The English invasion that never came
Mr Wood’s Fossils
This fossil shop opened in 1987, founded by Stan Wood, a famous fossil hunter who discovered numerous fossil plants and over 30 new species of animals, including the Westlothiana lizziae, thought at the time to be the oldest reptile ever discovered, and which is now on display at the National Museum of Scotland.
It’s quite a curious shop, and may give you the opportunity to bring back home a very unique souvenir from your travels!
George Heriot’s School
So this… is a school, but it may have inspired J.K. Rowling when creating Hogwarts. And it is pretty, isn’t it?
The construction of this wall came by as a result of a military victory of Scottish forces over English ones: the Battle of Flodden, which took place in 1513, and where the Scots were victorious and King James IV was killed. As Edinburgh feared reprisal from the English, they decided to build a wall to defend the city. This English invasion never took place, but the wall still protected Edinburgh for a long time after, though only a few fragments remain today — one at Greyfriars Kirkyard, another along the Vennel leading to Grassmarket (where I took this picture), and another where Drummond Street and Pleasance Street meet.
The word “vennel” comes from the Old French word venelle meaning “alley” or “lane.” The Vennel in Edinburgh is basically that, a long, narrow (though open) staircase which contains the Flodden Wall and this gorgeous view of Edinburgh Castle.