Book Related Adventures

Edinburgh! Feat. A Speakeasy, Books and a Castle.

Wow, what a trip (in April). My best friend has been living here since June 2016, and this is my second trip to see her and I brought my husband! Edinburgh is an incredible place, diverse and friendly with some excellent drinking holes and bookshops! We arrived late Thursday night off the plane and after a quick catch up we went to bed. The next morning was when the fun started!

I am a full on basic witch, when away, anywhere in the world, I need Starbucks! Tis the only way to start a day! So, after getting the bus into Central Edinburgh and a wander down Princes Street with coffee in hand we head towards the stunning Edinburgh Castle. I did a little research before going and instead of going to the obvious Waterstones or WHSmiths, I looked up local second-hand bookshops, books to the ceiling, the smell of dust and well-read books was high in Armchair Books just down the road from the Castle! I bought The Black Lung Captain, the second book in a 4-part series by Chris Wooding. I have now bought the first one too!

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Once I was satisfied I had spent enough of the holiday in a bookshop, we headed to the castle. I have been to Edinburgh before and seen the castle from afar but WOW that castle just screams Hogwarts, its atop a hill looming over the entire of Edinburgh and from the top I got some incredible photos!

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(Hogwarts right?)

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Edinburgh from up high!

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Royal Mile from the view of a Cannon and Royal Mile from ground level.

We also met a Raven called Nevermore and an owl called Guinevere.

After our Castle adventure we stopped at Civerinos for pizza then down the Royal Mile at and headed for the Holyrood Palace, we didn’t actually go into the palace, but it’s pretty enough to look at. Whilst walking away we saw an amazing graveyard which looked like it had been there of centuries! Looking at some of those headstones, it has! I love the peace and tranquility when in a graveyard, a stillness and respectfulness for those who have been. The height of the graveyard gave us some very beautiful shots of the valley beyond Edinburgh.

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We had the loveliest weather for the whole 5 days we were there! It’s still the North so it was cold and windy but still beautiful. I took a hundred and one pictures of the sky alone! Here’s one of them.

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Saturday brought a sunny, slow morning and when we did finally leave the house we went to the local market in Leith! I love going to markets, exhibitions and museums in places I am just visiting. It gives me a view of the locals loves and interests. After a beautiful sunny walk back to the apartment we got ready to go for dinner at Yamatos, a sushi restaurant in central Edinburgh, so delicious, I’d like to let the pictures do the talking, however I only got one of the food, it was too yummy and I couldn’t resist!

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Market & Gallery in the morning

Sushi and pretty lampshades in the evening, then on to cocktails!

As I may have mentioned before in other posts on various social media, I found a speak-easy in Edinburgh, where the way to get in was through a bookcase! Can you think of anything more an excitable little traveling book nerd could want! Not only did we go to this place but we also drank out of a top hat… Please see below for more!

I may have forgotten to mention, this is a “barbershop” with a secret bookcase within that houses a speakeasy! It’s so unexpected and awesome and the staff are lovely and the drinks are not cheap but boy they are fun! Once we had consumed enough we headed home for tea and toast and the next day we ventured out to find the Wild West Street ?!?!?!

Spoiler Alert! We found it!

Below is a little about the odd street in Morningside, Edinburgh.

Hidden in a street in Morningside, lies Edinburgh’s Wild West. It was built in 1995/6 by Michael Faulkner as part of the ambience of the sales area for a furniture business, which specialised in Southwestern style. There were a number of let units in ‘El Paso’ too, occupied by ceramists and other artists. The project took six months and by great stroke of good luck, one of the employees, and his very talented girlfriend, had worked on the construction of Euro Disney – hence the authentic paint effects and signage.

The site now lies as part of Edinburgh’s quirky character. The old Springvalley cinema used to lie at the heart of this bizarre street – but only workshops and garages use the space today. You can visit at any time to take pictures and experience this amazing street for yourself and you will see that the door of the Cantina is still used as the fire door for Morningside library.

Many residents of Edinburgh don’t know this part of town exists – but definitely worth a visit.

I loved it there and again with those blue skies, we could of been in a desert somewhere! We took a lovely stroll within Morningside, stopping for Starbucks and then slowly went shopping around Princes St before stopping for a hangover cure cocktail in Edinburgh Hard Rock Cafe!

I genuinely do not know what I had to drink, I normally take a photo of the menu but not this time apparently… :/ silly goose!

The rest of our trip was spent catching up with my bestest and oldest friend (we have known each other since school) so to end this blog, I have some pictures of the view from the plane on the way home 🙂

Thank you for reading, bookworms, I will be on another trip end of July to London and Oxford! My library buddy and I will be going to YALC this year, just for the Saturday because we are off to find all the spots from our favorite books that have featured Oxford on the Sunday!

If you have any tips, tricks or suggestions for YALC, Oxford or just the blog in general, subscribe, get in touch and you can find me on Instagram and Twitter!

Happy Reading Travels Bookworms 8)

Source: Edinburgh Spotlight

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Book Related Adventures

London Town, Aladdin and Word On The Water

Near the House of Illustration and a 9 minute walk from the nearest tube station (Kings Cross St Pancras underground), the floating bookshop made me feel like I was stepping into Narnia. I’m not a city girl and once upon a time I did love London however I prefer smaller, politer cities more North then anywhere (Manchester, Edinburgh, York) now. But London was the location of my birthday surprise, going to see Aladdin in the theatre!

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Aladdin was great fun, a few technical difficulties, a very loud American behind us (who apparently was very easily amused), and no sign of Abu, but an amazing show! After seeing the previous 2 theatre productions by Disney, Beauty And The Beast and The Lion King, Aladdin was always on the knifes edge of being a panto and almost felt unfinished however still a great effort by the Disney Theatre Production team.

 

We went with Mileageplus Exclusives who hosted pre & post show talks with cast and crew (who I genuinely felt sorry for after a matinee and an evening show, then having to talk to us! I felt their tiredness after 5 minutes of questions) and we got goody bags! Including a very comfy fleeced sweatshirt, a collectible of the Genie’s lamp, the programmes from Aladdin, a multi-functional pocket plug for USBs, and compactable storage bags (all pictured below except the fidget spinner!). I got an XL sweatshirt so both me and my husband could share but also for the comfortability too (wearing as I edit this).

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We had spent nearly 2 hours rolling around a Waterstones already and with my dwindling funds I was unable to buy anything from Word On The Water because I bought another beautiful Neil Gaiman book, Neverwhere, which I have never read/seen before. Apparently Neverwhere started as a BBC screenplay and everytime something was removed from the TV series, Neil would add it to the novel! I’m super excited to start reading it and I am sure there will be plenty of photos for Instagram at some point soon as the illustrations (by Chris Riddell) are awesome!

 

 

Word On The Water is a canal boat, filled with books to be bought at fair and reasonable prices, not just second hand nor old, antique books, some new releases, quite a few classics, a child’s section (with a log burner) and a poetry corner. Sultry music on a record player fills the air and the slight motion sickness is worth it to see the quirky beauty that is so out of place in London. However not out of place for where the barge is situated. King’s Cross is a hipster hub, with a quaint market behind the House of Illustration, filled with vegan food, organic wine, art (obviously) and a Waitrose (also, obviously).

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I could happily live on that barge, with the smell of the log burner, books everywhere, and the gentle rocking of the boat. Whilst there I honestly felt a pull of peace and tranquility but when a country girl finds something that reminds her of home, she will find peace, right?

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Directions below to Word On The Water. (with an added stop I know you bookworms will love!)  King’s Cross St Pancras Underground has Circle Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan, Northern, Piccadilly and Victoria lines, so you can arrive from pretty much any and all directions.

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As promised, I have a few other adventures this year, Edinburgh in 2 weeks and London/Oxford in July! Any suggestions, requests or ideas are always wonderfully welcomed.

 

8) Happy Sunday Bookworms! (8