Monday, 30 April 2012

Nostalgia

Niall grew up in Edinburgh and went to Edinburgh University before decamping to York for post-grad studies, where we met.

Royal Terrace
After both finishing at York we lived in Edinburgh for several years. We were spoilt in so far as we were lucky enough to rent a flat in the 'New Town'. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1995; this sector of the city was built at the tail-end of the 18th century and has a very homogenous look as it was carefully planned and designed.

Sunshine on Leith, view from Royal Terrace to Fife
The New Town dates from the same period as the famous cresents in Bath and is in the neo-classical Georgian style. It was built to resolve the problems of Edinburgh's Old Town which had become insalubrious and very over crowded. So much so, that the city big wigs were worried that the richer inhabitants would decamp and permanently desert Edinburgh altogether for London [or the bright lights of Dundee!!].

Regent Terrace, outside 'our' basement
We lived in a basement flat in Regent Terrace, which lies at the very eastern end of the New Town right under Calton Hill. At the top of the street is the American Consulate; hence the flag in the photo. This part of the New Town was designed by Playfair and built in the early 19th century and is named after the Prince Regent, later King George IV.
View from Regent Terrace; Arthur's Seat & Scottish parliament
Like many of the New Town properties there are private communal gardens at the back which are shared with the houses along Royal Terrace. Regent Terrace faces out towards Arthur's Seat; Royal Terrace towards the Firth of Forth and the distant shores of Fife. The gardens are the enclosed green space the between the two. Then as now, we had two cats: Echo & Clio, so this was perfect. At the top of the gardens is [we assume it is still there] a ha-ha and wall with a small gate which allows residents to access Calton Hill. Spoilt indeed!

The Meadows looking towards Edinburgh University library
We also had a look at Niall's old student flat located on the south side of the park called The Meadows. This area of the city is called Bruntsfield and is still very much a student quarter as it is near the university.

20 comments:

MorningAJ said...

What a lovely place to live. Although York's quite fine too.

I've not visited Edinburgh half often enough and I really would like the chance to see it properly sometime - rather than an occasional day trip.
Thanks for the glimpses I've had today.

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Niall and Antoinette:
It is far too long since we were in Edinburgh and so we have particularly enjoyed this post with its photographs of 'New Town'. What a delightful part of the town in which to have lived. As we may once have said, upon first seeing a street which we think was, is, St. Anne's Grove, we immediately fell in love with the whole area and did, for a short while, consider making Edinburgh our home. But those cold, dark winters!

Jean said...

Edinburgh is such a beautiful city. I haven't been there for over twenty years so it's nice to see lovely photos of it.

Perpetua said...

It's always good to revisit old haunts, especially when you can be sure that they won't have changed for the worse. :-) Lovely photos of this magnificent part of Edinburgh, a city I too haven't visited for far too long.

The Broad said...

Lovely pictures... as a very young child my husband lived with his father in Edinburgh. He took me once to the house his father owned, but I cannot remember what the area is called. I hope we can back there and spend a few days sometime as I thought a wonderful city.

The picture you have here with the fruit trees in blooms reminds me so much of Washington, D.C. at cherry blossom time...

GaynorB said...

Isn't it wonderful to have the opportunity to visit old haunts and see them through the different eyes. The difference is caused by experience. Sometimes this can lead to disappointment, although reading your words I don't think this is the case with you.

My memories of Edindurgh are from 1976 when we slept for a couple of nights at Waverley station because we couldn't afford the youth hostel! It was beautiful city especially in that long hot summer.

Vera said...

Nice visiting Edinburgh with you and sharing your memories.

the cuby poet said...

I love Edinburgh and although have been a few times feel that there is so much to discover so this post informs me of more about this great city. Thank you.

the fly in the web said...

How lovely to go back and find that it is still as beautiful as you remember it.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@AJ - we loved living in both.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Jane & Lance - Sadly it is so often cold & windy [whatever the season]. We were very lucky to be able to take the photos we did in sunshine -- a real window of opportunity.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Jean - it is a lovely city; just don't visit it at the height of summer unless you don't mind being swamped by tourists.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Perpetua - thankfully Edinburgh wears the years serenely. And apart from the ridiculous tram fiaso remains, at heart, unchanged.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Broad - that's why I took the photo of the meadows :-) Cherry blossom in DC is such a strong memory of my childhood.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Gaynor - I'm assuming the said bench has a blue plaque on it now? ;-)

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Vera - it is a lovely place and has loads of green space which makes it attractive.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Cuby - the appeal about Edinburgh is that it is a 'walkable' city.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@fly - yes indeed. Sometimes you can find yourself being disappointed when re-visiting somewhere.

Leon and Sue Sims said...

Arthur's Seat is also in Melbourne on our Mornington Peninsula which we have written about in a past post.
I guess it must have its origins from the one in Edinburgh as it to is at a high point overlooking our Port Phillip Bay.
Have you heard of our Arthur's Seat before?
Leon

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Leon & Sue - welcome :-) no, we didn't know but it doesn't surprise us at all. We're guessing that you get a spectacular view from the top just like in Edinbrugh.