Saturday: Edinburgh

Edinburgh Castle

The doors of over 100 public buildings around the city were open today and we took advantage of this annual September event that we lucked into.

Our first stop was the Edinburgh Sheriff and Justices of the Peace Court. We snagged tickets to the first tour, where we first heard from the Clerk of the Court about how the daily court system works (they stay until every held person is arraigned, so sometimes well into the night) as we checked out the courtroom. We saw cells (all of them empty since it is the weekend) and heard about how they handle assigning prisoners to cells. The 45- minute tour was very well done and there were tables of free duffle bags, snacks, pens and pencils, and key chains, which I grabbed as souvenirs.

Next we went to the Supreme Court buildings, on Parliament Square. This time we got tickets to a tour that was not for an hour, so as we waited we checked out some of the presentations: People could try on a judge’s robe and wig, hear about the law library, and look at some of the ancient portraits hanging all arround the great hall where we gathered.

The tour was good and was mainly about how the grand building was once used to house prisoners. Now those underground cells are used for paper files. Still, it was intriguing to see behind the scenes and in the lower levels of the very old building.

Next we went to the Arthur Conan Doyle Centre. We listened to the beginning of this tour which was more about the meditation and wellness center there than his writing. Our mistake, I should have read about that more thoroughly beforehand.

We had hoped to go to the croquet center and see some professional players in action, but that building was only open from 2pm-4pm and it was already 2:30pm. We had lunch instead and marvelled about how many thousands of people had overtaken Edinburgh overnight – the streets were nice and quiet until today. Still, it was a sunny day and nice to be out and about.


stained glass window at Supreme Court building. The more money a donor gave, the larger his picture.

A street performer we came acriss as we walked around.


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