The ‘Beast from the East’ turned Edinburgh into a winter wonderland

It came, it saw, it conquered all but the bravest (or most foolish) of souls, but the ‘Beast from the East’ made this Canadian feel right at home. After all, my base stats give me at least +2 cold resistance. The last four days have seen much of Scotland turned into Narnia, with a storm rolling in from the heart of Siberia and causing travel chaos across the country. Luckily, denizens of Edinburgh needed only to step out their front door to behold a sight the like of which I’ve not seen in my 6 years in Scotland.

While the Beast from the East may have been a commuter’s nightmare, it was a photographer’s dream come true. Not that I’m a photographer – all my pictures, including each and every one on this website, are taken with my phone – but Edinburgh is a city whose tone, like an artist moving between mediums, is constantly shifting. It may be years before such weather hits Scotland’s capital again, so I made the most of it and ventured to sites such as Dean Village, Calton Hill and Holyrood Park to take in my spectacular city sporting a whole new look. Was it worth the shivers and sniffles? You tell me. 

A view of the mighty castle from the stairs descending down into St Cuthbert's Parish Kirk in Princes Street Gardens

A view of the mighty castle from the stairs descending down into St Cuthbert’s Parish Kirk in Princes Street Gardens

St Bernard's Well, a Victorian-era healing spring along the Water of Leith, looking like something out of a Greek legend.

St Bernard’s Well, a Victorian-era healing spring along the Water of Leith, looking like something out of a Greek legend.

The Telford Bridge spanning the Water of Leith - can you believe this picture-perfect location is just 15 minutes' walk from Princes Street?

The Telford Bridge spanning the Water of Leith – can you believe this picture-perfect location is just 15 minutes’ walk from Princes Street?

 

 

The almost Bavarian-style buildings along the charming walkway of Hawthornbank Lane in Dean Village

The almost Bavarian-style buildings along the charming walkway of Hawthornbank Lane in Dean Village

Holyrood Park, comprising Arthur's Seat and the Salisbury Crags, as viewed from Calton Hill

Holyrood Park, comprising Arthur’s Seat and the Salisbury Crags, as viewed from Calton Hill

Arthur's Seat covered in snow viewed from the ruins of St Anthony's Chapel

Arthur’s Seat covered in snow viewed from the ruins of St Anthony’s Chapel

And, finally, one from very close to home – Circus Lane, which is literally a stone’s throw away from where I live. It’s become one of Edinburgh’s most popular Instagram spots, and while a year ago you could wander down it for half the day and only meet locals now you can’t go there without navigating past at least a half dozen people posing for likes. #NotBitter.

Now, I’m off to throw snowballs and go tobogganing as is my Canadian duty. I’m fairly sure that if I don’t do that during the best snow fall of the decade, I have to surrender my Poutine Passport. Stay warm, safe and cosy, and if you can sneak out for a castle hunt remember the classic Canadian trick for defeating the cold: layers, more layers, and a flask of whisky!