Sun 08th July 2018
CHAS trip to Scotland: Rosslyn, Edinburgh and Jedburgh
The 2018 trip from 8th to 10th July took 54 members and friends
to Rosslyn, Edinburgh and Jedburgh and, in keeping with this
summer, the weather was fine, dry and warm.
After a brief
stop at Gretna Green, we arrived at Rosslyn Chapel in the early
afternoon. The success of Dan Brown’s “The Da Vinci Code” has
made the Chapel one of the most popular tourist sites in the
country. We were there to admire the majestic stonework of 15th
century master craftsmen. This was helped by a talk from one of
the guides which introduced us to the symbolism used by the
We stayed at the Novotel Edinburgh Park Hotel and this gave us a
chance to see the Edinburgh trams. This was a controversial
project which at one time seemed likely to be abandoned.
Monday 9th July our coach took us into Edinburgh and collected
us again at the end of the day. Our first visit was to The Real
Mary King’s Close. We split into three groups for a tour of the
17th and 18th century underworld led by guides who had taken on
actual period characters. Life was pretty sordid in the densely
built high rise closes.
When we re-emerged above ground, lunch was taken around the
Royal Mile and opportunities were taken to see other sights
including, St. Giles Cathedral, the Camera Obscura and the
After lunch we came together again at the National
Museum of Scotland which was a short walk away. Once again we
split into three groups and each was led by a Museum Guide. We
had asked to see some of the highlights of the Scottish History
and Archaeology galleries. These included the Pictish Hilton of
Cadboll Stone, Iron Age Gold Torcs, the Roman Cramond Lioness,
and the Lewis Chessmen.
We were particularly impressed with our guides’ knowledge and
preparation. This writer’s favourite was the wonderful torcs
which had been created by skilled workmanship.
morning we headed off to Jedburgh which is in the Borders. Our
first stop was at Jedburgh Abbey. This time we put on headphones
for our guided tour. The Abbey looks impressive from outside but
it is truly an imposing, towering ruin.
After lunch we split into two groups to visit the Mary Queen of
Scots Visitor Centre and the Castle Jail, both in Jedburgh. This
was facilitated by our ever helpful coach driver, Stuart, who
shuttled us across town. The visitor centre was where Mary
stayed in 1566 and our guide described the story of her
The Castle Jail was built in 1823 and was in its time a model
prison, taking on board the ideas of John Howard, the prison
reformer. We were met by a guide who gave us a summary of the
jail’s history, leaving us to explore the women’s wing and the
House of Correction.
We returned to the coach at about
4pm to start the journey home, travelling through Hawick and the