Living and working in the centre of Edinburgh I quickly learned short cuts through the closes to avoid the crowds. Makar’s Court is my favourite.
Makar’s Court is off Lady Stair’s Close between the Royal Mile and The Mound. It is a huge space that I never expect to come across in the midst of all the buildings. The first thing I notice in the square is the lamp-post in the middle. It reminds me of Narnia, although it is a different kind of literature that the square celebrates.
Makar is the Scots’ word for poet or skilled writer so the courtyard, outside the Writers’ Museum, celebrates the literary history of Edinburgh. Throughout the courtyard there are pavement slabs inscribed with quotes from great Scottish writers. Some are more well-known than others, for example Robert Louis Stevenson. The quotes cover over 600 years of history and are in English, Gaelic and Scots. It really is a diverse picture of Scottish literature.
The pavement stones are updated on a regular basis. It is always fun to have a wander through to see if a new favourite can be spotted. My favourite, “There are no stars so lovely as Edinburgh street-lamps” has been there as long as I’ve been in Edinburgh. I am still waiting for it to be beaten. Let me know what your favourite is – or if you come across Mr Tummnus.