We recently ventured all the way from our lovely little town of Hornsea, East Yorkshire up to Aberdeen in Scotland. A seven and a half hour drive no less! Our good friend Ollie was graduating at the Aberdeen University and it’s become a tradition for us to photograph all these big milestones for Ollie and her family.

I come from a big Irish family, but on one side of my family I had a Scottish grandad called Dougie. He always encouraged me to go visit Scotland, but life is hectic and never quite made the trip, until now.

Driving such a distance you have to visit Edinburgh, right? Especially the castle, and thats what we did.


Nestled atop Castle Rock, this iconic fortress has stood as a silent witness to centuries of drama, battles, and royal splendour.

The story of the castle begins way back in the 12th century when King David I of Scotland decided to build a royal residence on the imposing Castle Rock. The strategic location offered a commanding view of the surrounding landscape, making it an ideal spot for defence and asserting royal authority. What started as a modest fortification gradually expanded over the centuries, evolving into the grand castle we marvel at today.

Battles, Sieges, and Shifting Sands of Power: As we delve deeper into history, we discover that Edinburgh Castle became a coveted prize in the ongoing power struggles between Scotland and England. The castle played a central role in several conflicts, including the Wars of Scottish Independence in the 13th and 14th centuries.

One particularly memorable event was the Siege of Edinburgh Castle in 1314, when the Scottish forces, under the leadership of Robert the Bruce, managed to capture the fortress from English occupation. This victory marked a turning point in the struggle for Scottish independence and solidified Edinburgh Castle’s place as a symbol of national pride.

Royalty and Intrigue: Edinburgh Castle has long been associated with Scottish royalty, serving as a residence and stronghold for kings and queens throughout history. Mary, Queen of Scots, gave birth to her son, James VI of Scotland and I of England, within the castle walls in 1566, an event that would forever shape the course of British history.

In the following centuries, the castle continued to play a role in the lives of monarchs. It witnessed the tumultuous reigns of the Stuarts, the Union of the Crowns in 1603, and the eventual establishment of the United Kingdom.

Preserving the Past: Despite its tumultuous history, Edinburgh Castle has managed to withstand the test of time. It has been adapted, renovated, and expanded to suit the changing needs and tastes of its inhabitants throughout the centuries. Its architecture reflects a fascinating blend of medieval, Renaissance, and Georgian influences, showcasing the evolving styles and tastes of the times.

Today, Edinburgh Castle stands as a living testament to Scotland’s rich heritage and a focal point for cultural celebrations and events. It has become a cherished national monument and a UNESCO World Heritage site, drawing visitors from all corners of the globe.

Discovering the Castle Today: As you step into the hallowed grounds of Edinburgh Castle, prepare to be transported back in time. Explore the ancient walls, stroll through the lavish royal apartments, and stand in awe of the Crown Jewels, including the legendary Stone of Destiny.

Don’t miss the chance to soak up panoramic views of the city from the castle ramparts, offering sweeping vistas of the stunning Scottish landscape, including the iconic Arthur’s Seat.

Visiting Edinburgh Castle is an opportunity to walk in the footsteps of kings and queens, to connect with the past, and to marvel at the architectural splendour that has captivated generations. So, pack your curiosity and embark on a journey through time at Edinburgh Castle—an experience that will leave you with a deeper appreciation for the profound legacy of this magnificent fortress.


On our return journey, we decided to make a detour and visit the Holy Island at Lindisfarne in Northumberland. This small tidal island, accessible only during low tide, captivated us with its ethereal beauty and spiritual ambiance.

Lindisfarne holds tremendous historical significance as the site where the Lindisfarne Gospels—a stunning illuminated manuscript—were created by monks in the 8th century. The ruins of Lindisfarne Priory, a medieval monastery, stand as a testament to the island’s spiritual heritage.

We wouldn’t be the O’Hara’s if we didn’t take some photos, so here’s a handful from our trip…