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The United Kingdom

Edinburgh

sunny 40 °F

We were supposed to fly home today, but with the bad weather and late in the day flights, there was a high probability that we would get stuck in Atlanta or JFK, neither of which was desirable. So, we explored some more of Edinburgh.

Our first stop was the Queen's Official residence in Scotland, Holyrood Palace. Holyrood Palace has served as the principal residence of the Kings and Queens of Scots since the 16th century, and is a setting for state occasions and official entertaining. Queen Elizabeth spends one week in residence at Holyrood Palace at the beginning of each summer, where she carries out a range of official engagements and ceremonies. The 16th century Historic Apartments of Mary, Queen of Scots and the State Apartments, used for official and state entertaining, are open to the public throughout the year, except when members of the Royal Family are in residence.

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After a bite to eat in the adjoining cafe, we headed to a much less visited, but wonderful castle - Craigmillar Castle - on the outskirts of town. The Preston family of Craigmillar, the local feudal barons, began building the castle in the late 14th century and building works continued through the 15th and 16th centuries. In 1660 the castle was sold to Sir John Gilmour, Lord President of the Court of Session, who made further alterations. The Gilmours left Craigmillar in the 18th century, and the castle fell into ruin. Craigmillar Castle is best known for its association with Mary, Queen of Scots. Following an illness after the birth of her son, the future James VI, Mary arrived at Craigmillar on 20 November 1566 to convalesce. Before she left on 7 December 1566, a pact known as the "Craigmillar Bond" was made, with or without her knowledge, to dispose of her husband Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley. Craigmillar is one of the best-preserved medieval castles in Scotland.

We had a great trip having driven 1345 miles. Scotland is up at the top of my list along with Ireland of my favourite countries.

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Posted by rpickett 08:38 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged edinburgh

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