What The Dickins: A Tale Of Edinburgh City

An Edinburgh InstaMeet To Remember @ Rock House

Rockhouse self catering Edinburgh accommodation

Last Saturday we invited a select bunch of Edinburgh Instagrammers to walk through the mysterious iron gate on the way up to Calton Hill – the gate that says “Rock House” which you might have spotted too when you’ve walked past.

Rock House Iron Gate

Photo credit: @carroneasdon

Rock House is an important (and very lovely) house. It was built in 1765 and between 1843 and 1847 it was home and studio to the pioneering photographers Robert Adamson and David Octavius Hill. There was something magical about the chemistry of this working partnership. Adamson was the scientist who understood and pushed the boundaries of the photographic process and Hill was an artist who applied the eye of an artist to the scenes they photographed.


Photo credit: @myedinburgh

Whilst they lived and worked at Rock House they took around 10,000 photographs and no conversation about the history of photography can take place without including them, so Rock House is known as the most important address in the history of photography! In 2015 it was renovated by the Interior Designer Jonathan Reed and the Scottish Fashion Designer Graeme Black who returned it to its former glory and it’s now available to rent from Dickins for holidays and for special events and film shoots etc.


Photo credit: @exploringedinburgh

Anyway, we’d love to tell you more about the InstaMeet. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term, an InstaMeet is a get together where Instagrammers meet in a certain place to take photos and videos and share them on Instagram.

Rock House has a fascinating story to tell and is so beautiful, both inside and out, that it was the perfect venue for the first ever Dickins InstaMeet. The only thing we couldn’t control was the weather – but someone was smiling on us as, sandwiched in between Friday’s snow and Sunday’s horizontal rain, the sun came out and the house was looking glorious and perfect for photos!


Photo credit: @berriestagram

As this was our first InstaMeet, we were a little bit nervous, but there was no need to be as the day was a huge success and we got to meet so many lovely people. Not to mention the mouthwatering, picture perfect food provided by Appetite Direct and the spoiling Bellinis from Vino Wines. The Bellinis were from the vineyard that supplied Harry’s Bar in Venice (who made the Bellini famous) and the peaches are grown on their land too. You can now buy a bottle here in Edinburgh from Vino and we recommend that you do! Last but definitely not least, we were treated to a photo walking tour by Will from Iconic Tours where we learnt all sorts of brilliant new skills with our cameras and phones and many fascinating stories about Edinburgh.


Vino Wines by daphnepi

Photo credit: @daphnepi

Several of our guests were surprised by how close to Princes Street Rock House is – and standing in the back garden looking up at the Dugald Stewart Monument you can see why. It’s a well kept Edinburgh secret!

Philip Stewart Photography

Photo credit: Philip Stewart Photography

A lot of photos were taken with various different cameras, but the most fascinating one was without question was this old school camera that @travelswithmyphone brought along. We hope that Hill and Adamson were smiling looking down on Rock House on Saturday.


Rock House’s refurbishment by Studio Reed is absolutely beautiful and is full of exquisite details worth capturing on film.


Photo credit: @uniqueboutiques

The interior decoration in the sitting room at Rock House was described as stylish, eclectic and cosy by Edinburgh Life Magazine. We totally agree!


Photo credit: @edinburghlifemag

The stunning Willian Morris wallpaper that adorn the walls in so many of the rooms, and here in the bedroom of The Photographer’s Studio, was admired by many.


Even the books are pretty in Rock House!


Photo credit: @sherylweurman

Stunning rich colours are used in the charming hexagonal living space in The Photographer’s Studio – surely one of the most charming rooms in the whole of Edinburgh.


Image credit: @yeahokbye

At 12.30 it was time for Iconic Tours to take over and teach us a thing or two about photography and Edinburgh and the terrace outside The Terrace Apartment was the perfect place to start.


Here’s Will explaining about shutter speed, aperture and ISO (there were great tips for those of us using our phones too.)


We headed towards the Old Town and it was nice to see our Dickins bags out and about.


Edinburgh City Chambers is a great place for taking photos – and if you look really close next time you’re there you’ll see that the horse actually has pigs’ ears. You’ll have to book a tour with Iconic Tours to find out why!

Photo credit: @thisisedinburgh

Photo credit: @thisisedinburgh

We took a closer look at the Edinburgh Awards handprints outside the City Chambers – something you’ll easily miss if you don’t know they’re there!


We were lucky enough to bump into this charming old bus outside St Giles cathedral – and were entertained by a piper as well!


The beautiful, haunted Greyfriars Kirkyard was the last stop of the walking tour.


Here’s Will showing us how it’s done. We thoroughly enjoyed the tour and being taught a trick or two about how to take interesting, beautiful photos of Auld Reekie.


Thank You!

We had such a wonderful day showing off Rock House and meeting lovely new people – a big thank you to everybody who came along and helped to make it special. We’ve enjoyed seeing your wonderful photos on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter.

If you’d like to see more photos from our InstaMeet just search Instagram for the hashtag #ThisIsRockHouse. If you’re not yet following @dickins_edinburgh on Instagram make sure to do so now – we’d love to connect.

To find out more about ravishing Rock House and to see prices, please visit our website.

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