Holiday in full swing, it was time for the 5-hour drive to Edinburgh! But not before exploring York in an hour…
Already over an hour into our journey, it was time for a pit-stop in York. And an opportunity to try the “LADBible Famous” Yorkshire Pudding Wrap.
Nestled in the heart of York, we found one of the York Roast Co. shops. With a choice of Turkey, Pork, Ham or Beef with stuffing and sauces, our taste buds were spoilt. Settling on the Pork with applesauce combo, we did a quick tour of the main sights.
Stopping off to eat beside the Minister, we admired the architecture before trotting back along through The Shambles. A glimpse at the wall and it was time up. Back in the car and on to Edinburgh.
The next day presented us with a rainy morning that soon cleared for us to explore Edinburgh. Our host had kindly recommended a parking place half way up Arthur’s Seat, which made the trek to the top a whole lot shorter!
The wind buffeting us off the summit, we were greeted with views of Edinburgh and the Firth of Forth.
Turning west, we could see out towards inland Scotland. Truly a magnificent place to take in your surroundings.
Climbing back down toward Holyrood Palace, we decided not to go in with our muddy boots and instead headed to the tourist information. Chris had been wondering along our way what this large white dome was. We found out. Known as Dynamic Earth, it is a centre for interactive learning.
It was decided, that was where we were heading. But first, we stopped for some official Scottish Hog Roast at Oink. Definitely filled a hole.
Dynamic Earth was fantastic. Taking you on a journey through time, the exhibits discover how the Earth has changed, from the big bang to the future of space exploration. The interactive nature of the museum was incredibly engaging and, even as a twenty-three year old, I found it fascinating.
I would definitely recommend for children and adults alike.
The day wasn’t over yet. We headed back to our apartment to freshen up for the evening. A friend had recommended Bread Meats Bread as a dinner option. We cannot thank him enough.
Genuinely one of the best burgers I have tasted, it was well worth the twenty-minute wait to be seated. With only three restaurants across Glasgow and Edinburgh, this place is wonderfully original. The Maple Sweet Potato Fries are to die for – just thinking about them makes my mouth water! With the burger exceeding expectation, you need to try this.
Finished drooling, we headed to a local bar: The Beer Kitchen. Intending to try a few bars before a ghost tour of the city, we were side-lined by Scrabble and the ambiance of an open fire.
Naturally, this led to us missing the intended ghost walk. Able to join a later one, we took a late night walk by St. Giles Cathedral and the surrounding streets. Returning to our starting point, we joined the rest of the people on the ghost walk.
Our tour guide, David, introduced himself and outlined the itinerary. First, it was a visit to the underground vaults.
These vaults aren’t officially underground; they are a series of chambers formed in the nineteen arches of the South Bridge in Edinburgh. Completed in 1788, they were originally used for trade and businesses. However, as the condition of the rooms deteriorated due to damp, these tradesmen moved out, paving the way for Edinburgh’s poorest. Cramped into these tiny rooms, disease was rife and many died. It is believed to be haunted due to a number of stories circulating around the deaths of children.
At multiple points throughout the tour, we were left in these rooms in the pitch black. I won’t spoil it by saying what happened.
It was the third of these rooms when I began to feel a little frightened. We were told the story of a pregnant woman, who had experienced hearing a ghost rasp that she wanted her baby and ran scared through the passageways. In these slums, women (or child snatchers) would profit from the poor by taking their babies and selling them. Could this be a ghost of a child catcher?
Unscathed we continued on our tour of Edinburgh’s most haunted. This time, we were taken to Greyfriars Kirkyard. The graveyard holds many stories, from Greyfriars Bobby (the loyal dog that guarded his master’s grave) to the poltergeist of “Bluidy MacKenzie”.
“Bluidy MacKenzie” was Lord Advocate during the prosecution of Presbyterian Covenanters by order of Charles II. After the Battle of Bothwell Bridge in 1679, Mackenzie imprisoned 1,200 Covenanters in the field next to Greyfriars Kirkyard. Some were executed, and hundreds died of maltreatment.
The graveyard was first recorded as haunted after the violation of MacKenzie’s mausoleum. A homeless man broke into the grave, which houses many important figures, with violent ghost attacks being reported thereafter.
We were taken through into the so-called Covenanters’ prison. Our guide divulged stories of these violent attacks and once more we found ourselves in the pitch black. I won’t tell you what happened next.
After a closer look at MacKenzie’s mausoleum, the door of which has almost been kicked in, we called it a night.
A little tacky and maybe a little too political at points, the ghost walk was worth it for the history. If you want to learn more about Edinburgh’s darker past, then enjoy!