On 8th August 2012, I recreated this walk starting at the Tron Kirk on the corner of High Street and the Bridges. Much of the High Street is pedestrianised and there is a lot of street theatre on the way up to the St Giles Cathedral and the Mercat Cross. I was posing by the Mercat Cross.
We then turned left into the Scottish Courts precints and nodding to a statue of Charles II we entered the security to get access for Parliament House, with its superb hammer-beam ceiling. This is the Court of Session and though closed, we were able to wander past the open (unlocked) files which are kept for advocates within the courts. The lower floor has a cafe appropriately known as The Writz Cafe and the staff are extremely helpful in orientering one's way around.
This is quite a high security building, but the security staff are quite approachable. There were no tourists and it is a shame that Scotland's old parliament house isn't visited more often. Corridors lead off to the Faculty of Advocates. The adjoining Signet Library is currently being used as a champagne bar and we entered the square with the Heart of Midlothian, which is quite busy.
The junction with George IV Bridge can be crossed and there was a crowd of people taking photographs outside Gladstone's Land of people in costume. Further up is The Hub, where much of the Edinburgh International Festival administration, marketing and press is based. There is a cafe and I'm going to a conversation with Barry McGovern at this location.
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This was my second solo walk in Edinburgh since losing my sight and without any prior reconnaissance with a sighted person. I took the bus and got off near the High Street at Hunter’s Square, by the Tron Kirk. Take care if you’re walking in this area as you could fall having climbed a few steps. If you are a reader of Irvin Welsh and Iain Rankin, you might know the area is still frequented by winos and jakeys!
The courts were being refurbished, but entry to Parliament Hall is possible with the immediate surroundings. During sitting days the hammer beam hall is usually busy with advocates and solicitors walking up and down. On the day I went, there was a pair of lawyers doing the walk. In the surrounding corridors are boxes where the advocates would leave their briefs and of course it was a matter of honour that these boxes were not locked nor were they to be opened. Besides the security gate there is an enquiry desk and there is a very attractive booklet on sale (my father bought this for me in the 1990s). The book is still available for £4 and it has many interesting photographs. The booklet was written by Lord Cullen with a forward by Lord Hope, who was then Lord President (he is now in the Supreme Court in London).