Cycling around Holyrood Park
First Glimpse of Duddingston and Duddingston Loch
Sheep Heid Inn, Duddingston
Duddingston
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Duddingston's very wee. No shops, no coffee houses. Just some houses, a pub and a church. It would have had a shop or two in the past, and if you look real hard you may see the remnants of shop lettering above some large windows of what are now houses. On a map it looks as if it has been swallowed up by Edinburgh, but thankfully it sits at the edge of Holyrood Park, and this bit of royal greenery has acted as a buffer zone, preventing it from being truly amalgamated into the hugeness of Scotland's capital city. As such, the part near Duddingston Loch still feels like a little village in the countryside.
It is also very old. Very wee and very old. It's one pub, the Sheep Heid Inn, is said to be 'Edinburgh's Oldest Surviving Public House,' and reputedly established in 1360. The church is even older. It has a Norman south door and chancel arch. In my 1920s guidebook it says that at the gate of the church 'are a 'loupin'-on-stane,' to assist riders to the saddle, and 'the jougs.'' My Pocket Scots Dictionary tells me that 'jougs' is 'an instrument of public punishment consisting of a hinged iron collar attached by a chain to a wall or post and locked round the offender's neck.' Yes, those were the days. Not much vandalism back then.
And the nice thing about Duddingston is that you can still see this 'loupin'-on-stane' and 'jougs,' the latter still attached to the church wall where bad folk were publicly humiliated. Bring back the jougs, that's what I say!
CYCLING AROUND HOLYROOD PARK
DUDDINGSTON LOCH
SHEEP HEID INN, DUDDINGSTON
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How to
GET THERE
Duddingston is only about 2-3 miles from Edinburgh, and it's a nice walk through the city then by some hills. See route in the 'Other Stuff' page.
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