United Kingdom
Old Town

Here you’ll find travel reports about Old Town. Discover travel destinations in the United Kingdom of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

46 travelers at this place:

  • Day11

    Whitby to Edinburgh

    September 11 in the United Kingdom

    Sadly left Whitby as have loved it. Set off for Corbridge in an effort to avoid the motorway. Stopped at a Roman archeological site outside Corbridge which was interesting. It was just like the sites David watches on Time Team. Very interesting. Stopped at a small tea rooms in the town for lunch and a walk around the lovely village shops. Carried onto Jedburgh where we walked around the abbey which was the feature of the town. Our drive to Edinburgh was uneventful, apart from stopping on the border where a lovely Scotsman took our photo despite the strong winds. We easily found Staiton Park and Drive. Our plan was to leave the car here for three days( no fee) and catch bus into the city as no parking near our accommodation.The first bus wouldn’t take us with our luggage but the second did and we were in town in less than 30 minutes. The hardest part of the day was carrying our luggage up 6 stories to our apartment. It was a nice surprise to arrive there and find it is lovely with all we need. The view out the window is great down onto the main thoroughfare which is called The Royal Mile. Definitely would never have been able to find parking though. We headed straight out and walked around the corner to find Grey Friars Bobby, a statue of a little dog, which can bring luck when its nose is rubbed. We ended up eating at the bar beside it with the same name. Were happy to have one more stop at a bar before heading to bed.Read more

  • Day12


    September 12 in the United Kingdom

    Explored Edinburg today. Started off on Hop on Hop Off Bus and so useful for getting our bearings. Got off at Edinburgh castle and it was amazing. Had audio guide which was useful. Crowds of people were there and the views down over the city were lovely. We left there for Carlton Hill which also gave amazing views over the city. David not so keen to do Alfred’s seat which was much higher and required a long uphill walk. Instead settled for some shopping in main shopping area. Boarded the bus for return journey to High street via parliament buildings and Holyrood. After a quick refresh we headed off to Grassmarket for dinner at an Italian restaurant. Finished our evening back at Sandy Bells for the live music. Luckily found a seat and enjoyed listening to the four piece band ( maybe 5 if you counted the banjo player in the corner!)Read more

  • Day14


    September 14 in the United Kingdom

    Interesting day in Edinburgh yesterday. Got up later and headed off to town. Found a tour we were interested in so booked to do it at 12 15. It was Mary King’s Close. It took us underground to a warren of hidden streets from the 17th century and lived in until the end of the 1800s. The guide was excellent and the streets so narrow and steep. We learned a lot about Mary Queen of Scots as well as the plague. We also visited St Giles Cathedral in the centre of town. It was truly beautiful. When we arrived back on the street we found Rose Street where David was able to get new battery for watch and a repair on his jersey. We then wandered for some time mainly trying to find a bus to Leith to see the royal yacht Britannia. Did not find the bus drivers helpful or friendly but finally sorted it and headed out to the seaside area of Leith. The yacht tour started with afternoon tea in the tea rooms on board. All very lovely - yet another scone! The yacht was so interesting. Lots of photos of the royal family over the years and got to see into every room just as it was, even the bedrooms. We loved that. Made our way back into town and headed out to meet Eimear and Craig McCallum, my Irish relation and her husband. Had lovely evening with them. Only dampener has been David not being 100 percent. The hacking cough has turned into a big cold. Will be looking for a decent pharmacy today.Read more

  • Day11

    Farewell to our tour buddies

    August 26 in the United Kingdom

    Sunday evening was our last dinner with our fellow Rick Steves tour travelers. We had a wonderful dinner at The Bonham Hotel, where we started the tour just over a week ago. Our guide Brian started the farewell toasts off with a hilarious "prayer for Rick Steves tourists," and his was followed by many more.

    As we thought at the beginning, these are all fun and interesting people. Whether due to the RS "no grumps policy" (really, you have to sign when you book), or just the luck of the draw, there wasn't a single bad apple. As we often had free time or were on our own to explore, we ended up spending time individually (or in couples) with each of the others.Read more

  • Day4

    Bobby and Harry

    August 19 in the United Kingdom

    Our walking tour with Rita ended at the National Museum of Scotland, where we meandered among the treasure trove of ancient and modern artifacts. We then joined up with fellow tour members Patrick and his daughter Margaret for lunch at the Elephant House. Potterites will recognize this as the cafe where JK Rowling wrote the first Harry Potter book. Nearby is Greyfriars Kirk and cemetery, famous for the faithful terrier, Bobby. Many of the names in the Potter books came from the gravestones here. Margaret and Myra hunted diligently, but couldn't find Thomas Riddle. We did find Potter, however. Margaret, with her teenaged energy was ready to lead on, downhill, uphill and down again to find the Museum of Childhood (and a nearby fudge shop).

    Our day ended with happy hour in Teuchters pub, meeting up with a number of tour members for a dram. As we thought initially, they are all quite fun! We tried Cullin Skink (a fish chowder), which joins steak and ale pie and gooseberry crumble on the "yes, please" list. The drinks, food and company were welcome after recording over 8 miles on the Fitbit on a very "dreich" (grey and wet) day.
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  • Day21

    Harry, Mary, Vaults and Graveyard

    November 5 in the United Kingdom

    It figures that it would take me three weeks to actually go on a Harry Potter tour. I did love it though. The group learned that J.K. Rowling, as expected, used much of Edinburgh as the inspiration behind the books. What I didn't know was how ingrained mythology was in Scottish culture, as well as how the unicorn is the country's animal, much like the bald eagle is our "mascot" if you will. I even managed to show off my nerd knowledge by answering a few of the questions posed to the group. We learned the dark past of Scotland and witches, and then saw a few graves that the infamous Rowling got many names from for her books. The only downside being all the places I want to check out because of the tour. From there, especially with it only being five, although it was already dark, I decided to go on a tour of Mary King's Close. Not far down the Royal Mile, the main hub of tourism (and technically one and one eighth mile), I walked right in and got literally the last slot for the final tour of the day. Thank goodness, because although I was planning on taking tomorrow off, that may be the day I head to Sterling Castle and to see the William Wallace monument; although I'll have to see where my energy levels are before taking off. On the tour they walk you through history, taking us in your preserved rooms, telling us the gory stories behind death, the plague, and beheadings. Understandably, we were not permitted to take photos, as that area is now beneath a government building; part of the rich story that was told to us. As a true glutton for punishment, right after walking out of my third tour of the day, I immediately walked across the street to "The City of the Dead" tour. This takes you to the normally locked section of Greyfriers Graveyard, with a shocking amount of accounts of hauntings and mysterious happenings, as well as to the underground vaults beneath the city which were originally intended to be a market. Wisely, I decided to pop in to a local pub and grab some food with the half hour between my guided trips. Getting the only thing with vegetables available, a pizza (go figure), I was on my way. I checked in early, with my highly sardonic guide, and waited until everyone else showed up. I didn't have to wait long. Promptly at half seven (7:30) we were walking (yes, more walking) to our first destination; the vaults. Thank goodness he ttold that there would be no one in a mask popping out from around any corners. Giving us historically accurate representation, while giving us a spooky story, and also making us all laugh was interesting to behold. Our docent for the evening gave they why of how the vaults came to be, and moved seamlessly in to the tales that have given so many a fright, even including some of his personal experiences with other groups. In one chamber, and with plenty yarn being woven, he plunged the gathering in to complete darkness. Listening to the sounds of those above us, cars driving, people walking, and the deeper sounds of someone rustling their jacket, shifting from one foot to the other, all of us waiting for a ghost from the story to whisper in your ear or poke and prod you... waiting, in darkness, totally blind to even the hand in front of your face. Well we all had a good jump scare, and then laugh, when he turned on his flashlight and said loudly "Nope, nothing there." Once we had made our way down the slippery slope of the old tiled walkways, and in to the fresh air, we were moving again. Although it was the third trip to the graveyard in the same day, they each had a different story to be told; a testament to the history this city has. Part of this exhibition is learning the history that made these events come to pass, and why these poltergeists might haunt the areas that we're told they do. Assuredly quite a fun way to learn history, going over kings, religion, wars, invasion, and persecution. Once you've gotten the backstory, the gate is unlocked, and you're lead inside "Covenanters Prison" which was, and not to be too dark, what is known as the first concentration camp. Given more story, once again being more on the morbid side of things, we were then taken to the location dubbed tastefully as "the black mosuleum." It is said that this is not only the place where most 'encounters' happen, as well as the possible site of a mass grave might be. Now, there is a funny thing about certain architecture with a curved sort of roof, that if someone is speaking in the front, and you stand in the back right in the center, it sounds like there's a speaker system directing the voice of whomever is speaking right around you. That is NOT the type of position you want to be in when someone with a mask pops in to give you a fright, and the voice protects itself to feel as if the wind is at your back, with someone looming behind you, ready to snatch a hold. So it was quite a the moment of trepidation, but at least I wasn't alone, and we all got a good laugh from that too. After calling our chaperone a liar, he was quick to point out that he said there wouldn't be anyone in a mask inside the vaults; well, you got me there. Much too soon, the tour was at an end, and I may not have gotten any photos (much too dark, literally) but it was highly amusing. There are some things that I have heard many times, and from multiple people, but the way this story was laid out was probably my favorite. Things were in my favor too, because the end of the tour was just up the hill from my lodging. Getting back just after 10, I realized I had been out and about for roughly twelve hours, and walking most of that time. My feet were aching, my legs about to give out, and I couldn't be happier about it. Here's to having fingers crossed, after a long night's sleep, that I can do it all again tomorrow.Read more

  • Day2

    Edinburgh Sightseeing Teil 1

    August 21 in the United Kingdom

    Erster Tag in Edinburgh und so stand heute natürlich Sightseeing am Programm. Um einen ersten Eindruck von der Stadt zu bekommen, begannen wir den Tag mit einer Hop on-Hop off Tour. Hier konnten wir bereits die Schönheit Edinburghs kennenlernen. Mit den vielen Erklärungen verging die rund 2-stündige Fahrt zu den bedeutensten Sehenswürdigkeiten wie im Flug.

    Nach dieser Rundfahrt spazierten wir zum Edinburgh Castle, eigentlich die Hauptattraktion der Stadt. Hier wurden wir aber erstmal von den Menschenmassen erschlagen. Kein Stückchen, an dem sich keine Leute tummeln. Dadurch hat dieses wunderschöne "Castle" leider ein wenig an Flair verloren. An ein gemütliches Durchbummeln durch die Burganlage war leider nicht zu denken, nichtsdestotrotz haben wir uns wacker durch die Massen durchgedrängt um die wichtigsten Orte der Anlage zu erkunden (Kronjuwelen, Gedächtniskapelle für Kriegsgefallene, Aussichtsplätze). Nach knapp 1,5 Stunden haben wir diese Sehenswürdigkeit wieder verlassen. Beim Ausgang hatten wir dann noch ein nettes Erlebnis mit einem älteren Herren, gekleidet in typisch schottischer Tracht (Kilt), gehabt, mit dem wir Fotos schießen durften und nett plauderten.

    Anschließend ging es zum Grassmarket, wo wir erstmal gemütlich zu Mittag aßen und dann noch einen Verdauungsbummel durch diese nette Gegend machten.

    Am späteren Nachmittag statteten wir noch der Camera Obscura einen Besuch ab. Diese interaktive Attraktion strotzt nur so vor optischen Täuschungen. Neben einem Spiegellabyrinth gibt es noch Hologramme in Hülle und Fülle und ein animiertes Stadtpanorama. Die idyllische Aussicht auf die Dächer der Stadt rundet das Spektakel perfekt ab. Eine absolute Empfehlung, wir haben den Aufenthalt hier sehr genossen und fast 2 Stunden hier verbracht!

    Am Abrnd gönnten wir uns noch ein äußerst leckeres Abendessen in Michael's Steak and Seafoodrestaurant. Hier konnten wir den Tag noch gemütlich ausklingen lassen!
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  • Day8

    Royal Mile Edinburgh

    January 27, 2017 in the United Kingdom

    I took the local transit to the Royal mile ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Mile ) and walked up to the Castle, explored some of the shops and activities. Will return tomorrow and explore some more. Sunny but a chilly and a little bit of a wind today so will bundle up more for tomorrow

  • Day20

    St. Gilles Cathedral

    August 29, 2017 in the United Kingdom

    Tolle Kirche, sehr beeindruckend!

    Ann: Hier gibt es den bekannten Diestelorden. Es gehören ihm 16 Personen an, sowie die Queen, Prinzessin Anne und Prinz William. 14 Personen sind Schotten und zwei Briten. Ausländer dürfen nicht Mitglied werden, einzig ein Norweger wurde seit 250 Jahren aufgenommen. Warum weiss ich aber nicht.
    Jahrestag ist der 30.11. da treffen sich alle hier in der Kirche. Tolles geschnitztes Kirchengestühl.Read more

  • Day17

    Edinburgh, UK

    August 1 in the United Kingdom

    Bonjour 👋🏻,

    On s’approche de la fin, un autre trajet de 3h pour cette fois-ci rejoindre Edinburgh, en Écosse 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿. C’est beaucoup plus nuageux dans ce coin-ci. Comme disait Antony, l’énergie solaire ☀️ n’est pas l’avenir pour l’Écosse.

    Journée très tranquille aujourd’hui. Après l’installation dans la chambre d’hôtel, promenade dans le vieux Edinburgh et sur la fameuse rue The Royal Mile. C’est vraiment touristique ici, il y a du monde en masse partout. C’est une rue très vivant, piétonnière à certains endroits et animée par des amuseurs publiques. Antony a rencontré Yoda, Darth Vader et un Stormtrooper, le paradis pour lui! Évidemment, plusieurs boutiques de cachemire, scotch, tartans, bijoux et articles médiévaux comme des coupes de Games of Throne. Après un peu de magasinage, un arrêt 🛑 dans un pub, pas le choix la pluie ☔️ commence. Après une première bière 🍻, il pleut toujours. Pas le choix arrêt dans un deuxième pub. Il pleut toujours, pas le choix, on arrête dans un 3e p... ben non 👎, la faim se faisait sentir. Sur le chemin pour se rendre à l’hôtel, Julie avait repéré le Petit Paris... il faut ben aller chez les anglais pour manger du français... 🤔

    Voilà short and sweet pour aujourd’hui.
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Old Town

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