Edinburgh Sunrise

On the joy of first light: Edinburgh

Just gone 6am, and the dark November sky in my hostel room was beginning to lighten.

I pull on yesterdays clothes, still slung next to the bed and search for my bobble hat and scarf, before quietly leaving my dorm room to sleep.

On the landing, a few early birds mill around, making plans for the day or preparing to continue their journeys.

Opening the front door, I am greeted by a street cleaner, busy erasing the memories of the previous night from the near-empty street; the discarded beer cans and half-smoked cigarettes.

Crossing the road, I take the wide staircase which leads up to the castle and a vantage point in to admire the sleeping city; a view in the height of the day is lined by bagpipe players and visitors.

But at 7am, it’s just me and the approaching sunrise, the sky a warm glow of pre-dawn light.

Turning away from the castle, I make my way down the Royal Mile, the shutters pulled firmly tight over the shop and cafes windows. A small group of people are gathered on a corner, bleary-eyed, with cameras around their necks, waiting for a tour bus to whisk them on a highland journey.

North Bridge. Connecting the Old Town with the new, the first wave of commuters patiently waiting for buses, wrapped up in scarfs and hats from the cold north wind.


Taking a left, I head towards Carlton Hill, leaning my head back to admire the grandeur of the Nelson Memorial and the National Monument.

Edinburgh Castle
Carlton Hill Edinburgh

An icy layer of frost decorates the benches on top of the hill, and I pause to watch the sun peek out from behind Arthurs Seat, feeling a happy lightness to have this marvellous city view all to myself for a short time in time.

Edinburgh, for one moment, is mine.

Carlton Hill Edinburgh

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For more on my workaway adventure on Skye:

Workaway Diaries: Isle of Skye

Workaway Diaries: Isle of Skye – Week 1

Workaway Diaries: Isle of Skye – Week 2

Workaway Diaries: Isle of Skye – Week 3

A weekend in the Outer Hebrides