Scotland Street

For Tash and chrome3d, and any other Alexander McCall Smith readers, here is the real Scotland Street. Needless to say, No. 44 doesn't exist. In the summer months especially, puzzled literary pilgrims can be found combing the street for the elusive No. 44.

It's a short little street. The top end is in the posh New Town. The bottom end has just a hint of the more ordinary Broughton and Canonmills. Just the mix Sandy McCall Smith envisaged.

The red box in the foreground is for kerbside recycling - cardboard in red boxes; paper, glass and aluminium in blue.

The walled-up windows are a relic of the window tax imposed in Edinburgh for several hundred years until the mid 19th century. Rather than pay tax, residents bricked up their windows. Goodness knows it's dark enough here already for 9 months of the year.

This is looking towards the top, New Town end of the street. I'm sure Bertie must have posted a few letters in this post box. Horrible exposure in this shot. I must learn about all this techie camera stuff. As usual, I was in a rush taking these photos. Family in car nearby, pretending they didn't know me. Hungry teenagers after a morning playing in a concert at the National Museum of Scotland. Long-suffering husband. Still, they indulged me.


  1. I am one of those fans - have read all the books.
    Thanks for the picture!! :-)

  2. Oh, THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! They are all splendid. I do like the composition of the 1st one with the long building facade & the view. I'm onto Espresso Tales and keep laughing out loud at the antics of the Scotland St residents & friends, and I know I'm missing a lot of inside jokes too. Big thanks to the patient family two can relate. (playing at the National Museum - very impressive)

  3. PS - fascinating about the windows. Besides the light, I imagine there would be a ventillation problem.

  4. Interesting, bricking up the windows rather than pay tax.

    I'm wondering if I've seen this street in a few movies. It looks somewhat familiar.

    Looks like it was a beautiful day there, sun shining and blue sky. I'm glad your family indulged you.

  5. Lovin' the angle of the that first shot.

  6. Thanks a lot! You saw all that trouble to go there and do a personalized blog post for me. Quite incredible. I must admit that I´m still in the middle of the first McCall Smith book. What is funny is that both he and Ian Rankin have a character in their books who has a word HATE tattoed on both of his knuckles. Have you seen any matching people around there? Hah hah, there is an idea for a blogpost! If you get hurt then it was not my idea.

  7. Window must be a tax made by a clerk from the ministry of silly walks.:D

  8. LOL at the comment regarding your family waiting in the car. I love the perspective in the first shot!

  9. I bet the same people look for Sherlock Holmes place and Morse's car. Edingburgh has such wonderful architecture that is often overlooked.

  10. I was sure I'd left a comment here but it appears to have vanished. I'll try again.

    Fancy taxing windows! And what a shame that it's left many buildings looking like this. You'd think people would unblock them, or is that not possible?

    I laughed about your family not wishing to be seen with you, I think the majority of us have been there, especially where teenagers are involved! The joys of blogging, providing endless opportunities to embarrass your offspring!

  11. It's so lovely to have found a fellow McCall Smith fan, especially one who is right there to take photos of Scotland Street! On my blog, I have written several reviews of his books. As a matter of fact, I named my little dog Bertie Pierre, after Bertie's self-given French name in "Love Over Scotland."

    It's great to find a fellow Elizabeth Goudge fan, as well. Linda, I'll be back to look at both of your blogs often. Thank you for visiting mine.


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