*Our Golden Retriever tour guide, Sawyer, has taken over the blog this week. Please enjoy his fun account of his recent walk.
My name is Sawyer, and I am the five-year old Golden Retriever tour guide of Wee Walking Tours in Edinburgh, Scotland. Along with my Dad, Sami, we provide historic and entertaining walking tours of the capital city. Some of you may have already been on our tours, and might know my Dad as this guy….
or this one….
Just kidding! This is the two of us for real, but we do always have fun on our tours.
Travel has been extremely limited as of late, and we haven’t been able to provide our walking tours or go on other adventures around Scotland. I noticed that my Dad needed a longer walk around the city to get some fresh air and sunshine while enjoying the magical snowfall from Storm Darcy. I also wanted to make this walk available to all of you. Therefore, I have decided to take over our family’s blog this week. This is my second blog post as I previously wrote about my visit to Culross last July.
For the purposes of this virtual walk, I’m going to let the pictures do most of the talking. Because, after all, it really is my Dad who does the talking on our tours. However, I will point out many of my favourite stops along the way. Also, in a way, I will be a guide to our blog. This is because, throughout this walk, you will notice highlighted places where you can find links to articles my Mom and Dad have previously written.
To start the tour, I want to bring you up to Castlehill, as that is where our walking tours normally start (by the Witches Well). First, I am going to start with Edinburgh Castle. Doesn’t it look so majestic in the beautiful Scottish snow?
Unfortunately, I haven’t had the pleasure of going inside, but I have heard from Mom and Dad that is a wonderful place to visit. I still think I would do a great job at protecting the Castle just like Robert the Bruce and William Wallace (the two gentlemen standing on guard behind me).
Next, we head down to Victoria Street. But first, I need to burn off a little energy on Victoria Terrace which is just above the street.
Victoria Street is also known as Diagon Alley, but Harry and Hermione aren’t anywhere in sight. They must be at Hogwarts. I was excited to have the whole street to myself!
We’ll cut across Grassmarket where Dad normally stops on our tours to talk about fascinating stories of centuries past.
However, this time I’m on the lead, so we are going to head right up to the Vennel. It’s one of my favourite spots in the city because it has a great view of the Castle. On this day, I met a new friend. Although, I must admit he was rather quiet and reserved.😉
After taking in the views of the Vennel, we head down and make our way around the base of Castlehill. We respectfully walk through St Cuthbert’s Kirkyard.
We eventually make our way into the west end of Princes Street Gardens to check on the stunning Ross Fountain.
While in Princes Street Gardens, I always like to stop by and say hello to some of my other friends- like Lulla-Bye. She was sculpted by Andy Scott, a Scottish artist whose works I have admired in the past. You can read more about him and some of his sculptures around Scotland here.
After greeting Lulla-Bye, the fresh flurries moved on and the skies started to clear again as we came upon one of my other friends in the Gardens- Wojtek. Don’t worry he is a friendly bear with a fondness for flowers.
From the Gardens, we head north and visit the picturesque Dean Village. I like to visit here because I often get to have a dip into the Water of Leith. However, on this occasion, Dad didn’t let me go for a swim because he claimed it was too cold. Of course, that is ridiculous, but to appease him, I decided to remain dry and just enjoy the snow.
After navigating the cobbled streets of Dean Village, I will lead you along Miller Row so you can see the magnificent St Bernard’s Well.
We continue to Stockbridge, and through Circus Lane…
We make our way back towards the city centre to have a look at the Scott Monument and Waverley Bridge.
While there, you can run around in circles and eat some snow like I did, but it’s up to you.
Dad said I looked particularly handsome with the majestic Balmoral Hotel behind me in the photo below.
Before my paws collect too many snowballs or your socks get too wet, it’s time to move on and head towards Calton Hill with a stop along the way to greet an old American friend- Abraham Lincoln.
We are now going to hike up a hill that is a special place for me because this is where our regular afternoon tour normally ends- Calton Hill. This is where I get to roam around and often meet new canine friends. However, Dad wants me to point out that there is so much to see on top of and from Calton Hill. In fact, here is a slideshow of some of the spectacular views to see (click on the arrow to slide through our photos):
A little further down from the top of Calton Hill, we stop by the Burns Monument which my Dad tells me he plans on writing a post about in the future. For now, if you are interested in learning a bit more about Robbie Burns, you can check out our Burns Night post. Speaking of Burns Night, as you can see from my picture, that got me thinking about haggis.
After visiting the monument for Scotland's National Bard, we make our way through Abbeyhill to Holyrood because it’s only appropriate that on any good Scottish blog post, you visit at least one unicorn.😉🦄
Now that we are towards the bottom of the Royal Mile, it is time for us to start heading back up. But first we make a quick stop to check on our friends at Dynamic Earth.
After that, we make our way up the iconic Royal Mile…
...with another quick detour to Cockburn Street.
At the centre of Old Town I’ll take you by the Mercat Cross and St Giles Cathedral.
Before finishing by the Castle, we will make one more stop by the Writers’ Museum in Lady Stair's Close.
I hope you have enjoyed coming along for a virtual walk of my snow day adventure around Edinburgh. However, if you plan on visiting in the future, my Dad and I would love to take on one of our Wee Golden Walks. My Dad can provide you with even more captivating stories that help bring the history of our city alive. I will bring my fluffy and cuddly expertise along to entertain you as well. In the meantime, make sure to subscribe to our blog so that you can see more of my adventures in Edinburgh and around Scotland!
Until next time- Explore and Discover!
*Update: Winter 2024*
Please note that, since this blog post was written, our beloved Sawyer is no longer with us and has crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. However, we write this blog in his memory and to continue his legacy.