5 May 2010

Medieval Malarkey in Edinburgh

Greetings foul and rotting carbuncles of flea ridden fleshpots!
Tis I the Grail Master! Ruler of all things Grail and Quest like.....

Oops sorry, erm still in medieval taskmaster mode from ye olde times (the other weekend). Yonder weekend was my younger sister's hen weekend, a weekend of dressing up like chickens or a weekend of frivolity and mischief, before one gets married. As the sister (Heather) would have ideally liked a medieval wedding, but the husband to be said no (no fucking way), so a medieval hen weekend was the joyful compromise.That meant costumes and some stuff to do that was, kind of, sort of, Medieval (ish).

Where does one look to when one needs some comedic medievalish inspiration? Only one place of course! The mighty python - Monty Python , well Monty Python and the Holy Grail (Special Edition) to be exact.

After watching that and few other clips a million or so times, I had a plan! Twas time to send the sister on a quest for her own Holy Grail.......

I formulated some questions, then I came up with some rather special names for all the medieval ladies that were playing along, Heather was this delightful character...

Dearest Heather....
Thou artless Foul wretch
Forgive this crazy pig of Widnes. A gossiper of rioters and a feeler of wretchs.
Heather you are henceforth
Princess Isadora Frigginoff, Ruler of Farnworth and the small city of Fannyshockingham
My personal favourite was Lady Amanita Ceeurpeenis formerly Dampnow from Littlepiddle. As someone pointed out, yes I may have too much time on my hands in the wee hours of the morn..

This is a google map I created, of all the places we either visited, were part of the quest and/or wanted to visit. Alas couldn't fit all in. Also included some pubs and foodie places that sounded rather good, so will have to go back and sample them.

View Heather Holy Grail Quest in a larger map

Once we had decided on a location, we needed a place to stay. At first we were rather keen on just staying in a hostel, as Heather and I had stayed in a cool one last year (Castle Rock), but they are not keen on Hen/Stag parties, even a party of medieval ladies. So we had a look for apartments and eventually settled on this one Edlets Dalry Road. It was very reasonably priced and although pretty basic, it was far nicer than we expected, a few heating issues, but they were very prompt at fixing things. There was even a bus stop right outside the front door, that took you wherever you needed to go, £1.20 a journey or £3 for travel all day (right bargain), but make sure you have the right change!

A quick whizz through the schedule:

Friday 23rd April, Arrived in Edinburgh via train, twas freezing, forgot coat and was carrying a shit load of stuff. Found apartment, heating was broke, got it fixed. Everyone else arrived, gave them a drink of mead and handed them their naming scrolls. Outfits were put on and we started the quest....

Well we started the quest and then promptly ended after first stop, because it was raining and everyone got a bit damp and cold, so we headed to a Chinese all you can eat (very medieval, not), got warm, got fed and then headed to this pub and got a wee bit drunk.

Saturday 24th April, Up early ish and headed to the dungeons! Edinburgh Dungeons that is. I won't mention much about that, except that it is well worth a visit, really fun way to start to day. Then headed back on the quest! Had lovely tea/sandwiches/stop here , the staff were lovely, especially considering we were all in medieval outfits and filled the place with our costumes. After that we did a spot of shopping on the Royal Mile for people who wanted to get gifts for those back at home.

Well time and weather, mainly time, did not allow for us to finish the quest, so I had to compromise and allowed Heather to get all her medieval magical items by a speed question round and unscrambling these letters...

Heathers magical medieval items were: Nobby the Hobby Horse, Tiara circlet thing, necklace, leather pouch, wineskin (for mead!), pan flute, bloomers and of course the Holy Grail!

That evening we went on a ghost tour, which was frankly pants (shit), compared to the fun and frighteners the Dungeons provided, so I would not recommend that at all. Also apparently I am now doomed, because I stood in a circle of stones, after being warned not to, what a load of bollocks! Apparently some of the other ghost tours/walks are great, so I am not ruling them all out, just that one.

Sunday 25th April:On the Sunday it was time to head to the castle, the castle in this case, is of course Edinburgh Castle.The weather decided to be kind to us, which was lucky, as I had planned to use this day as wedding photography practice. The castle is wonderful, the staff thought we were hilarious and Heather as you can tell by the pictures absolutely loved posing for them and for every bloody tourist that stopped her. Loved having Tea and Scones in the little cafe and was surprisingly well priced!
As we left the castle an opened topped bus arrived and off we went with it, the sun was shining and the tour guide was well informed, the perfect end to the day. That night we headed to karaoke bar, as Heather loves to sing and although the place was overpriced for drinks, it was still a good laugh.

Monday 26th April - Head Home, Had a great time, weird to be wearing normal clothes again.

Extra stuff:
  • Get £3 all day bus ticket, buses run till about 12 midnight, really easy to hop and off. Get one open top bus journey, if the weather is nice, if not don't bother, unless you are bored.
  • See the Castle it is worth the money
  • Get Early bird tickets for Edinburgh Dungeon - special offers
  • Research Ghost walks, I don't recommend the one we did 'Auld Reekie'

The whole set of pictures can be seen here Heather's Medieval Hen Weekend

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (Special Edition)

PS: Trying some weird Amazon Associate placement shite, for some reason it only wants to be in American funny money (Bastards!). Not sure whether I like it or whether it will piss me off. I will only be using it for stuff that I would actually be linking to anyways, honest to cod! If you don't own or have never seen Monty Python and the Holy Grail (Special Edition), why the hell not? Get on it at once!

pps: Not long to go till Heather's wedding! If you look at the photographs, feel free to reassure me that they are not shit and that I will do an okay job for her wedding!


  1. Why aren't you supposed to stand in a circle of Stones? Is it because, like Stonehenge, you trip a lot of alarms and tick off some archaeologists? :)

    Or do faeries come get you?

    PS- The photos are just amazing! No, really! They are the very opposite of pants. I would say they are the dogs' bollocks. (Aren't you proud of me for proper usage? -- see, I'm totally trainable. :) )

  2. Yes. The prediction came true. It was a LOVELY Hen Weekend! And I simply love the collage of Heather. She is a lovely model. Does she give lessons? I rather hide...oh! I do need to tell you a story tho...stay tuned!

    Okay, I know I said it many times, but I shall say it have an eye for taking pictures! They are simply wonderful. I can't wait to see pictures from the wedding. I have all the faith in the world that you will do a brilliant job!

    Erm..I haven't seen the movie...*runs away*

  3. I want one! (A medieval hen weekend that is, and one of those beautiful dresses!) Your photos are fabulous! (Did anyone take any of you?)

  4. Of course I've seen Monty Python and the Holy Grail more times than I count but there is no such thing as too many times! We even quote the darned movie at work from time to time!

    This looks like it was a totally fabulous weekend - with the exception of the lousy weather - and totally fun, too! Naturally, though, there are NO pictures of you (much to Frank's dismay I might add)! However, that said, there are all fantastic pictures and you did indeed have an "eye". I have no doubt the wedding pictures will be gorgeous!

    Of course, now I really, really, really want to go to Scotland ... damn!

  5. Just reading about the weekend made me wish I was there... Have you ever considered a career as a "luxury tour guide", small groups entertained with a photo memory book to take back to Keokuk Iowa .

  6. You're a riot! When (that is, if) my daughter ever gets married, I'm going to hire you to plan the wedding. So fanciful and creative! Pictures are excellent, full of fun and frolic, and the hen weekend sounds like a romp any young bride would envy. Congratulations on creating such a splendifierous event!

  7. Those pictures are brilliant and it looks like everyone had such a good time - sis must have been chuffed to bits, no? The costumes are fantastic, I can imagine the great big fat scene you lot caused all day and night wherever you turned up! What a lot of trouble you went to. I can't see how even a wedding could top this lot off :)


  8. It seems you had a lot of fun and the pictures are really great. Well done Claire!

  9. "If she weighs the same as a duck..."

  10. Now that explains the great series of pics on your Flickr Stream!!! So glad I found your blog again. I was a reader a year or so ago and somehow lost touch! But I'm baaaack!

  11. Claire, you never fail to make me smile (or sigh!)...

  12. Hi Claire..I just came across your blog after looking for pics of Edinburgh..I was there two years ago and want to visit again..anyway just thought I'd stop to say hi and tell you how fantastic the layout of this blog
    's so unique...definately full of personality.

    Cheers Tim

  13. Tales and photographic evidence of debauchery. Love it :)

  14. it is a really interesting article..

  15. Super mames. I like the map that was created.

  16. God damn it, I am a bloody rude sod! Everytime I think I am on top of replying to comments, I realise that I am living in bloody lala land.

    @Jenn, the stone circle was in the basement of an old building, it was apparently cursed, but basically it was a load of bollocks :)

    Hooray for you using the dog's bollocks!

    @TJ: Watch the bloody movie! HAHA and now I know the story!

    @fromthesamesky, maybe we can have a medieval mental health meet up with mead? No photos of me, that would be awful.

    @Linda, for Scotland we were actually very lucky with the weather, as it was only bad on the Friday night and if I hadn't been wearing a bloody costume it would have been easy to cover up! Twas a great time and you would truly love it in Edinburgh.

    @Jamie, I could only be a tour guide for friends and family I think, so you must come back over! :)

    @NP, consider me hired :)

    @Danagib, Thanks Dana! It really was a great time! Just glad I got some cool pictures to remember the weekend by :)

    @qelqoth, Burn the witch?

    @Shutterbug! Thanks so much for coming back! The flickrstream must have looked crazy! haha :)

    @SimpleTim, What a lovely thing to say! Hope you come back some time :)

    @WG, haha! So glad you approve :)

    @Jean-Luc, Hey how are you? Thank you! :)