a bit differently this time around. Since I’m visiting three cities I’ve visited on every past trip and seeing many of the same bits, I thought that instead of long, play-by-play accounts of each day, I’d mention the highlights; distance travelled, things visited, little summaries, pretty pictures, bits of info, etc. That’s my plan, anyway. Apologies in advance if my previous writing style takes over and morphs it into the previous format. And of course, there’ll be a salmon sandwich tally.

➡️ *All photos are property of yours truly – Please don’t use them – Please – Let us have nice things* ⬅️

Days 1 and 2 were spent mostly in the air. Like previous trips, I flew to London Heathrow from San Francisco (a roughly ten hour flight) but decided I would fly on up to Edinburgh and begin this adventure there. So roughly eighteen hours of commuting/travel, two flights, and no sleep later, I finally made it to my lovely Edinburgh home-away-from-home flat with its awesome castle view…and went to bed before the sun had even set.

I planned for Day 3 to be an “easy” day and spent it in the surrounding Old Town area revisiting Greyfriar’s Kirkyard, the National Museum of Scotland, and having lunch at the Amber Restaurant near Edinburgh Castle atop the Royal Mile (discovered on my first visit and an automatic stop every time after for their salmon sandwich). Located within the Scotch Whisky Experience, I highly recommend it for yummy food, Thistly Cross Scottish cider, and enough whisky options to make your head spin. 🥃

Distance Travelled: 4 Miles (plus the roughly 5,200 Miles I travelled to get to Edinburgh)

Salmon Sandwich Tally: 2

Writing Soundtrack: Sensational Sondheim Playlist

Adventures of a Wanderess – Day 8

Salmon sandwich trip tally: 5

Day Eight began somewhat early as I wanted to give myself plenty of time to get ready and to get everything packed up. After saying goodbye to the flat (and Edinburgh Castle from the landing), I lugged PJ out to the sidewalk just as my taxi pulled up and was shortly on my way to Edinburgh Waverley Station. As is my habit, I got there with plenty of time (too much, maybe) so I grabbed a seat inside until my 12:12 train’s platform was announced and it was time to board. We pulled out of the station right on time and headed south past rainy, rolling green hills with slightly soggy sheep which soon gave way to snow-covered hills with well-camouflaged sheep. 

After calling at Lockerbie before crossing the border, stopping in Carlisle, and passing many much more snow-covered hills, I alighted at Oxenholme to catch the train to Windermere, reaching the end of the line just as the rain picked up again. 

A short taxi ride later and I was warm and dry after being warmly greeted by Jackie (and the new puppy) at my B&B in Bowness-on-Windermere, a wonderful gem that I found on my last trip and couldn’t pass up staying at again. The rain and a headache kept me in the rest of the evening and I’m not yet sure what my plans are for tomorrow. It will depend on how I feel and the weather, but if both cooperate, I hope to replicate last year’s day here and enjoy one of the other lake cruise routes.

Adventures of a Wanderess – Day 7

Distance travelled: 5.5 miles
Salmon sandwich trip tally: 4

**Quickly, I’d just like to take a moment to sincerely thank everyone who’s reading about my adventures. I truly appreciate it, so very much.**

Day Six got off to a rather late start, but I did manage to get out and wander around on my last full day in Edinburgh. I woke up before my alarm at 6:30 am, still not feeling very well, and noticed that it was snowing outside, Edinburgh Castle just visible through the swirling flakes. The weather app predicted it would start to taper off late morning, so I went back to bed with the intention of sleeping until I felt like getting up, not sure if I would actually feel up to leaving the flat at all. But by later, I was feeling better and the sun was shining so I headed out around 1 pm, destined for Dean Village and the Water of Leith, a beautiful, picturesque area and former milling village in a river gorge just northwest of Edinburgh’s City Centre and reachable by a mostly-flat 20-minute walk. Halfway there, the sun disappeared and it began raining, but by the time I’d reached the village and turned on Miller Row to walk along the water, it had let up for the most part. 

I wandered along the river for a ways, walking under the Queensferry Road bridge and passing people and pups out enjoying the area before I turned around and crossed the river to wander along it via the Water of Leith Walkway (although I wish I’d felt up to walking further). 

Eventually I decided to head back toward New Town and shortly into my return trek, it began snowing again. Wind blown and cold, but dryer than I would have been had I not had my umbrella, I stopped into Boots and the post office on Princes Street, the sun once again shining as I made my way through Princes Street Gardens (past the Scott Monument that I decided not to climb this time) and around Edinburgh Castle back to my Old Town flat. 

As lovely as my flat is (and it truly is), I’m glad I was able to get out and see a bit more of Edinburgh which I’m always sad to leave. A last bit of laundry and packing await tonight and then I bid Edinburgh and Scotland a fond farewell tomorrow and head to the Lake District.

Adventures of a Wanderess – Day 6

Distance travelled: 3.25 miles
Salmon sandwich trip tally: 3

Although I managed to sleep well, I wasn’t feeling that great this morning so I thought it best to spend Day Six nearby instead of taking the train to Perth as I’d considered doing. I decided to revisit Greyfriars Kirkyard and the National Museum of Scotland – both near my flat and discussed in previous posts – and headed out around 11am. In the few minutes I spent doing last minute things, the weather changed from sun to rain – not at all unusual for Edinburgh – so I made my way up a rather damp Grassmarket, onto Candlemaker Row, and into the kirkyard where I slowly wandered along the paths and past the various stones. 

Eventually, the rain became a downpour and I walked across George IV Bridge and along Chambers Street to the museum entrance. Even though I spent a good few hours at the museum on my first trip, it houses such a vast array of exhibits that it would take several trips to see most of them, so I wandered through ones I hadn’t seen/hadn’t spent as much time on last time (like Dolly the Sheep), taking a break halfway through to have a pot of tea and a piece of apple crumble at the café on the third floor, near which is a miniature Lego version of the museum.

Afterward, I took the lift from the fifth floor to the roof to take in the views of Edinburgh before the wind drove me back inside. 

More exhibits and a browse of the gift shop later, I headed out into the sunshine and took South Bridge to the Royal Mile, stopping at Boots before continuing up to the Amber Restaurant inside the Scotch Whisky Experience for a light, late lunch (it’s my favourite spot for lunch in Edinburgh and the salmon sandwich is my go-to meal). One yummy sandwich and a pot of tea later, I navigated the many slippery stairs down to the Grassmarket, getting back to my flat just as the rain started up again. I hope to feel up to wandering further afield tomorrow.