UK Travel Guide

City Listing


Edinburgh in East Lothian

EDINBURGH the Capital of Scotland, steeped in history, is a sightseeing paradise. Edinburgh Castle perched on top, of what was, many years ago, a volcano was used as a fortification for well over 2000 years. The Castle has been in constant use for a good many years and its military presence is evident, a massive tourist attraction with the Edinburgh Military Tattoo being an annual event. From the Castle proceed down the Royal Mile ( actually 107 yards from the entrance of the castle to the gates of the Palace of Holyrood House), an interesting street offering some insight about the history of Edinburgh. The Palace of Holyroodhouse was built outside the city walls in 1501 by James IV who at that time was King of Scotland, the Palace was also used by Mary Queen of Scots, in fact, her marriage to Lord Darnley took place here. Queen Victoria became a regular visitor in the 19th century and thus it regained its status as a Royal Palace, the Palace is now the official residence in Scotland of Queen Elizabeth II. Holyrood Abbey ruins stand alongside the Palace. Another historic place to visit would be Greyfriar’s Churchyard, the churchyard contains a collection of monuments of many famous people including the faithful dog “Greyfriar’s Bobby”. Princes Street Gardens lies beneath the Castle, the Scottish American War Memorial and the Ross Bandstand can be found in the gardens themselves along with beautiful flower beds and pathways for those who just want to relax. The Gothic monument in memory of Sir Walter Scott is also situated in the gardens, it is adorned by 64 statuettes illustrating many characters from Scott’s novels, and for the fit, 287 steps to the top rewards you with magnificent views across the Edinburgh skyline. The first road off Princes Street on the south side is The Mound, near the top you will see twin spires, once the Church of Scotland Assembly Hall and was the temporary home of the Scottish Parliament. The famous Floral Clock stands on the other corner of The Mound, the whole clock including it’s hands and face is planted every year. There is something for everyone in Princes Street, view the historic castle across the gardens whilst gazing in the shop windows, or pop into one of the fine restaurants or coffee bars. There are many museums and galleries for you to visit such as National Gallery of Scotland, Scottish National Portrait Galley, City Art Centre, Museum of Childhood, National Museums of Scotland to name a few. The Royal Yacht Britannia, having served the Royal Family and our country for the last forty four years is now moored in the historic port of Leith permanently and is in the hands of The Royal Yacht Britannia Trust, visitors can go aboard and get an idea of what life was like on the Britannia.