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Northern Europe
My last day on Islay I discovered the village of picturesque Portnahaven and it's beautiful church with two doors... Left door is for the people of Portnahaven and the right door is for the people of Port Wemyss, their neighbor village...
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A847, Bruichladdich, Isle of Islay PA49 7UN, UK
I went to Scotland to investigate the whisky-obsessed country's newfound appreciation for gin. But it turns out that the spate of new Scottish gins is actually related to whisky. I sat down with Bruichladdich's Master Distiller, Jim McEwan to talk...
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Isle of Islay, UK
The southernmost island of Scotland's Inner Hebrides, Islay is known for its whisky, specifically smoky, peaty whisky. It also has lovely beaches (worth checking out if the weather cooperates) and a mostly flat landscape ideal for cycling.
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Ardbeg, Isle of Islay PA42 7EA, UK
My first morning on Islay when I woke up in Port Ellen very early it was still dark and dead silent outside. After a ninety minute walk I arrived to Ardbeg Distillery. The sun was rising beautifully behind it's pagodas. A morning I will never...
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Appin, Portnacroish PA38 4BL, UK
We spent the day driving a rough circle along A82 and adjoining roads as we made our way through Glen Coe in the Western Highlands down to Oban. Fans of "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" might recall the final scene taking place at this castle....
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Fort William, UK
What was expected to be the low point of a two day getaway at the foot of Ben Nevis turned out to be one of the more beautiful experiences of my life so far. The four hour train ride between Glasgow and Fort William takes you between snow-capped...
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Fort William, UK
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Ben Nevis, Fort William PH33 6SY, UK
Driving south from Inverness to Glasgow last winter, a friend and I decided to stop at the Nevis Range Mountain Resort outside of Fort William. I had been testing out a new camera and wanted to get photos of Scotland's Highlands. I was certainly...
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Inverie, Mallaig PH41 4PL, UK
You’ll explore the Knoydart Peninsula’s mountain passes and Small Isles on this 42-mile, eight- day guided hike, which includes sampling some of Scotland’s finest cuisine at a boat-in lodge. From $1,796. This appeared in the March/April issue 2014...
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Breakish, Isle of Skye IV42 8PY, UK
After days of rain that obscured the landscape of the Northern Highlands of Scotland, I drove across the bridge to the Isle of Skye as the sun broke through and lit the hills with a beauty that made it difficult to focus on steering. Breakish was...
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Kyle Akin, United Kingdom
When the tour buses pull away in the evening, Kyleakin is quiet again. I am free to explore the village and scramble the ruins of Castle Moil while I work on my Gaelic phrases but first I must master the name of the village across the bridge.
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Calum´s Road,Kyle, Arnish, Kyle IV40 8PF, UK
Raasay is a fourteen-mile long slip of land nestled between Skye and the Scottish mainland. The heathery isle is weighted in history, and the scenery is wonderful: waking up to views across the water of the snow-capped Cuillin mountains is nothing...
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River Sligachan, Isle of Skye, UK
Our guide warned us about the freezing water before we left the warm surround of our tour bus. That was of course after he had also told us that the 'Fountain of Youth' so sought after my humanity since time immemorial, was just outside our window...
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Glenbrittle, Isle of Skye IV47 8TA, UK
Hidden amongst the scenic mountains nestled below the staggering Cuillins, are magically enchanted waterfalls and crystal clear pools of water. Progressively more beautiful the further down you hike. The scenery itself will entice you to take a...
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9-11 Bosville Terrace, Portree, Portree, Isle of Skye IV51 9DG, UK
The Isle of "Mist". The weather changes on the Isle of Skye from moment to moment. Colors fade in and out of vibrancy with the flow of the clouds. In the center of the shot you can see the tidal island that in the late hours of one chilly August...
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Elishader, Portree IV51 9JE, UK
We had a few hours before dinner to drive around the perimeter of the Isle of Skye. A short distance south of Staffin, on the east coast of Skye’s Trotternish Peninsula, Kilt Rock, where the falls descend from a 200 foot high sea cliff. The...
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Isle of Skye, Duntulm, Portree IV51 9UF, UK
At the very northern tip of the Isle of Skye, which is an island off of the upper north western shore of Scotland, are the ruins of Duntulm Castle. To get there, you have to drive for several hours on narrow dirt roads, but the sense of remoteness...
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Just a few steps from the towering gravestone of Scottish heroine Flora McDonald lies a legend from another age: Alexander McQueen. Alexander (Lee) McQueen was fiercely proud of his Scottish heritage, which influenced several of his collections....
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Trumpan, Isle of Skye IV55 8GW, UK
Scotland is full of myths and legends, and, with its tales of fairies and even dinosaurs, the tales of Isle of Skye are some of the tallest. And, yet, it is the true stories that are the most remarkable. Located on Skye's Waternish peninsula,...
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MacLeod Estate, Dunvegan House, Dunvegan, Isle of Skye IV55 8WF, UK
The English Lakeland Ramblers use local guides to lead the seven-day wander past such sites as Dunvegan Castle and Gardens, and, on Lewis Island, the prehistoric Standing Stones of Callanish. From $3,175. This appeared in the March/April issue...
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36 Northton, Isle of Harris HS3 3JA, UK
Nestled in the tiny village of Northton on the Isle of Harris is a local culinary secret: Croft 36. For Harris holidaymakers who feel like a treat, Croft 36 operates as a catering business delivering fresh seafood meals to their vacation location,...
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Castle Grounds, Lews Castle Grounds, Isle of Lewis HS2 0XP, UK
Wander around the Castle Grounds to work off your lunch. Here you can enjoy the greenery on the mile-long walk along the Creed River, watch for the wildlife that lives in the woods, or encounter the remains of local history and legend, like the...
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Kenneth St, Stornoway HS1 2DS, UK
An Lanntair – meaning ‘lantern’ in Gaelic – is the name of Stornoway’s art centre. It’s an appropriate one, given the architectural appearance of the place. Here you can seek out unique souvenirs at the quirky gift shop, or admire the (often...
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Old Man of Hoy, Stromness KW16 3NJ, UK
Since we saw the pictures of The Old Man of Hoy for the first time we were dreaming to go there. Towards to the end of your 3 miles hike from Rackwick suddenly you see the Old Man rising behind the cliffs far away. When you get closer the scene is...
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Lairg IV27 4HN, UK
Traveling the single lane "highways" of Scotland's Highlands is a memorable experience. Here, an early morning view of Ardvreck Castle, a quintessential Scottish landscape; the castle remains date back to 1490.
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Golspie KW10 6SF, UK
The 13th-century estate, Dunrobin Castle, is beautifully situated above a gracious park with formal gardens, overlooking the North Sea, where fabulous falconry performances are staged daily in the gardens.
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Culloden Moor, Inverness IV2 5EU, UK
This battlefield is worth a visit. The visitors center has a chronological history of events leading up to and the aftermath of the battle. It gives perspective from both sides; the government view as well as the Jacobites. It has guided tours...
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Drumnadrochit, Inverness IV63 6XJ, UK
View of Urquart Castle overlooking Loch Ness. Did not see Nessie, but awesome nonetheless!
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Aviemore PH22, UK
Take one of the many routes that start from Aviemore and enjoy the Cairngorms
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Aviemore PH22 1RB, UK
On a good day Scotland really does rival the Alps - this was a perfect walk in - blue skies, light winds, fluffy snow, and not another sinner in sight. Perfect winter walking conditions.
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8m W of Strathdon on the, A939, Strathdon AB36 8YP, UK
A road trip through the highlands is a must for people who like the color green. Our drive started out dark and rainy, making the drive very serene and placating... but as the day went on, the clouds lifted and the sun broke through! And rainbows...
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Grantown on Spey PH26 3HG, UK
Over seven days, you’ll find the food, estate visits, and distillery tours and tastings just as spectacular as the daily hikes, which include Culloden Moor and Cairngorms National Park. From $4,095. This appeared in the March/April issue 2014...
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Northern Europe
My favorite lodging in the Highlands: the stately Regency mansion boasts five tastefully decorated guests rooms, displaying paintings and sculptures by contemporary Scottish artists and the gourmet dinners were extraordinary!
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Macallan Distillery, Easter Elchies, Charlestown of Aberlour AB38 9RX, UK
When in Scotland, do as the Scots do. Drink whisky. So whether you're a fan of whisky, or maybe of tours based on alcohol, I'd highly recommend taking a tour of the Macallan Distillery. It's only 5GBP for an hour and a half tour, which includes...
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Mains of Slains Cottage, Collieston, Ellon AB41 8ST, UK
A little history first, this castle was built in 1597 on the cliffs over looking the Bay of Cruden and Port Erroll. Bram Stoker lived there for several years off and on. The story goes that Dracula was based on this location, not because of the...
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Union St, Aberdeen, UK
In my year of living in Scotland, Scots had always told me to not go to Aberdeen. "There's nothing there. It's ugly. It's boring. It's dead depressing", they would say. But in my current trip to Scotland, I would have to say I really enjoy the...
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Stonehaven AB39 2TL, UK
On a cold, rainy morning in Sept, 2010 I hiked the 3km from Stonehaven to Dunnottar Castle. Public transport is available, but you are cheating yourself by not walking. The path to Dunnottar cuts through fields and is well-maintained. As you get...
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Loch Dunmore Faskally Wood, Pitlochry PH16 5LB, UK
Pitlochry in Highlands Perthshire could perhaps be an unlikely candidate for the home of an award-winning sound and light show - but, it is, and to be quite honest I can think of similar places that could work just as well - but it's the...
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The Gleneagles Hotel, Auchterarder PH3 1NF, UK
There may not be a lovelier place to golf than Scotland, and Gleneagles resort has one of the most impressive backdrops for a game. The hotel, located on 850 acres in the Perthsire countryside, has three championship golf courses and is home to...
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The Pends, St Andrews KY16 9QL, UK
Often called, "Scotland's Greatest Cathedral" the now-ruined medieval St. Andrews, overlooking the North Sea in its namesake town, is a splendid sight any time of day or night. However, in my several days of residence in the town made famous by...
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Milngavie, Glasgow G62 6PB, UK
Challenge yourself over 12 days and 95 miles, crossing the woodlands, moorlands, and mountains of Western Scotland. The long days on foot are rewarded with a good night’s rest at local inns. From $2,095. This appeared in the March/April 2014...
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730 Great Western Rd, Glasgow G12 0UE, UK
The Gaelic translation of Glasgow, Glaschu, literally means “dear green place”—an appropriate name for a city which boasts over 90 parks and gardens within its city boundaries. A fantastic example of this is the sprawling Botanic...
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Ashton Ln, Glasgow G12, UK
This charming cobblestoned back street, lined with restaurants and bars, is the place for lively nightlife in Glasgow’s West End. When darkness falls, festive strings of lights twinkle overhead, and the sounds of live music and laughter drift from...
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Argyle St, Glasgow G3 8AG, UK
A spectacular late-Victorian heap of ornate red sandstone, the Kelvingrove (within a lovely park of the same name) is the signature gallery and museum of the city of Glasgow. It has a full house of historic exhibitions as well as a wide range of...
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Exhibition Way, Glasgow G3 8YW, UK
Like a gleaming, illuminated spaceship that’s come in for a slightly tipsy landing, SSE Hydro—Glasgow’s futuristic new concert, conference and event venue—was designed by no less than Sir Norman Foster. When it opened on September 30, 2013 with a...
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Pacific Quay, Glasgow G51, UK
This waterfront’s transforming big time. Gone are the industrial giants along the river banks. Once a bastion of steamship building and the port where thousands of emigrants left for greener pastures in America, now you’ll find interesting new...
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Pointhouse Place, Glasgow G3 8RS, UK
The author of “How The Scots Invented the Modern World” would surely revel in this ginormous place by the Glasgow Harbor celebrating the history of transport both on land and sea. Not only does this extraordinary collection showcasing some of the...
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66 Hyndland St, Glasgow G11 5PT, UK
Scottish grub was never really about the famed haggis or deep-fried mars bars, and although you can still search these treats out today’s chefs have re-invented the old and familiar. In the city’s west end, Cafézique is a best kept secret. The...
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421 Sauchiehall St, Glasgow G2 3LG, UK
A Glasgow institution, "Sleazy's" as the locals call it, is your one stop shop for arts, music, and cheap White Russians. Check the calendar for live music shows and make it a dinner stop, too -- a menu of gourmet burgers, sandwiches and salads...
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167 Renfrew St, Glasgow G3 6RQ, UK
“For me, the art school is what Garnethill is all about. If I go out to buy a pint of milk, I pass this architectural landmark, and it still gives me a buzz. The school also has an art supply shop that I find very useful for my work.” -Stewart...
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12 Rose St, Glasgow G3 6RB, UK
"This 1930s theater has an art deco exterior and multiple screens showing art house movies. It’s right on my doorstep, and I love being able to think, ‘Oh, I fancy seeing a film tonight,’ and then start watching one five minutes later.” -Stewart...
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97 Buchanan St, Glasgow G1 3HF, UK
Architects and designers, students of the pursuit or just anyone with an eye for great design: the name Charles Rennie Mackintosh probably is held in high esteem in your world. The Glasgow architect and designer is celebrated around the world as...
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154 Hope St, Glasgow G2 2TH, UK
My boyfriend and I are scotch drinkers so we absolutely had to find the best bar to sample great scotch while we were in Glasgow. After a little research we found this bar. First we went and had dinner at a nearby spot where we had great food...
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253 Argyle St, Glasgow G2 8DL, UK
“Like a lot of theaters in Glasgow, the Arches is a reclaimed space. The vaults under the city’s railway station have been turned into one of my favorite theater venues. By night it’s a club, too.” - Stewart Laing This appeared in the...
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Royal Exchange Square, Glasgow G1, UK
Glaswegians’ sense of play and unpretentious humor are on display at the Gallery of Modern Art. See how the head of a classical equestrian statue of Wellington is crowned with a neon traffic cone. The story goes that some art students faithfully...
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98 Buchanan St, Glasgow G1 3HA, UK
It’s easy to become a shopaholic along this square mile in the center of Glasgow crammed with over 200 shops. Dubbed as the UK’s most successful shopping location outside London’s west end, expect lots of unique designer stores and strictly...
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Glasgow G2 1DH, UK
Glasgow is an architecture-buff’s dream, with beautiful 19th-century Victorian, Gothic, and Art Nouveau, and Neo-Classical buildings scattered throughout the city. Many of these are best appreciated on foot—including Glasgow City Chambers, in the...
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Heading to Glasgow’s Necropolis at sundown in winter is not for the faint of heart. Cross the bridge by the cathedral and enter the cemetery known as the ‘City of the Dead.’ Established in 1831, back when the city was one of the...
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244 Gallowgate, Glasgow G4 0TT, UK
Bob Dylan, David Bowie, The Clash, and U2 are just a few of the seminal acts to have performed at this vaunted music hall since it first opened in 1934. Occupying a massive city center building with street-level market stalls and an iconic neon...
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Greendyke Street, Saltmarket, Glasgow G1 5DB, UK
Glasgow, some might be surprised to know, has more than its fair share of parks, but Glasgow Green, gifted to the city by King James II in the 15th century, is by far the oldest. Once upon a time, this is where the locals would graze their...
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Glasgow G42 9BA, UK
Scotland’s national stadium is the soccer mecca with its own unique museum harbouring 2,000 memorabilia from the early years plus it’s the home of the Scottish Football Hall of Fame. Be sure to visit because soccer known as ‘football’ is in the...
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Emirates Arena, 1000 London Rd, Glasgow G40 3HG, UK
This state-of-the-art professional cycling track and stadium, unveiled in 2012, will be one of the key venues when Glasgow hosts the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Between July 23 and August 3, thousands of fans will fill the venue to watch as the world...
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237 Morningside Rd, Edinburgh EH10 4QU, UK
Outside there is a beer garden with benches and colorful tablecloths. Inside, there is bric-a-brac everywhere, including an old penny-farthing bicycle. I go for a traditional drink of real ale, like Belhaven. They have a brilliant selection of...
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366 Morningside Rd, Edinburgh EH10 4QN, UK
The owners are a South African brother and sister, and they do great coffee. Try their Elephant Soup, which has lentils, peanuts, and a type of African dried meat calledbiltong. —Gaynor Salisbury 366 Morningside Rd. 44/(0) 131-466-8337. This story...
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210 Morningside Rd, Edinburgh EH10 4QQ, UK
I love old books, and this secondhand shop has a huge range, from classics to modern literature. —Gaynor Salisbury 204–206 Morningside Rd. 44/(0) 131-446-9169. This story appeared in the November/December 2010 issue. See all of Gaynor Salisbury’s...
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Newbattle Terrace, Edinburgh EH10 4RT, UK
This cinema has big comfy sofas, and you can take a glass of wine in with you. —Gaynor Salisbury 18 Newbattle Terr. 44/(0) 131-447-4771. This story appeared in the November/December 2010 issue. See all of Gaynor Salisbury’s favorite places...
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Morningside Rd, Edinburgh EH10 4DR, UK
by Gaynor Salisbury, As Told To Nick Draney A beautiful building that has lots of good amateur productions. 33A Morningside Rd. 44/(0) 131-447-7597 This story appeared in the November/December 2010 issue. See all of Gaynor Salisbury’s...
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Teviot Row House, 13 Bristo Pl, Edinburgh EH8 9AJ, UK
Another of the hallmark venues of the Fringe...the Gilded Ballroom. This is the epicenter of most of the comedy offerings during the festival. This was a shot from the front of the Q/queue/line for the Rubberbandits...an Irish comedic duo. This...
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30-34 Candlemaker Row, Edinburgh EH1 2QE, UK
Located across the street from the bar is a statue in honor of Greyfriars Bobby. Bobby was the name of a cute little Skye Terrier who has become legendary in the Scottish capital. When Bobby's master died, he was so sad and yet an obedient dog,...
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21 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1EN, UK
Heading off the Royal Mile to find Greyfriar's Bobby, we passed this cafe that, by its name, I assumed was an Indian restaurant. But a closer look at the bottom of the main window stated that this was where the hero of Hogwarts was created. The...
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One of the many festival venues during the Fringe. The Underbelly has about a million and one different and cleverly-named spaces houses within its footprint. Big Belly....Belly Button...the Milking Room.
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81-83 Grassmarket, Edinburgh EH1 2HJ, UK
Where would the students of Edinburgh be without Armstrong's? Since 1870, Edinburgh residents have been coming to this vintage emporium, much larger inside than its exterior suggests, for cheap and unique items of clothing representing every era...
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74-78 Grassmarket, Edinburgh EH1 2JR, UK
We ended our Edinburgh trip, suitably, at The Last Drop, which is in the heart of the Grassmarket. According to our host, The Last Drop is where prisoners would go to get their last drink of whiskey prior to being executed. From grassmarket.net:...
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Castlehill, Edinburgh EH1 2NG, UK
Great viewing spot....even on grey day in Edinburgh.
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Castlehill, Edinburgh EH1 2NG, UK
In Scottish, Hogmanay means the last day of the year. It's a time for celebration to welcome in the new year. And no place does it better than Edinburgh. Its three days of celebrations begin with a torchlight procession on December 30 where 40,000...
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E. Princes St Gardens, Edinburgh EH2 2EJ, UK
The Scot Monument is located in the city centre on Princes Street. Climbing to the top is interesting but very worth it for the great view.
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Princes St, Edinburgh EH2 2HG, UK
It's the kind of party that packs the city streets, clogs public transportation and leaves an entire town with hungover revelers for days following. Yet when I told friends and family I was traveling to Edinburgh, Scotland for 'Hogmanay' over New...
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352 Castlehill, Edinburgh EH1 2NF, UK
The Witchery Restaurant is a Scottish institution. A high-end dining experience in an enchanting and magical atmosphere, it's a setting perfectly in tune with the spooky legends that Edinburgh is known for. You must make a reservation and try to...
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Calton Hill, Edinburgh EH1 3BJ, UK
Calton Hill is my favorite spot in Edinburgh. It has an excellent view of all the highlights of the city: the castle, Arthur's Seat, all the spire tops and domes, the Forth River, Holyrood Palace... If you haven't got much time in Edinburgh, you...
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19 Hillside Cres, Edinburgh EH7 5EB, UK
New Year's Eve in Times Square too tame for you? Carnival in Rio a bit too quiet? Burning Man too reserved? Partying for four days with 400,000 of your newest best friends sound like fun? Then maybe Hogmanay is for you...
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Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh EH8 8AL, UK
There are few things in life I hate more than hiking. I would sprint anyone given the opportunity - but hiking? No. Every hike that lasts more than 10 minutes is already 9 more minutes than I can handle. But, that doesn't mean I rebuke at every...
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South Georgia Island, SIQQ 1ZZ, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
I discovered these posing elephant seals on a trip to South Georgia Island in the Atlantic. There was a lot of noise and a lot of fighting on the beach as the males fiercely protected their harems. Amidst the furor, these three quickly approached...