visitor can remain unmoved by the first glimpse of the magnificent city
of Edinburgh, a destination distinguished by its World City Heritage status.
Exploring the city starts with Edinburgh Castle, with its
dramatic tales of siege, dark deeds and intrigue. Scotland's own crown
jewels, The Honours of Scotland, are on display within
the castle along with an equally potent symbol of nationhood, the Stone
of Destiny, on which Scottish monarchs were crowned. The impressive
fortress on its crag is a dramatic backdrop to Edinburgh's skyline but
there is much more to discover in this amazing city.
story is told all around the Old Town at places like Huntly House
Museum in the Canongate, as well as other historic buildings such
as Gladstone's Land, with its glimpse of local life in the
17th century. Many of the city's museums are within easy reach of the
Royal Mile, the long thoroughfare linking the Castle to the Palace
of Holyroodhouse, which has for centuries been a royal residence.
Princes Street Gardens mark the New Town's southern edge.
Any exploration of these handsome streets should start with the Georgian
House in Charlotte Square, which is furnished in the style of
the late 18th century, when the fashionable houses here were new.
attractions reflect its status as a capital city. The National Gallery
of Scotland is one of Europe's most distinguished galleries, while
the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art holds an impressive
selection of 20th century work. The city's Royal Botanic Garden
offers colour throughout the year, with the world famous collection of
rhododendrons a particular highlight in the spring months, while the Royal
Museum of Scotland displays a wide ranging collection in many
scientific and cultural fields.
cityscape of Edinburgh adds a special dimension to the Edinburgh
International Festival, one of the world's principal arts festivals
and further enhanced by the lively Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Edinburgh reaches an exciting peak when the Festival, Fringe and Military
Tattoo are all in full swing in the second half of August. The
Film Festival and Jazz Festival are just some of the other high points
around peak season, while there are many other events and festivals going
on at other times of the year. Edinburgh is definitely the place to be
for that most Scottish of all festivals, Hogmanay. Join
in with the Scots as they ring in the New Year in their own inimitable
way, with events and celebrations starting on December 28th, running on
Hogmanay itself (December 31st) and continuing through New Years Day.
cosmopolitan outlook means plenty of places to eat and drink - from the
special ambience of typical city pubs in Rose Street to some of the most
distinguished dining in Scotland. Traditional-style Scottish entertainment
with plenty of kilts and pipers is on offer at a number of city centre
venues. Meanwhile, the club and disco scene in the capital is fast changing
so should this tickle your fancy, just enquire about the latest names
on your arrival.
as covered modern shopping venues such as the Waverley Shopping
Centre, which brings together specialist retailers in a modern
mall, the city has plenty of other shopping areas. One can choose from
the international flavour of Victoria Street, the friendly
atmosphere of Bruntsfield, Morningside, Stockbridge or some
of the other suburbs with their excellent range of smaller shops. From
Victorian jewellery in Rose Street to tartan rugs on the
Royal Mile, antique shops on Causewayside
to city centre Jenners (the world's oldest department store), shopping
in Edinburgh is a fantastic experience.
- CAPITAL, COUNTRYSIDE AND COAST
If you would
like to enjoy the best of city and countryside, then the Lothians are
a great option. You could play golf on some of Scotland's finest links
courses, discover castles associated with Mary, Queen of Scots and enjoy
a boat trip to the spectacular gannet-nesting colony on Bass Rock
out in the Firth of Forth. Visitors may also view the city from the slopes
of the Pentland Hills, where the Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson
East Lothian offers some of the driest and sunniest conditions in Scotland,
especially around the town of Dunbar, which has excellent sandy beaches
nearby. Also close at hand, Tantallon Castle on its dramatic
cliff-top setting near the attractive little resort of North Berwick,
offers fine views over to the Bass Rock. A few minutes away is the equally
impressive Dirleton Castle, with its 13th century fortifications
and lovely gardens overlooking one of Scotland's prettiest villages.
with the romantically ruined Tantallon and Dirleton is Lennoxlove
House, set a few minutes drive away in the countryside. Still
the seat of the Dukes of Hamilton, this ancient tower is also associated
with Mary, Queen of Scots. Hidden in the rolling countryside, Glenkinchie
Distillery is a reminder that not all of Scotland's fine malt
whiskies come from the Highlands.
the A68 south of Edinburgh, look for the signpost to Crichton Castle,
while Rosslyn Chapel is also within easy reach, where the
stone carving is reckoned to be the finest in all Scotland. To the west
of Edinburgh, there are other fine castles and stately homes to be enjoyed,
including Linlithgow Palace, birthplace of Mary, Queen of
Scots and Hopetoun House, designed and built by the famous
Adam family of architects. The
17th century House of the Binns is yet another of the castles
and historic houses within easy distance of each other and close to the