The Capital City of Edinburgh is situated in Scotland in the United Kingdom, and is built on the shore of the Firth of Forth.
The history of the site goes back thousands of years with evidence of an early settlement during the Bronze Age, around 3,000 BC. Early archaeological digs show numerous forts have been built over the years and today we see the majestic Edinburgh Castle on top of Castle Rock which would have given the city defenders a clear view for miles around. The current population of the city is around 500,000, however, as the boundaries have grown over the years, the surrounding area now accounts for around 850,000 people.
The local climate is what people in the UK would call erratic, with the best time to visit is May, June, July and August when rainfall is at its lowest and temperatures average 18C. As Scotland is the most northerly part of the UK it does get the worst of the weather, however people visit for the festivals and history and not for the sunshine.
With so many things to do, it can be overwhelming deciding where to visit, as Edinburgh is a beautiful city on a par with London, for museums, historic houses, castles, ancient cathedrals and churches etc.
Edinburgh is world famous for its yearly festivals which attract many people from all over the world.
• The Edinburgh Military Tattoo
This is a sell-out every year and is probably one of the oldest and most well-known festivals in the world. You can watch the Scottish Military performing music with bagpipes and battle scenes etc.
• The Edinburgh Fringe Festival
If you enjoy comedy then you really need to see this. Performances are everywhere, on the streets, in bars and theatres, and these days many big names in the comedy world are involved.
Galleries and Museums
• The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art
This contains a wide variety of Scottish art and helps the young artist find fame. It also contains much artwork from around the world.
• The National Gallery of Scotland
If you are looking for historic Scottish art then this gallery is an essential visit. Exhibitions are changed yearly.
• Museum of Scotland and Royal Museum
The complete history of Scotland is held here, from prehistoric times through the Roman Invasion, to the present day. Many historical Scottish artefacts are seen here, and are spectacularly displayed. This is a wonderful way to explore Scottish heritage and life as it was in years gone by.
• Edinburgh Castle
A visit to Edinburgh would not be complete without visiting Edinburgh Castle. Built over a thousand years ago, the castle is still in use today, by the military. This is one of the most beautiful castles in the UK, and visitors are allowed to walk around the majority of it. The views from this castle, overlooking the city of Edinburgh, are not to be missed. Try also, not to miss the one o’clock gun salute.
• The Royal Yacht Britannia
This vessel used to sail the high seas, carrying the Queen of England and the royal family on their royal duties around the world. Retired at the start of this century, it is now on display for all to see, and is an amazing spectacle which the general public are now allowed to board.
• Greyfriars Kirkyard
A world famous graveyard, where ‘Greyfriars Bobby’, the legendary dog is buried. His gravestone is particularly enchanting for children to see, as most will have seen the famous Disney film “Greyfriars Bobby”.
• Scott Monument
This structure commemorates Sir Walter Scott. Built in 1846, you can climb this memorial to the summit, where you will have clear views across the city. Excellent for those who enjoy taking photographs.
• Giles Cathedral
Built in 1120, this Cathedral also known as the ‘High Kirk of Edinburgh’, contains many memorials honouring many of Scotland’s heroes.
• Scottish Parliament
This new building has quickly become an attraction, due to its architecture. It is the current Seat of the Scottish Government, and you are allowed to use the viewing gallery during live debates.
• ‘The Ship on the Shore’
Situated in the same area as the Royal Yacht Britannia, if you love fresh seafood then this place is a must to visit. All the fish sold here is caught locally and cooked freshly the same day.
• ‘Castle Terrace Restaurant’
If you are lucky enough to visit at the right time of day, you could be invited to share a meal at the Chef’s Table. This is a high-class restaurant, so an average meal will cost around £25 per person.
• ‘La Favorita’
Tony Crolla is the owner of this well-known pizza house, whose pizzas are regarded as the best in Edinburgh. A highlight of this restaurant is that the pizzas are delivered by a fleet of Mini Coopers.
This is a traditional Chinese Restaurant which sells dishes not always available in similar establishments. Meals can include locally caught fresh fish, and this restaurant is very competitively priced for the area.
• ‘The Grain Store’
If you are looking for authentic Scottish food then look no further. Many of the recipes and meals served here can be traced back hundreds of years, and offer fresh lamb, beef, venison, and of course, the ‘traditional haggis’.
Probably the best Thai Restaurant within the Scottish Borders. This is situated in a prestigious area and serves food that matches the location.
• Musselburgh Racecourse
Situated a few miles outside of the capital, this track has a lot of history, and meetings occur throughout the year.
• Murrayfield Stadium
The European Championships called the ‘6 Nations’, take place here, and you can feel the heart of the city pulsating, if you catch one of the rugby matches played here.
Edinburgh has so much more to offer than is listed here, such as walks, bus tours and river cruises, so it is well worth visiting the local Tourist Office on your arrival. Edinburgh is a truly charming historical city, and is considered one of the most beautiful and magnificent cities in the world. If you are lucky enough, an ideal time to visit Edinburgh would be at ‘Hogmanay’, this is the name of the Celebrations of the Scottish New Year. They certainly know how to do this in style, with many live acts, street performers, and one of the best firework displays in the world.