Blackford Hill and The Royal Observatory viewed from the Braid Hills – Inktense Pencils in an A4 Watercolour Moleskine

Another view of Arthur’s Seat. Locals say that the hill looks like a lion when viewed across Blackford Hill which has a Victorian observatory near its summit. This eighteenth century building was state of the art technology in its day and it still belongs to The Institute for Astronomy of The University of Edinburgh. Edinburgh is built around a number of hills and valleys. The valley, immediately in the front of this scene, contains the Hermitage of Braid gifted to one Lord De Brad by King David 1st (1080-1153). Today it is a well loved nature reserve. Behind this scene are the twin peaks of the Braid Hills on which the fearsome Braid Hills Golf Course is built. This course was not built by the famous golfer, James Braid (1870-1950) as many folk assume. It is named after its location and, if your golf is as bad as mine, you can, at least, enjoy spectacular views of the city. James Braid, who was one of the famous “Triumvirate” of golfers, with JH Taylor and Harry Vardon, would have been proud of the layout. Like most of Edinburgh’s hills, the Braids and Blackford are covered in Gorse bushes, known as “Broom” in these parts -

O the broom, the bonnie, bonnie broom
The broom o the Cowdenknowes
Fain wad I be in my ain country
Herding my faither’s yowes.

The Bonny, Bonny Broom – Traditional

It is advisable to stay away from these bushes as the sharp spikes can be painful. About this time of year, however, the bright yellow flowers are extremely bright and give off a sort of marzipan smell. Mmmmm! Another hazard, on hills such as Blackford, is the slippy surface caused by rabbits grazing the grass to its roots then the wind “polishing” the surface. Some folk (guess who?) have ended up in hospital after sliding down the slopes.