Sunday, April 19, 2015

Photos from my trip to England and Scotland, March/April 2015

The reason for my trip was two-fold. I lived and worked as a freelance photographer in Edinburgh from 1992 - 1998 and, apart from a flying visit in 2005, I hadn't been back in 17 years and wanted to spend some 'quality' time in the old hometown, especially.

I also wanted to be a tourist and visit some of the places I probably should have when I was living there but didn't, such as Bath, Oxford, Inverness and York. As a result, my itinerary was - London, Bath, Oxford, Edinburgh, Inverness, Glasgow, Edinburgh, York, London.

The other reason for my trip was that, for over 10 years, I'd been saving up my Qantas frequent flyer points in order to fly First Class. That part of my journey can be read in my blog post HERE (seriously, you HAVE to do it!).

If you are travelling to any of the places I visited and are looking for accommodation, here is where I stayed:

London - Whiteleaf Hotel, Bayswater*
Bath - The Kennard
Oxford - White House View Guest House (the pub on the corner changed its name to the White House not long before I stayed at the guest house, so don't do what I did, and countless others have done, and go into the pub assuming it's the guest house. The guest house is a few doors down the street on the left)
Edinburgh/Glasgow - I stayed with friends.
Inverness - Macrae Guest House
York - Mont Clare Guest House
London - Vancouver Studios, Bayswater*

*Initially I booked at Bayswater because it was close to Paddington Railway Station, from where I needed to catch my train to Bath. But, as it turned out, Bayswater is a great place to stay, as you're close to Hyde Park, on the other side of which is a multitude of museums and galleries. If you're really keen you can walk into Trafalgar Square (passing Buckingham Palace on the way), or there are two tube stations close by - Bayswater and Queensway.

(Above photo: Seagulls fly over the weir across the River Avon in the centre of Bath).

A woman looks out from a train passing in the other direction between London and Bath.

When it came to getting around England and Scotland, I bought a Britrail pass and opted to pay extra for a First Class ticket, which was around 50% more than a Standard ticket. If you can afford it, I'd recommend it. There are more seats available, although reserving a seat on busy/popular routes e.g. London - Edinburgh on a Friday afternoon, is recommended. Otherwise, I just rolled up and got on and had no problem what-so-ever getting a seat. Sometimes there was barely anyone in First Class, whereas Standard was usually full, or close to it.

Also, you get free trolley (food) service in First Class and, often times, other meals included. If you're doing a lot of train travel on a Standard Britrail pass and paying for food on the train, you might find you end up paying nearly as much as a First Class pass. Other things include nicer seats - I'm not talking the same difference between an Economy and First Class seat on a plane, but nicer none the less - and free Wifi. From memory, you had to pay for Wifi in Standard on some train journeys.

I did a bit of hunting around and, as far as the Aussie Dollar was concerned, I got the best deal for my Britrail pass at the Visit Britain Shop.

As for London, I bought a Visitor Oyster Card, which you can use on buses, the Tube, trams, DLR (Docklands Light Railway), London Overground and most National Rail services in London.

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The photos below are in no particular order.

Edinburgh: Fettes College 

Glasgow: A man sits in a cafe on Woodlands Road in the city's inner-west.

Oxford: Hertford Bridge, more popularly known as the Bridge of Sighs. 

York: Rowing coach and his rowers - River Ouse.

Bath: Royal Crescent (it was the same view if I turned around - spectacular!).

London: Trafalgar Square

York: Chimney pots and a church spire.

Inverness: A Saltire flies behind a statue of Jacobite heroine Flora MacDonald.

Edinburgh: Sunset at Cramond. 

Oxford: A man sits on a bench on the Broad Walk next to Christ Church.

London: A man walks up stairs inside Hintze Hall (formerly the Central Hall), at the Natural History Museum.

Edinburgh: Tartan bus seat covers. 

Oxford: A man walks along the Christ Church Meadow Walk beside the River Thames.

Edinburgh: People on Calton Hill looking north over the city to the Firth of Forth.

London: Swans on the Serpentine in Hyde Park. 

York: York Minster appears behind buildings in the city centre. 

Inverness: A man fly-fishes in the River Ness.

London: Daffodils along The Mall near Buckingham Palace, with the London Eye in the distance.

York: People walk along part of the wall, built during Roman Times, encircling the city. 

Glasgow: View out the kitchen window of 'Chez Wattie' (mate's place where I stayed in the West End)
of vehicles banking up on Maryhill Road.

London: Awnings outside Harrods.

York: A man and his son walk past a Royal train at the National Railway Museum.

London: The base of a statue in Kensington Gardens is turned into an impromptu bicycle stand.

London: A man looks out over the concourse inside Kings Cross Railway Station. 

York: The street known as the Shambles in the city centre. 

Oxford: A rower turns his boat on the River Thames. 

London: Statue in the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Oxford: Bicycles lean against a fence. Cycling is a popular means of transport in Oxford and this is a common sight.

London: A cyclist rides past Kensington Palace. 

Oxford: A train conductor waits for passengers to board his train. 

London: A girls jogs along Constitution Hill (next to Buckingham Palace) on a Sunday morning.

Oxford: People walk through a gate in the grounds of Trinity College.

Edinburgh: Looking down the Royal Mile, which leads from Edinburgh Castle (top) to the Palace of Holyroodhouse (bottom).

Falkirk: The 30-metre high horse-head sculptures known as the Kelpies stand out over the skyline.

Edinburgh: People watch the Departures board at Waverley (train) Station. 

Bath: A man walks along an extremely wide paved footpath that, I'm sure, used to be a roadway,
as the current road is below where this photo was taken (where the man is looking). 

Oxford: People walk along a path beside canal boats moored on the River Thames. 

Glasgow: A 'Yes' sign left over from the Scottish Independence referendum (Sept. 2014) sits
in the window of a flat in the city's inner-west.

Bath: Classical guitar playing busker.

Edinburgh: People on a bus passing down Lothian Road.

Edinburgh: Sophie Dug Cocker (who has her own Facebook page) takes in the view from the back seat.

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If you like the photography in my blogs, it's because I am a professional photographer. My photos don't merely show something, they tell a story. And visual stories i.e. photos, are more interesting than pictures that merely show something. 

If you'd like to know how to turn your images into visual stories, I've published a book that takes a whole new slant on photography and 'translates' the art of taking photos into a language we all understand.

To read more about my book and see some of its 100+ visual examples, please click HERE.

***I use all the tips and hints from my book in every photo I take, including those in Travel With Giulio.

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Oxford: Entrance to one of the Colleges.

Musselburgh: Horses gather momentum at the start of a race at the Musselburgh Racecourse, a few miles east of
Edinburgh, with the stacks of the Cockenzie power station in the distance. 

Musselburgh: A punter celebrates his horse winning a race. 

Musselburgh: A successful punter enjoys a puff on his cigar. 

I had an each way bet on this nag and stood to win 1,300 quid if it won.
Not surprisingly, at 200-1, it came last. 

Bath: A seagull flies over the weir across the River Avon in the centre of the city. 

Edinburgh: A group of tourists mill about outside one of Edinburgh's most famous pubs.
To read about the story of Greyfriars Bobby, see HERE.

Oxford: A train carrying cars passes through Oxford Railway Station. 

Loch Ness: Taking in the view.

Bath: Having my first curry of the trip and I looked out the window at Bath Abbey, and saw this. 

Edinburgh: Heart of Midlothian (Hearts) players do a lap of honour around their home ground of Tynecastle Stadium in recognition
of them being crowned winners of the Scottish Championship title and, along with it, promotion (back) into the Scottish Premier League.
This was their first game at Tynecastle after winning promotion the week before. They'd just defeated Queen of the South 2-1.

York: Two men stride across a walkway at York Railway Station.

London: A woman looks at exhibits in a hall at the Natural History Museum.

 London: A man takes photos outside Buckingham Palace.

York: A street statue in one of the side streets.

London: People queue for photos at Platform 9 3/4 - made famous in the Harry Potter books - at Kings Cross Railway Station.

Loch Ness: A Jacobite Cruises boat makes its way towards the shore as the sun tries its hardest to break through the cloud cover.

Bath: Trees devoid of their leaves in the wake of winter, in the middle of The Circus.

Edinburgh: Two people walk through the Braids overlooking the city (Edinburgh Castle in the distance). 

Bath: View from the railway station platform while I waited for my train to Oxford.
The tower in the distance belongs to the St Mark's Community Centre, which is housed in a former church.

Bath: A tour boat approaches the weir across the River Avon, while on the other side of the weir is the Pulteney Bridge.

Edinburgh: A man walks past posters advertising shows inside the Usher Hall, out of view to the left of the photo. 

Loch Ness: People walk about the grounds of the ruinous Urquhart Castle.

Loch Ness: A Saltire flies above the ruins of Urquhart Castle

Bath: Georgian townhouses just off The Circus.

 A man snoozes on the train from Oxford to York (en route to Edinburgh).

Glasgow: A woman crosses Scott Street in the city centre. 

North Berwick: Going to the beach, Scottish style.
I hate to be a travel snob but, coming from Australia, the sight of a beach packed with fully-clothed people is quite amusing.
Admittedly Scotland was not long past its winter and this was the first day of good weather i.e. not freezing cold,
so the locals were going to enjoy themselves. Anyway, the Scots probably come to Australia and laugh at us
when we throw on the winter clothes as soon as the temperature drops below 20C.

Edinburgh: Posing for photos on Calton Hill. 

Inverness: Apologies for the slightly shaky photo but I saw the hair and quickly snapped it on my iPhone. 

Edinburgh: Weir across the River Almond at Cramond. 

Inverness: View from my B&B window (Macrae Guest House), looking across the River Ness.

North Berwick: A golfer tees off with Bass Rock in the distance. 

Bath: Tourists visit the Roman Baths historic site.

Edinburgh: Walking across the Meadows.

London: A tourist takes photos of a fountain in Trafalgar Square.

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I hope you enjoyed my photographic journey through London, Bath, Oxford, Edinburgh, Inverness, Glasgow, Edinburgh, York, London and all the places in-between.



If you have any queries, please contact me at

All photos and text by © Giulio Saggin, except otherwise stated
Use of photos/text must be via written permission


Anonymous said...

Lovely pics! My faves are daffodils on the Mall and Golfer with Bass Rock :-)

Therese said...

Fantastic photo Giuls! Looks like it was a great trip.

Nuri Banu said...


Nuri Banu said...