bed breakfast st andrews

Spinkieden B&B; St Andrews Fife

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You may find this relevant information helpful when researching the area prior to your visit

Over the last century the British Crown had passed from the Stuarts, who were Catholic and descended from the Scottish King James I, to the Tudors who were protestant and descended from the English monarchy. The Prince was born in Rome because his father, who was a Stuart and had a claim on the throne, was exiled there. In the early 1700s there had been several attempts to claim the Scottish throne back for the Stuarts, but these had all been unsuccessful.

But then in 1745 Charles Edward Stuart arrived in Scotland to claim his right to the throne. Against all odds, he went on to defeat the English at the Battle of Prestonpans. He then had a series of other victories over the English and successfully managed to reach northern England before he was forced to retreat back to Scotland. Eventually the Prince was defeated at the disastrous Battle of Culloden in the spring of 1746. But he managed to escape capture due to the help of Flora MacDonald who was subsequently imprisoned in the Tower or London for her efforts. Charles Edward Stuart quickly became a Scottish hero and was soon nicknamed Bonnie Prince Charlie. And Flora MacDonald also became a famous folk hero due to her part in the prince’s escape.

Despite the positive impact that the Prince’s exploits had on Scottish nationalism, there was a downside to them. Once the Prince had been defeated, the English Crown sought to remove any further threat to their security from the Highlands. The result was the systematic destruction of Highlanders and the Highland Culture – a process known as the “Clearances”. Land was forcibly removed from families and even the wearing of traditional Highland dress was banned. The attempts by the Stuarts to recapture the Scottish throne in the 18th century are today known as the Jacobite Rebellions (after the Latin word for James, Scotland’s last king), and are regarded by many Scots as a great period in Scottish nationalism.

Nowadays you will find that anywhere in Scotland that Bonnie Prince Charlie stayed or slept proudly makes their claim to a piece of a national hero and their place in Scottish history. Edinburgh is situated on top of seven hills which are the remains of a series of volcanic outcrops, Calton Hill being one of them.

Situated at the eastern end of Princes Street, Calton hill marks the edge of the original New Town development. From the top of the hill there are some fantastic views across the New Town all the way to the Castle, the Palace of Holyroodhouse and beyond to Arthur’s Seat. But aside from the views, Calton Hill has several well-known landmarks ranging from the poignant Burns Memorial to the bizarre National Monument. Other tourist sites on the hill include the Nelson Monument and the popular City Observatory.

Calton Hill is also the venue for the annual Beltane Festival which takes place on April 30th/May 1st each year. A celebration of spring and fertility it is essentially a May Day celebration with a modern twist.

One of Edinburgh’s more gruesome, and infamous, past events involves the dubious characters of William Burke and William Hare. In the 18th and 19th centuries, Edinburgh was renowned for its pioneering medical research, particularly in the field of human anatomy. However, in order to study human anatomy you of course need human bodies….