View Full Version : Edinburgh Meet up August 8th

27th July 2010, 03:43 PM
On Sunday 8th August I will be opening up the top of the central tower of St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral (http://www.cathedral.net), for a few friends. This puts you at a similar height to the Castle and you get 360 views across Edinburgh.

It is about 120 steps up to the ringing room for a rest, another 70 steps up to the only peal of 12 bells in Scotland and then the final 50 odd steps up the most terrifying staircase I have ever seen.

If anyone would like to joins us, then let me know and be in the Cathedral car park about 10:30.

It is also the Edinburgh Festival Cavalcade through Holyrood Park that afternoon if anyone wanted to spend the whole day in Edinburgh.

(Steeple Keeper at St Marys)

27th July 2010, 03:45 PM
Wow that sounds like a chance not to be missed. Unfortunately, I won't be able to make it as it's very close to when me and the family will be off to France for out summer hols, but I do envy anyone that can go!


28th July 2010, 10:00 AM
Sounds like a great opportunity. I would love to come, but I am not in Edinburgh that weekend.

28th July 2010, 02:12 PM
As the steeple keeper, I am one of the few people who have access to the tower more or less when I want.

I usually organise these events about every 6 months or so. Therefore this won't be the only opportunity to go to the top of the tower.

So next March or April I will be doing this again and I will try to give a bit more notice next time.


28th July 2010, 05:35 PM
This sounds amazing?

Is there room for the 2 of us? Don't know if I'll make it to the top (scared of heights) but Susan will make it without a bother :)


28th July 2010, 05:46 PM
This sounds amazing?

Is there room for the 2 of us? Don't know if I'll make it to the top (scared of heights) but Susan will make it without a bother :)


Garrie - you and me, two of a kind :D
Susan and Julia - two of a different kind - no sense of self-preservation! :eek:

But, seriously, I'd definitely be interested in going next time. It's been too long since I was last in Edinburgh!


28th July 2010, 08:18 PM
Hi Neil
I fancy a go.
I used to work in Melville St. next door.
I also know about bells. Someone once sent me into the belltower of St. Giles just as the clock struck 12:eek:
Is there a limit to the numbers?

I have a healthy fear of heights but I've still got up the Munros.

In a similar vein I am able to offer a small group (up to 3) a tour of Stirling Castle including a couple of spots the visitors don't normally reach. I can do the same at other HS properties but with only normal visitor access. But in all instances it would be free entry.


28th July 2010, 10:18 PM
Sounds fantastic. As Duncan has asked is there a limit to numbers and can I bring a friend?

29th July 2010, 07:27 AM
Hi Everyone,

We have had 60 people in the ringing chamber before so I don't want to put a hard and fast maximum.

Upto a couple of dozen won't be a problem. After that we are in the area of having some people in the ringing room, some in the belfry and the last group outside and co-ordinating groups rotating around. The last thing I want to happen is some one gets left behind, and I have to climb all the steps again :eek:

So far I have 10 friends signed up, along with the 5 here so keep on putting your names down.

Bringing a couple of friends isn't a problem.


29th July 2010, 10:58 AM
Cool, we'll look forward to it. Thanks Neil :)

29th July 2010, 08:36 PM
Damn I've only got 2 weekends booked for the whole of this year and this is one of them, I'd have loved to have gone as well, hopefully I'll make the next one.

2nd August 2010, 07:04 AM
Current tally for those coming up the tower on Sunday is 18.

If you want a quick preview of some of the views, I have thrown some of my photos into a Picasa Gallery (http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/neilballard24/St_Marys_Cathedral?authkey=Gv1sRgCLueitvy2JO2Qw&feat=directlink). Perhaps not my best but they should give you an idea of what to expect.


2nd August 2010, 07:31 AM
Hi Neil,

This sounds great! Count me in for this, please. There aren't that many ways of seeing Edinburgh from up high.

I'd like to take up Duncan's offer for a wee tour of Stirling Castle as well. It would be easy enough to catch the train there from Edinburgh.

All the best,


P.S. Sorry I've been a little quiet -- it's been a pretty awful year. I'm on the brew (unemployed) again so I'm just trying to stay positive.

Ulfric M Douglas
2nd August 2010, 11:57 AM
... and then the final 50 odd steps up the most terrifying staircase I have ever seen.
:eek: Count me out!
But it sounds like a great photo-opportunity for all the locals.
Good luck everyone, don't fall off.

3rd August 2010, 05:31 PM
I'd love to go - but I'm already booked for this weekend. Count me in for next time though.


4th August 2010, 03:30 PM
I'd like to take up Duncan's offer for a wee tour of Stirling Castle as well. It would be easy enough to catch the train there from Edinburgh.

At the moment we have scaffolding in one of the high places and it will be there until the beginning of October. (It wouldn't be an ancient monument if it didn't have scaffolding.):)
But after that something could be done.
The colours in October (and the light) are much better. Its also quieter as currently the castle withstands a siege of several thousand visitors daily.
Other possibilities are that although some monumnets are not open out of main season, a number offer free entry on St. Andrew's Day. Which is the time of year when light really is at a premium.

But first...... To the Tower! (well spire)


4th August 2010, 08:46 PM
The trip to St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral sounds great but I don't think my vertigo could cope (I'm getting dizzy just thinking about it). But I would like to go on the Stirling Castle outing when it happens.

5th August 2010, 07:35 AM
It seems like there is already enough interest for the next "outing". I'll see about starting to organise that next February for April/May time. That should give everyone plenty of time to make arrangements.

For those that are coming on Sunday, if you can be in the Cathedral car park by 10:30 and check in with Chris Watling. I will already be up the tower ringing so once all the ringers are down I can wave at Chris and he can point the way up.
As the morning service will be on, there won't be parking in the car park but down Melville street should be ok. If you can't find Melville Street and you see a branch of John Lewis you are at the wrong St Mary's Cathedral. You need to be down the west end of Princes Street.

There are a total of 18 people coming up, quite a few from my works camera club. Therefore I will split you into 2 groups to go up to the bells and parapet once everyone is up to the ringing room.

See you on Sunday.

7th August 2010, 03:39 PM
Unfortunately I wont be able to attend on Sunday:(

Got visitors from Canada*chr

I will look out for future opportunities though.


7th August 2010, 06:06 PM
Annoyingly we are also unable to attend. I'm really sorry to let you down :o

9th August 2010, 05:26 AM
A big thanks to Neil and Chris for allowing us up to the top of the central tower and keeping us entertained on the way. What a climb, and what a view when we got there! There were, what, a dozen of us in total? I didn't think to take a group shot but I have a few impromptu snaps that folk might be interested in seeing. Is there an area here I can post them? My personal gallery area, perhaps?


9th August 2010, 09:26 AM
I'd like to add my thanks as well.
A great fun morning.
Once I've worked on the photos I'll post a few.


9th August 2010, 12:26 PM
Okay, here are my snaps from the trip (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showgallery.php/cat/1012/page/1/sortby/d/sorttime/9999/way/asc).

Looking forward to seeing everyone else's.


12th August 2010, 08:22 PM
At last, I've found a moment to sort out some pictures.
Trying not to stand on Graham's stuff.

we're going up there. THe straight band just below the spire.
http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/920/8087734B.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/26205)

A taster of the view
http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/920/8087744B.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/26206)

Which really opened up.
Melville St. and West Register House.
4 shot panorama, vertical for a change.
http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/920/8087758B.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/26201)

A detail
http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/920/8087762B.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/26202)

The Castle towering over Standard Life HQ with Arthur's Seat in the background.
http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/920/8087775B.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/26203)

In the ringing chamber Neilgave us enough rope to......... ring a bell.
http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/920/8087785B.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/26204)

I've got quite a few more pictures but perhaps others will add theirs.
I'm definitely up for the next visit.


13th August 2010, 05:30 PM
Trying not to stand on Graham's stuff.

No-no, these are great -- stomp away! You did a great job of capturing the outside of the church in the first shot, and I particularly like the patterns in your Melville Street detail.


14th August 2010, 07:14 PM
Great series from you both - thanks.

It seems the trip was most worthwhile.

Regards. Barr1e

15th August 2010, 05:02 PM
I am glad that everyone enjoyed it.

If anyone is coming up to Edinburgh and would like to go up the spire, get in touch. I will organise a group visit for next spring, but I have unrestricted access so I can go up there virtually any time I like.

And just to keep the Provost happy.
I would like to thank the Provost for allowing me to take all of you up there.
If anyone publishs their photos on another web site, could you include a small thank you to the Provost. It is "his" Cathedral, according to him, and he could rescind my access at any time.

As I have been up to the top many times, I didn't take too many shots. But in the afternoon I went down to Holyrood Park for the Festival Calvalcade and filled a card. Once I have the best from them I will put them into my gallery.