Day 4. In the footsteps of my favourite Edinburgh author

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Stockbridge market

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.

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Fettes College

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!

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A typical example of one of Edinburgh’s new town homes

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 itt was bustling with activity.   At the far end of the village stands the magnificent Fettes College.

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Pizza Express, Stockbridge

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 a late 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  Wmyss Street we arrived back onto Queen Street and collected our luggage from the hotel.  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.

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Lovely old sign in Waverley Station

A rock choir performed on the main stage followed by the Scottsh 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.

If you have enjoyed reading this series of posts on Edinburgh you may also enjoy the following:

Weekend in Edinburgh

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12 thoughts on “Day 4. In the footsteps of my favourite Edinburgh author

  1. Yes, I love McCall Smith’s books – I’ve read all of the Isabel Dalhousie novels and plan to get around to reading 44 Scotland Street. I love his references to various landmarks and restaurants around Edinburgh, and since I read them on my Kindle, I highlight those parts with the hope of reviewing them before my next trip to Edinburgh, which I hope will be soon! (I visited Scotland in 1995 and 1999).

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    1. Thank you so much for your interesting comments on my post and it’s lovely to read that you are also a fan of McCall Smith books. I’m certain you will enjoy the 44 Scotland Street series too then when you return to Edinburgh you can walk along the actual street and perhaps call in Valvona and Crolla for coffee and cakes.

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    1. That’s great to hear! 44 Scotland Street are so lovely, and the characters so interesting, such as little Birtie! If you visit Edinburgh you can walk along the streets he mentions in the book. I’m returning in November so I’ll write more about the city then!

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  2. Hi Marion, we were in Edinburgh the week after you! We arrived on 8th December for 5 days and it was cold and wet most of the time with just a couple of bright clear days. Wonderful city, we stayed in Royal Row in an Airbnb flat just down from the Castle. I haven’t written a blog post about our Scotland travels yet and perhaps you’ve inspired me to get on to it. I enjoyed your stories. Thanks, Sue.

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