Exerpts of 1,600 word article


Before shepherding us on an all-day tour of his native Edinburgh, our guide Colin told us "If we've not got better than Glasgow, we've got the equivalent." In retrospect, I would say he is a modest man. Even in March, with leafless trees, grey buildings fused with leaden skies, and a wicked wind swirling about the hills, I saw this as one of the world's most engaging cities ...

The royal streets of the New Town - Queen, George, Princes, Charlotte, etc. - are neatly laid out in a grid system, so it's impossible to get lost. Tall, dignified-looking houses with intricately patterned fanlights above their doors and shiny brass knockers on them, these are professional offices now. Two hundred years ago they had some pretty illustrious tenants. "Lord Lister lived here. He pioneered antiseptic... " our guide began. "Dr Fleming who discovered penicillin lived in that house. This is where Alexander Graham Bell lived as a baby ... John Baird, credited with the invention of television lived in this one ..." The list is endless. Sir Walter Scott resided at 39 Castle Street, Robert Louis Stevenson at No 17 Heriot Row. No 7 Charlotte Square is maintained as a museum, beautifully furnished to Georgian times by the National Trust for Scotland.