While on a recent break in Scotland, Edinburgh won me over with its Old Town, quirky shops, Medieval castle and Victorian streets, while Glasgow wowed me with art, universities and a very grand graveyard – the Necropolis! I’d reservations about Scotland due to personal baggage, but this time the place won me over. My biggest regret is now not having gone to uni here. Who wouldn’t want to have studied at Hogwarts? (Check out the University of Glasgow building – below!)
If you are interested in design you should definitely visit and take a tour of the Mackintosh House managed by the University of Glasgow, and sample Mackintosh’s designs in the real world at the Willow Tea Rooms in Sauchie Hall Street. Also affiliated with the university is the Hunterian art gallery where you’ll see stunning works by the likes of Whistler and the Scottish Colourists.
The Kelvingrove museum and art gallery is also well worth a visit, and houses a mix of everything from natural history to decorative arts. I loved this bunny Samurai Helmet, and this collection of hand painted glassware. (You’ll also find more Scottish Colourist work collected here.)
And these disembodied floating heads were pretty freaky!
I was a little bit ‘museumed out’ by the time I got to Edinburgh so instead I enjoyed wandering the tiny steep streets, visiting indie book and clothing shops and loving all the gothic architecture. Believe it or not, I had no idea that this is where JK Rowling began writing the Harry Potter books, but it sure makes sense now doesn’t it?
I loved all the medieval and victorian stuff , there was even an escaped gothic London tour bus !
The imposing Edinburgh Castle (and the view from the top) is pretty damned impressive too. This is the view from the ramparts – you can see the seating going up for the Edinburgh tattoo!
My favourite little corner of Edinburgh was the perfectly gothic Greyfriars kirkyard, a fabulous little gem of a graveyard- perhaps most famous for its doggy resident, the legendary Greyfriars Bobby. Do you remember the old black and white movie about him? I watched that with my dad as a little kid.
Yes, what can I say? To this old goth at heart, the graveyards of major Scottish cities are amazing and they warrant a blog post all of their own. I’ll be sure and share my photos from the Greyfriars Kirkyard and the Glasgow Necropolis in their own blog post soon!
Have you ever visited Glasgow or Edinburgh? Do you have a favourite part? Or a recommendation for something I might have missed ? Tell me about it…..