Castle Terrace Station
I've used this station a lot, and in many ways consider it the epicentre for where my active/adaptive travel journey began.
Before we get stuck into the 2nd in our series of posts exploring Just Eat Hire Stations I want to make you all aware of a brilliant offer Just Eat Cycles have on. This week the folks behind the hire scheme are giving away free unlimited bike hires to everyone until the 11th! To join me and thousands of others in the joy of active travel across Edinburgh just follow this link: https://edinburghcyclehire.com/buy/free-week. It's an excellent opportunity to 'try before you buy' that many seem to be taking full advantage of! On Sunday's inaugural Open Streets event - more on that fantastic initiative in a future post - Just Eat Cycles recorded their highest number of trips in a single day at over 1000 rides! High demand for these bikes is encouraging, and the hire scheme seems to be going from strength to strength. On Monday there I found myself excited (and a little envious of the active travel commuters) to see my usual post-work hire point bereft of bikes! That station is at Castle Terrace and is also the focus of this weeks post.
The Station Location
The Castle Terrace Station is located at the T-junction of Castle Terrace and Lady Lawson Street. In the shadow of Edinburgh Castle, this station is neatly positioned against the West corner of Argyle House, a coarse grey looking building from the late 60s with appropriate levels of granite brutalist vibes. The former site of a number of government departments, Argyle House, has been considered by some to be one of Edinburgh's ugliest buildings and was even under threat of demolition back in 2008. Fortunately for my colleagues and I, it survived and is now home to a host of companies making up a part of the UK's fastest growing tech incubator CodeBase. Like the ugly duckling of Edinburgh's bevy of multi-story office buildings, Argyle House has transformed thanks to the CodeBase team. It’s a wonderfully vibrant, welcoming, and trendy place to work. The community is fantastic and always looking for ways to keep the site thriving. Back in 2018, several CodeBase residents shot a volley of tweets at Just Eat Cycle's twitter account requesting a station be installed nearby, and it worked! On a crisp day in late November on my way back from grabbing lunch, I was delighted to find 2 men hard at work installing a brand spanking new Just Eat Cycle Station.
A Gateway Station
I've used this station a lot since then, and in many ways consider it the epicentre for where my active/adaptive travel journey began. From this station, I can easily make my way home via Lothian Road and Princes Street. On Friday's I can pedal up the slight hill of Lady Lawson Street towards the Meadows and make my way South to Mayfield Salisbury Church where I volunteer as a Scout Leader. I can venture West and go to the movies at Cineworld. Or pop just across the road and get into Princes Street Gardens. The Castle Terrace station is a gateway station, it's a quiet corner that leads to many areas of the city with minimal effort. If I'm feeling eager for a workout though, I can power on up Johnston Terrace following the steep South edge of Castle Rock to Edinburgh's Royal Mile.
The First Pictures I Took
I like Johnston Terrace, I hate running it, but I love walking it. It was here I made the decision to dust off my old DSLR. From the Royal Mile, I was walking down Johnston Terrace towards work one morning when I saw a photographer taking photos out towards the South of the city. This road boasts perhaps the best view of one of Edinburgh's top private schools - George Heriot's. Whatever your opinion on private schools, this building is genuinely magnificent and from this vantage point is definitely the standout amongst the neighbouring rooftops. Johnston Terrace was also where I took my first closeup photography of plants. When I took this picture of new Spring growth (see below), I enjoyed some top quality patter from a concerned citizen who asked me with a somewhat slurred and accusatory tone 'what are you doing, mate?' I laughed and explained I was only taking pictures of the flowers. Looking back on that day, I can understand why a 6'2 bearded bloke could look suspicious leaning over a wall to get a photo of a tree branch in someone's garden!
Comfort in Familiarity
This part of the City is known as Edinburgh's Old Town and is quite a popular attraction. It can be a bit of a nightmare for residents during the fringe festival, and it's a bit hilly, and some of the back streets smell quite funky. But there's a richness to it. Edinburgh's old town is brimming with character. Castle Terrace is right at the edge of that, and I find something quite poetic in how Edinburgh's old town is home to some of the newest technology developments going. I like this area of Edinburgh a lot. Which is fortunate, as I do spend a significant amount of my time around here. I think most people grow fond of the places they spend most of their time. It's got a familiarity to it, and I take comfort in this familiarity.
Next week I’m going to switch up my schedule a bit, instead of a post on compromises, I’ll be writing about Edinburgh’s Open Streets initiative which launched on Sunday past. In a fortnight I’ll be writing about the Just East Station at City Chambers, taking a closer look at some of Edinburgh’s Closes!
Thanks for reading.