Exploring Edinburgh’s Holyrood

Exploring Edinburghs Holyrood

It’s amazing how much you discover when you take the time to explore an area which you usually walk past on the way to somewhere else. I’ve walked past Holyrood, the area at the bottom of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, on many occasions. I’m usually en-route from the free parking in Abbeyhill to the city centre. Normally, it’s either raining, I’m carrying luggage or have just enough time to get to my appointment.  Last week on a dry, if somewhat dreich (Scottish for grey/dismal) December day, I’d no luggage and I had a few minutes to spare before my lunch appointment.

I loved the reflection of Salisbury Crags in one of the ponds in the landscaped area by the Scottish Parliament. You get a much clearer overview of the landscaping in this aerial photo taken by Rankin Fraser, the landscape architect who carried out the work.

Exploring Edinburghs Holyrood

Salisbury Crags reflected in pond in Scottish Parliament landscaping

There are also ponds at the front of the Scottish Parliament.

Exploring Edinburghs Holyrood

Pond in front of the Scottish Parliament

Behind the Scottish Parliament is Dynamic Earth, an interactive attraction which explores the life of our planet. The white exterior of the Millenium Dome style construction provides a striking contrast to the backdrop of Salisbury Crags.

Exploring Edinburghs Holyrood

Dynamic Earth against the backdrop of Salisbury Crags

Exploring Edinburghs Holyrood

Dynamic Earth scultpure

Can you spot the photographer and the Scottish Parliament building reflected in the sign at the entrance to Dynamic Earth?

Exploring Edinburghs Holyrood

Reflective Dynamic Earth sign

Opposite the Scottish Parliament is the Queen’s Gallery. It was created with a refurb of the former Holyrood Free Church and the Duchess of Gordon’s School to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee in 2002. A golden garland of Scottish flowers adorns the arch above the entrance.

Exploring Edinburghs Holyrood

The golden theme countinues on the exterior oak doors. There’s a Lion Rampant of Scotland with flowers of Scottish trees above.

Exploring Edinburghs Holyrood

Lion Rampant of Scotland

On the other door, there’s a golden Scottish Unicorn.

Exploring Edinburghs Holyrood

The Scottish Unicorn

I reckon it pays dividends to stop and look about, as I did in Edinburgh’s Holyrood,  instead of always dashing somewhere esle.

Exploring Edinburghs Holyrood