» Great Britain, Holyrood – Scottish Residence of Her Majesty
Great Britain, Holyrood – Scottish Residence of Her Majesty
Are you fascinated by Scottish castles? Against the dark sky, walls with gothic windows over the centuries lashed with rain and overgrown with rich green grass provoke our imagination longing to know at least a small piece of their stories. Castles and ruins of churches, monasteries and medieval buildings built from the local dark stone are a typical decoration of the beautiful and dramatic Scottish landscape.
When you are on a trip to Edinburgh, visit the most famous of them - the Holyroodhouse, the official Scottish residence of the royal family since the 16th century. The whole area, Holyrood, lies at the eastern end of the Scottish capital, with which it is linked by a single street, the Royal Mile. In addition to the palace surrounded by gardens, there are also impressive ruins of the old abbey. The vast gardens (260 ha) also offer some fascinating views of the city.
The Queen Elizabeth II. they spend one week here regularly in early summer, while in the remaining time the palace houses historic 16th and 17th century apartments and the Great Gallery open to tourists. The exhibition focuses on Mary Stuart, who has experienced many dramas in these walls. The most frightening thing was that her jealous husband had been stabbed brutally by her friend David Rizzio in front of the Queen's eyes. The palace also houses a museum of medieval weapons and occasional exhibitions. There is also a house in Deacon Brodie in Holyrood, according to which the famous story of Dr. Jekylla a Mr. Hyde.
The name Holyrood means the Holy Cross in Old Scottish, which apparently appeared to King David in the first half of the 12th century. The king was said to have fallen from the horse right under the hoofs of a mighty deer, who would have scooped him up on his antler, had he not been for the apparition. The grateful king laid the foundation stone of the future Augustinian abbey here in 1128.
The kings of Scotland often and often lived here, and part of the abbey was eventually turned into a royal residence. In 1430 even twins James and Alexander were born here, the first of which later became King, James II. In his era Holyrood experienced a great boom, the king married there and then died. In the 16th century, however, during the Protestant-Catholic wars during the war turmoil the abbey buildings suffered and gradually turned into ruins.
There are countless attractions lurking in Holyrood, especially shops with typical Scottish goods: hats, kilts and plaid fabrics, swords, bagpipes, whiskey… We highly recommend visiting The Scotch Whiskey Experience at the Royal Mile.
The crown of your trip, so to speak, to Edinburgh and Holyrood can take the form of lunch. The local specialty is traditional Scottish haggis: sheep offal and a side dish of potatoes and turnips. Bon apetit!
GPS: 55°57'12.3"N 3°10'17.0"W
Text: Radka Snížková
In the morning, we set out to beautiful Highlands situated in the northwest. On our way, we pass snow-caped mountains veiled in morning mist. This tempts us to stop and take a beautiful picture. This time we are heading to a place to what we are looking forward the most to – Skye island. A road bloc complicates our travels. It absolutely confuses our GPS which frighten us a bit. We are running of fuel while gaining kilometers and there are not many gas stations around. Eventually, everything works out well and we continue in our journey.
After the natural and architectural beauty of Wales we will move to the south of England. More precisely to the historic region of Sussex, where our first stop will be the town of Lewes.
Bath was a spa town in the past, designed especially for sick and crippled visitors. At the beginning of the 18th century, however, it began to attract individuals with a desire for entertainment and relaxation in a picturesque setting. So over time, the visit to Bath became a tradition for many, and the city soon reached its greatest fame.
St Davids is less than 2,000 inhabitants, making it the smallest town in the UK. Most of its area is occupied by the Cathedral of St. David and the premises associated with it. This building also helped the city to its unusual status, it is the largest church building in Wales and it houses the remains of St. David, so obviously can not be part of the village, but the city.
If I could only return to Scotland in one place, it would be either a remote and deserted mountainous island of Harriss, or justified by Skye. And the more I think about it, the more Skye wins.
The mountains in the north-west of Scotland rarely exceed 800 meters and roads usually run along rivers or coasts. Therefore, I would not expect here to be as beautiful and high as Applecross pass. Let's go to there!
Autumn is an unusual time of the year to travel. For a long time, we were thinking if to even set out despite less dayilight time, winter, often rains yet Scotland captured us with its beauty and we would eventually buy our flight tickets. There is a regular connection between Prague and Edinburgh. Glasgow is about an hour of car ride from Edinburgh. Yet first we would travel bit further to the west and make a trek in the Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park.
It is time to leave the landscape of lakes, mountains, and long valleys in the center of Scotland and head through the inhospitable wasteland to the north to Thurso in sight of the Orkney islands. Instead of the highway A9, leading along the coast, I also chose deserted roads through endless moors and wetlands.
In the long valley between Fort William and Pitlochry in the middle of Scotland lies a large heath and in the middle of it one of the most deserted train stations. Surrounded only by lakes and heathland, you can still have tea inside it.
When I first went out into the world at 18, it was Scotland. I still remember the moon in it, when I almost traced it all to this day. For 7 years I wanted to go back and finally it was time. I got on a motorbike in Prague and set off for about 2000 kilometers long way to the northwest.
Near the famous Lake Ness, there lies at the mouth of the river of the same name into the sea and the ancient city of Inverness. Today it serves as a natural center for the entire Highlands of Scotland. But the city itself is worth a stop and a little exploration.
Our Slovenian adventure full of knowledge continues. After visiting the Kranjska Gora, which is surrounded by breathtaking mountain scenery, we move on to another natural gem - the Vintgar Gorge (Blejski Vintgar, Vintgar Sotesque).
After a whole day in the wetlands in the north of Scotland, I headed west along the coast to get back to the mountains. They are much lower than those in the center of the country, but it does not detract from their beauty. Because of the harsh climates, heather and grass are often not kept on them, often leaving only majestic gray rocks.
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