We can guide you to the best in Edinburgh
We’re a directory where you can read guides to the best places you’ll want to visit in Edinburgh.
Things to do in Edinburgh :
Our Events & Travel Guide lists the top things to do in City of Edinburgh. From events and festivals to attractions and tours, find out what's on in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Top Venues in Edinburgh
St Andrew Square is one of the most prestigious locations in New Town. A mirror of Charlotte Square, St Andrew Square is located at the East End of George Street in what was the hub of Edinburgh’s financial world, but in an area that is now more characterised by its pubs, restaurants, and designer shops. It is distinguished by its square, public garden with a towering Roman column at its centre – the 41 foot tall Melville monument (built in memory of Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Melville). The East end of the garden is dominated by the Dundas Mansion, acquired by the Royal Bank of Scotland in 1825 as its head office. Now one of the bank’s main branches, this grand building, is fronted by a small semi-circular driveway and gated garden. Inside the main banking hall it has a lovely blue dome ceiling with multiple small gold star windows. Next door at 38-39 St Andrew Square is the British Linen Bank building, with its impressive facade of neo-classical figures atop Corininthian columns. Built in 1851-52, to a plan by architect David Bryce, it is now owned by the Bank of Scotland after it acquired the British Linen Bank in […]
St Andrew Square, Edinburgh EH2 2AD
The Arthur’s Seat is the largest of the three parts of the Holyrood Park Volcano site of special scientific interest (other parts being to the Calton Hill and Castle Rock) which is an ancient volcano, and sits 251 m above sea level giving excellent view of the city; it is also the site of a large and well-preserved fort. This is one of four hill forts dating from around 2000 years ago. With its diverse range of flora and geology, it is also the site of Special Scientific Interest. Like the rock on which Edinburgh Castle is built, it was formed by an extinct volcano system of Carboniferous age (lava samples have been dated at 341 to 335 million years old), which was eroded by a glacier moving from west to east during the Quaternary (approximately the last two million years), exposing rocky crags to the west and leaving a tail of material swept to the east. If you head out for a walk to Arthur’s Seat you’ll discover much more than just great views. Within Holyrood Park you’ll also find St Anthony’s Chapel – a 15th-century medieval chapel, a series of 150-foot cliff faces called Salisbury Crags, and Duddingston Loch […]
Arthurs Seat, Edinburgh
The Royal Mile is the name given to a succession of streets forming the main thoroughfare of the Old Town of the city of Edinburgh. The name was first used in W M Gilbert’s Edinburgh in the Nineteenth Century (1901) and was further popularised as the title of a guidebook, published in 1920. The thoroughfare is, as the name suggests, approximately one mile long and runs downhill between two significant locations in the history of Scotland, namely Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace. The streets which make up the Royal Mile are (west to east) Castlehill, the Lawnmarket, the High Street, the Canongate and Abbey Strand. The Royal Mile is the busiest tourist street in the Old Town, rivalled only by Princes Street in the New Town. Castle Esplanade and Castle hill Castle hill forming part of the Royal Mile. The former Victorian church houses The Hub, an information service for the Edinburgh International Festival. On the right is The Scotch Whisky Experience and on the left the Camera Obscura tower and shops. The Castle Esplanade was laid out as a parade ground, in 1753, using spoil from the building of the City Chambers. It was formalised in 1816 when it […]
Royal Mile, Edinburgh
Victoria Street in the Old Town has to be one of the most photographed locations in the Edinburgh city. Its gentle curve and colourful shopfronts make it a favourite spot for tourist photos, postcards and TV adverts. Victoria Street was built between 1829-34 as part of a series of improvements to the Old Town, with the aim of improving access around the city. Previously, access from the Grassmarket to the Lawnmarket was via the West Bow, a very steeply sloped and narrow lane. The new street was planned to demolish much of the old West Bow, and provide a broad sweeping link to the newly built George IV Bridge. It was designed by architect Thomas Hamilton One of the leading lights in transforming the city with neoclassical buildings and much influenced by the architecture of ancient Greece. However it was stipulated that the buildings associated with the new street should be ‘Old Flemish’ in style, and draw inspiration from the details on Heriot’s Hospital. The building at the top of the street is a good example, built for the Highland Society’s Agricultural Museum. Here the latest farming technology was displayed, with the aim of improving agriculture throughout the country. If […]
Victoria St, Edinburgh EH1 2JW
Grassmarket is located directly below Edinburgh Castle and forms part of one of the main east-west vehicle arteries through the city centre. It adjoins the Cowgate and Candlemaker Row at the east end, the West Bow (the lower end of Victoria Street) in the north-east corner, King’s Stables Road to the north west and the West Port to the west. Leading off from the south-west corner is the Vennel, on the east side of which can still be seen some of the best surviving parts of the Flodden and Telfer town walls. The view to the north, dominated by the castle, has long been a favourite subject of painters and photographers, making it one of the iconic views of the city.
Grassmarket, Edinburgh EH1 2JU
The large classic town square has the kind of space that you might expect of an Italian plaza. In other parts of town, this much open space would be a natural spot for performers and punters to gravitate to. The Festival Square sees a varied use for markets, booths, and as a pop-up entertainment space, has been used for occasional public screenings, Edinburgh Events and Fringe and festival shows. A path found, at the North-West corner of the Square, curves along new office blocks and upmarket coffee shops and terraced bars, built in the traditional neoclassical fashion of the New Town, it provides a quiet shortcut to the Edinburgh International Conference Centre, Haymarket and Grassmarket. Getting there Edinburgh is very compact, which makes it ideal to explore on foot or by bicycle. See below for information about getting to the venue. If you are looking for general advice on travelling within and to Edinburgh, visit our dedicated page packed with useful tips and information. Blue badge parking on Grindlay Street and Cambridge Street NCP: Castle Terrace (6 disabled bays) Haymarket train station 0.7 miles Tram stop at Shandwick Place Venue accessibility Level access throughout the area If you are a […]
Festival Square, Edinburgh EH1 2JU
Cramond Island is a tidal island in the Firth of Forth reached at low tide by a causeway which extends for just over ¾ of a mile into the river from the village of Cramond. There is a noticeboard at the landward end of the causeway setting out the times when it may safely be crossed. Take note, and make sure you allow yourself the time you need to explore an island that turns out to be larger than it looks, and the time to get back along the causeway before the waters close over it. This may sounds like an unnecessary warning, but it is quite common for visitors to become stranded on the island by the incoming tide. Cramond Island is just over a third of a mile long, and rather less than that wide, and covers an area of 7.7 hectares or 19 acres above the high tide mark. At its centre it rises to a height of 68ft above sea level and offers extensive views east to Granton and Leith; west to North Queensferry and the Forth Rail Bridge; and north to the other small islands in the Firth of Forth and the coast of Fife. […]
The Dean Gardens are the largest of the four ‘pleasure grounds’ to border the Water of Leith and they are the second-biggest private amenity gardens in Edinburgh encompassing over seven acres. They feature a series of planted slopes and level lawn areas with many delightful viewpoints over the Dean Village. The lay-out of pathways, lawns and the wooden pavilion are virtually unchanged from the original Victorian era plans but the tennis court has been replaced with a well equipped children’s play area. Strong planting growth including many forest trees had changed the character of the Gardens over the decades. Today, following the removal of most of the elm trees and a variety of other aging trees the Dean Gardens has become a brighter more open space again. The Dean Gardens was originally founded in the late 1860’s by public-spirited, nearby residents who wanted to improve the steep slope then used for sheep grazing and in places, disfigured with piles of building spoil. They also were against plans to construct a new terrace of townhouses (Cambridge Terrace) near the impressive Telford Bridge completed in 1832. The original work took over 10 years including acquisition of additional land. In today’s money the […]
Dean Gardens, Edinburgh
A long-standing feature of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, temporary live music venue at the Fringe with stacks of hay bales, giving it something of a rustic theme. This oh-so-temporary pop-up features hay bales instead of furniture, outhouse-style toilets and regular live music from a variety of genres (though naturally, the space favours country-tinged acts… Different performance every hour from Edinburgh’s finest local musicians and festival guests.
65 Cowgate, Edinburgh
Situated five minutes away from Princes Street, visitors can find the Dean Village, a beautiful oasis right by the Water of Leith. Dean Village was previously where milling of water mills took place, of which remains of this can still be seen by visitors. Hidden in the village, you will come across a variety of millstones and stone plaques decorated with baked bread and pies. The Dean Bridge can also be found if you walk along the walkway following the Water of Leith. The Bridge and St Bernard’s Well were both designed by Thomas Telford. Dean Village In the past, the village was the centre of the milling of water mills and the remnants of the industry can still be seen today. Look out for millstones and carved stone plaques with baked bread and pies. Follow the walkway along the Water of Leith and you will come to the impressive Dean Bridge designed by Thomas Telford, and the classical temple of St Bernard’s Well. The most striking building in the Dean Village is Well Court was built in the 1880’s and housed local workers who worked at the water mills. Just a short walk away, visitors can also browse exhibitions in the Dean Gallery and […]
Dean Village, EH4 3AY Edinburgh
Having a consistent emphasis on fresh ingredients and a warm, friendly welcome Zara’s Mediterranean Bistro has become one of the rising stars among the many best restaurants in Edinburgh city. It’s a family run business starting from beginnings in 1990’s, they have recently expanded their operations and decoration to give you an even more relaxing and enjoyable dining experience.
176/1 Rose St, EH2 4BA
Great shopping at Edinburgh Christmas Market located at East Princes Street Gardens. An unbeatable festive atmosphere, together with a celebrated ice-rink, and Christmas Markets – the historic Scottish capital has Christmas all wrapped up. Dates and opening times The Edinburgh’s Christmas market kicks off on Friday, November 17 and will run until from Sunday, 7 January 2018. Monday to Wednesday the market will be open from 10 am to 10 pm Thursday to Saturday 10 am to 9:30 pm and on Sundays, you can make a visit from 10 am to 10 pm.
East Princes St Gardens
Roam through a city park like no other. Holyrood Park’s dramatic hills and crags shape Edinburgh’s unforgettable skyline, and its history and archaeology span thousands of years. Things to do Before exploring Holyrood Park, find out about the history and learn about various walking routes that can be enjoyed. You can also treat yourself to snacks and souvenirs. Located opposite the Scottish Parliament and Palace of Holyrood House. Climb Arthur’s Seat (251m) for 360-degree views of Edinburgh and the Lothians Take in the free exhibition about the park’s history, geology and archaeology at Holyrood Lodge Information Centre Walk Sir Walter Scott’s Radical Road, the track that hugs the cliffs beneath the Salisbury Crags Discover Iron Age forts and Bronze Age agricultural terraces Visit St Anthony’s Chapel, a picturesque medieval ruin Watch for geese at Duddingston Loch, a haven for waterfowl
Queen's Dr, Edinburgh EH8 8HG
Princes Street is one of the major thoroughfares in central and the main shopping street in Scotland’s capital. After the defeat of the Jacobite uprising. The idea for creating the New Town for Edinburgh came to light. It was planned under Provest Drummond to be built on the farmlands to the North of The Castle. Building commenced in 1767 to plans submitted by a young architect James Craig who won the competition nine years previously when was only 22 years old. Craig’s winning design consisted of a simple rectilinear arrangement (see below) Three parallel main streets, with George Street, being the widest and grandest main thoroughfare, and Queen Street and Princes Street running to the North and South respectively. Public gardens were built at either end of George Street. To the East St. Andrew Square and to the West, George Square after the Patron Saints of Scotland and England. Although George Square was later renamed Charlotte Square after his wife to avoid confusion with the existing George Square on the South side of the town Thistle and Rose Street were named were after the National Emblems of Scotland and England. The patriotic street names celebrated the Union of the Crowns of 1707 and […]
Princes Street, EH2 2AN Edinburgh
The eastern half of Princes Street Gardens is dominated by the massive Gothic spire of the Scott Monument, built by public subscription in memory of the novelist Sir Walter Scott after his death in 1832. In 1836, an architectural competition was launched, inviting designs for an appropriate memorial. Two years later, the trustees approved the design submitted by George Meikle Kemp, and construction began in 1840. The exterior is decorated with 64 carvings of characters from his novels; inside you can see an exhibition on Scott’s life, and climb the 287 steps to the top for a superb view of the city. The Scott Monument, the largest monument to a writer anywhere in the world, is a truly unique building. Since the day the competition to design it was announced, the monument has been the subject of much controversy. The gothic masterpiece we see today was chosen from a long list of entries by some of the leading architects working in Britain. The winner was completely unknown, with no track record of designing anything on this scale. And although his design is now celebrated throughout the world, he never lived to see it completed. Walter Scott painting The story of the […]
Scott Monument, Edinburgh EH2 2EJ
Portobello Beach is approximately three miles away from Edinburgh‘s city centre (New Town) or/either Old Town. is a charming seaside suburb, with two miles of sand making it perfect for swimming and sunbathing. The beach itself is very well maintained and extremely popular with people on a sunny day who enjoy getting a suntan and picnicking families. Scotland’s Award-winning seaside draws large crowds in good weather and, along with the promenade, hosts a number of popular events, including the annual Big Beach Busk, International Beach Festival, volleyball competitions and triathlon events. Portobello Beach has a number of attractive parks around with elegant Georgian and Victorian architecture within the conservation area to enjoy. A historically independent town until 1896, although its own right and is often seen as such by its inhabitants, it is now a residential suburb of Edinburgh, with a promenade fronting on to the wide sandy beach. It lies between the suburbs of Joppa and Craigentinny. The area was originally known as Figgate Muir, an expanse of moorland through which the Figgate Burn flowed from Duddingston Loch to the sea, with a broad sandy beach on the Firth of Forth. Portobello retains its unique character and sense of identity, making a […]
1 Promenade, Edinburgh EH15 2DX
Edinburgh is Scotland’s compact, the hilly capital. It has a medieval Old Town and elegant Georgian New Town with gardens and neoclassical buildings. Looming over the city is Edinburgh Castle, home to Scotland’s crown jewels and the Stone of Destiny, used in the coronation of Scottish rulers. Arthur’s Seat is an imposing peak in Holyrood Park with sweeping views, and Calton Hill is topped with monuments and memorials. Edinburgh, Gaelic Dun Eideann, capital city of Scotland, located in southeastern Scotland with its centre near the southern shore of the Firth of Forth, an arm of the North Sea that thrusts westward into the Scottish Lowlands. The city and its immediate surroundings constitute an independent council area. The city and most of the council area, including the busy port of Leith on the Firth of Forth, lie within the historic county of Midlothian, but the council area also includes an area in the northwest, around South Queensferry, in the historic county of West Lothian. Easy to get around by bus, Edinburgh is built on a human scale. This is a city that repays close inspection so the best way to get to know it is on foot. There are amazing views, […]
Join Best Pub Crawl in Edinburgh! It’s a great way to Making new friends in Edinburgh, have some laughs, party with other students, backpackers, and international locals from all over the world! Visit five great pubs and clubs in the Old Town Edinburgh and enjoy Edinburgh’s famous nightlife. What’s included Nightlife tour guide. VIP Entrance to the best bars in Edinburgh’s Old Town. Exclusive drink discounts and a tour guide throughout the night. Free glow sticks. Free shots at each venue. Best 4 bars and free VIP entrance to the nightclub.
86 Grassmarket, Edinburgh EH1 2JR
The largest structure on the summit of Calton Hill, the National Monument was a rather over-ambitious attempt to replicate the Parthenon in Athens, and was intended to honour Scotland’s dead in the Napoleonic Wars. Marked as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Calton Hill has some of the city’s best views and if you get up early, the best sunrises. Calton Hill is also resident to some iconic Scottish monuments and buildings. Monuments include the National Monument, Dugald Stewart Monument, Nelson’s Monument, the Old Royal High School, Robert Burns Monument, Political Martys’ Monument and also the City Observatory.
Calton Hill, Edinburgh
Edinburgh Castle is one of the most exciting historic sites in Western Europe, Set in the heart of Scotland’s dynamic capital city it is sure to capture your imagination. The scenery will take your breath away. Over the centuries Edinburgh Castle has been continuously adapted to meet the military needs of the day. And over the centuries its strength has been tested on no fewer than thirteen occasions, successfully or unsuccessfully, by siege or by stealth. Edinburgh Castle is a large and complex structure. On this page you find the story of the castle from ancient times until today. The Edinburgh Castle: Lower Castle page looks in more detail at the Lower and Middle Wards of the castle; and the Edinburgh Castle: Upper Castle page covers highlights of the Upper Ward and Crown Square. We also have a feature on the National War Museum housed within the castle. Prices and opening hours for Edinburgh Castle are linked from the Visitor Info section on tis page. The site of Edinburgh Castle was occupied as early as 900BC. By the time the Romans made their brief visits to Scotland in AD80 and AD139 (see our Historical Timeline) it was an important fort […]
Castle Hill, Edinburgh, City Of Edinburgh, EH1 2NG
The City Observatory is an astronomical observatory on Calton Hill in Edinburgh, Scotland. It is also known as the Calton Hill Observatory. The site is enclosed by a boundary wall with a monument to John Playfair, president of the Edinburgh Astronomical Institution, in the southeast corner. The oldest part is the Gothic Tower in the southwest corner, facing Princes Street and Edinburgh Castle. It is also known as Observatory House, the Old Observatory, or after its designer James Craig House. The central building with the appearance of a Greek temple is the Playfair Building, named after the building’s designer William Henry Playfair. This houses the 6-inch (15 cm) refractor in its dome and the 6.4-inch (16 cm) transit telescope in its eastern wing. The largest dome of the site is the City Dome in the northeast corner. During the early 20th century this contained a 22-inch (56 cm) refractor.
Calton Hill, Edinburgh
Discover why Edinburgh is regularly voted as one of the most desirable places to live in the world. Despite its compact size, the city of Edinburgh has something for everyone. All year round, Edinburgh is a cultural hub, attracting the best in film, music, art and entertainment to its many cinemas, galleries, theatres and concert halls. Its host of great pubs, clubs, restaurants, parks, gardens, shops and sports centres, makes Edinburgh an exciting and thriving place to live and work. And, every summer, the world-famous Edinburgh International Festival and Edinburgh Festival Fringe deliver a billing of international acts in comedy, theatre, music and dance that attracts visitors in their thousands. Nightlife and Entertainment Explore the city after dark: live music, comedy, theatre or just a night out with friends. See our guide to the beautiful and vibrant city of Edinburgh: About Edinburgh city
The University of Edinburgh or Oilthigh Dhùn Èideann – Founded in 1583, the University of Edinburgh is consistently ranked as one of the top 50 universities in the world and was placed 17th in the 2013/14 QS World University Rankings. It is one of the largest and most diverse universities in the UK, with over 32,000 students from 130 countries studying across more than 100 academic disciplines. University of Edinburgh thriving postgraduate community benefits from a strong commitment to high-quality, innovative teaching set against the University’s inspiring research culture: the latest report from the Quality Assurance Agency awarded us the highest rating possible for the quality of the student learning experience, while the latest UK Research Assessment Exercise judged 96% of our academic departments to be producing world-leading research. Edinburgh was one of the first UK universities to develop commercial links with industry, government and the professions, and in 2013/14 ranked 15th in the world for graduate employability. University of Edinburgh’s outstanding facilities include Europe’s third largest academic library, state-of-the-art research installations and an award-winning Centre for Sport and Exercise, all set against the backdrop of the vibrant and historic City of Edinburgh, a world heritage site, a seat of […]
The University of Edinburgh
Heriot-Watt University is renowned for its leadership on critical global issues and is recognised throughout the world for the quality of its teaching and applied research capability. Heriot-Watt University is a public university based in Edinburgh, Scotland. It was established in 1821 as the world’s first mechanics’ institute (Royal Charter granted in 1966). It has campuses in the Scottish Borders, Orkney, Dubai, and Putrajaya in Malaysia. The university is ranked among the World’s Top 500 by all three major rankings – 312 in QS World University Rankings, 351-400 in Times Higher Education World University Rankings and 401-500 in Academic Ranking of World Universities. In the latest Research Excellence Framework, it was ranked overall in the Top 25% of UK universities and 1st in Scotland for research impact. It has been rated ‘silver’ in the latest UK Teaching Excellence Framework.
Edinburgh Campus, Edinburgh EH14 4AS
Jenners or “Jenners Department Store” is a store located in Edinburgh, Scotland, and was the oldest independent department store in Scotland until its acquisition by House of Fraser in 2005. Jenners has maintained its position on Edinburgh’s Princes Street since 1838 when it was founded by Charles Jenner FRSE (1810-1893), a linen draper by trade and Charles Kennington and known as “Kennington & Jenner”. The store was run for many years by the Douglas-Miller family, who were descendants of James Kennedy, who took charge of Jenners in 1881. The original buildings that formed the department store were destroyed by fire in 1892 and in 1893 the Scottish architect William Hamilton Beattie was appointed to design the new store which subsequently opened in 1895. This new building is designated as a category A listed building and it is noted by the statutory listing that, at Charles Jenner’s insistence, the building’s caryatids were intended ‘to show symbolically that women are the support of the house’. The new store included many technical innovations such as electric lighting and hydraulic lifts. Known as the “Harrods of the North”, it has held a Royal Warrant since 1911 and was visited by Queen Elizabeth II on the occasion of its 150th anniversary in 1988. In 2004 it changed its vision statement from its goal to “be the most exciting department store outside London” to […]
House of Fraser is a British department store group with over 60 stores across the UK and Ireland. It was established in Glasgow, Scotland in 1849 as Arthur and Fraser. By 1891, it was known as Fraser & Sons. The company grew steadily during the early 20th century, but after the Second World War, a large number of acquisitions transformed the company into a national chain. Between 1936 and 1985 over seventy companies, not including their subsidiaries, were acquired. In 1948, the company was first listed on the London Stock Exchange and eventually was included in the FTSE Index before the company was acquired by a consortium of investors including Baugur and Don McCarthy in 2006. On 2 September 2014, Don McCarthy, retiring Executive Chairman of House of Fraser, announced the completion of the sale of 100% of the preferred ordinary shares and B ordinary shares, and approximately 89% of the A ordinary shares and preference shares of Highland Group Holdings Ltd, to Nanjing Xinjiekou Department Store Co, a leading chain of Chinese department stores, for an enterprise value of approximately £480 million. The company’s acquisitions have included numerous household names, some of which are no longer used as part of the company’s long-term strategy of re-branding its stores under the House of […]
House of Fraser, Edinburgh
Ramsay Garden is a block of sixteen private apartment buildings in the Royal Mile area of Edinburgh, Scotland. They stand out for their red ashlar and white harled exteriors, and for their prominent position, most visible from Princes Street. Developed into its current form between 1890 and 1893 by the biologist, botanist and urban planner Patrick Geddes, Ramsay Garden started out as Ramsay Lodge, an octagonal house built by the poet and wig-maker Allan Ramsay the Elder in 1733. The house was also known variously as Ramsay Hut and Goosepie House. It was complemented by the addition of Ramsay Street, a short row of simple Georgian Houses in 1760. The latter stand on the north side of the access to the inner courtyard. Geddes’ work on Ramsay Garden began in the context of an urban renewal project that he had embarked on in Edinburgh’s Old Town. The area had fallen into disrepair, and Geddes hoped both to improve the living conditions of the working class, and to increase the number of wealthier residents. He was also involved in improving buildings for use as student accommodation. For these purposes, Geddes rehabilitated a significant number of tenement buildings in slums along the Royal Mile, including Abbey Cottages, Whitehorse Close and Riddle’s Court. The Ramsay Garden development also served these aims. It was partly financed by […]
Old Town, Edinburgh, EH1 2NA
St Giles’ Cathedral, also known as the High Kirk of Edinburgh is the principal place of worship of the Church of Scotland Edinburgh. Its distinctive crown steeple is a prominent feature of the city skyline, at about a third of the way down the Royal Mile which runs from the Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace. The church has been one of Edinburgh’s religious focal points for approximately 900 years. The present church dates from the late 14th century, though it was extensively restored in the 19th century, and is protected as a category A listed building. Today it is sometimes regarded as the “Mother Church of Presbyterianism”. The cathedral is dedicated to Saint Giles, who is the patron saint of Edinburgh, as well as of cripples and lepers, and was a very popular saint in the Middle Ages. It is the Church of Scotland parish church for part of Edinburgh’s Old Town. Edinburgh had no cathedral as it was under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of St Andrews, whose episcopal seat was St Andrews Cathedral. For most of its post-Reformation history, the Church of Scotland has not had bishops, dioceses, or cathedrals. As such, the use of the term cathedral today carries no practical meaning. The “High […]
High St, Edinburgh EH1 1RE
John Knox House, popularly known as “John Knox’s House“, is a historic house in Edinburgh, Scotland, reputed to have been owned and lived in by Protestant reformer John Knox during the 16th century. Although his name became associated with the house, he appears to have lived in Warriston Close where a plaque indicates the approximate site of his actual residence. The John Knox House on the Royal Mile is a well-known tourist attraction, described by one architectural historian as ‘improbably picturesque’. It is actually a matter of debate whether the fire-brand preacher ever lived there. Ironically, when Knox was at the height of his fame, the owner of the building was on the other side of the political debate – as the goldsmith to Mary Queen of Scots. The house is certainly one of the oldest in Edinburgh, mostly built in the mid-1500s but with parts dating back to 1470. Investigate the ground floor and you can see the remnants of medieval ‘lucken booths’, or locked booths once rented out as shops. The Oak Room on the top floor is particularly atmospheric, with wood panelling and a painted ceiling from the early 1600s. It is the exterior through which gives John Knox House its romantic image. […]
43-45 High St, Edinburgh EH1 1SR
The University of Edinburgh’s Old College is one of the city’s most important public buildings, and its dome is a prominent part of the city skyline. However, the location has an interesting history that predates the building we see today. The site where Old College now stands was known as the Kirk O’Fields in the 1500s and became notorious as the scene of a dramatic murder early in February 1567. Lord Darnley, the second husband of Mary Queen of Scots, was lodging in the house for the night. Darnley had made many enemies among Scottish nobles, who took this opportunity to exact revenge. The University of Edinburgh was established on the site in 1583, but two hundred years later its original buildings were demolished. However, during a major re-landscaping of the quadrangle in 2010, archaeologists found the remains of the old library complete with scientific equipment. It thought that the fragments of thermometers, test tubes, storage jars and chemicals found belonged to Joseph Black, one of the leading figures in the Scottish Enlightenment. Among his many achievements, Black discovered the existence of carbon dioxide gas and was made Professor of Chemistry at Edinburgh University in 1766. The architecture of Old […]
Old College, South Bridge, Edinburgh EH8 9YL
White Horse Close is a picturesque collection of buildings at the foot of the Canongate, but although stepping into its courtyard feels like stepping back in time, all is not as it seems. The close was heavily restored in the 1960s, focused on typical Scottish features such as crow-stepped gables, forestairs and pantiled roofs. The effect is described by one architectural historian as “…so blatantly fake that it can be acquitted of any intention to deceive.” The close takes its name from an inn which used to stand at its north end. The White Horse Inn on the Canongate closed its doors in the late 1700s, but in its day it was one of the best-known coaching inns in Edinburgh. Its location at the beginning of the Great North Road meant that a journey to London would start from its courtyard. The inn was built in the early 1600s by Lawrence Ord, who perhaps named the place after its association with Mary Queen of Scots, who was said to have stabled her favourite white horse there. In 1639 the White Horse Inn was at the scene of the ‘Stoppit Stravaig’. This was a time of religious turmoil, with many in […]
27 Canongate, Edinburgh EH8 8BU
General Register House is on Princes Street is one of the oldest custom-built archive buildings still in use in the world. Today this grand classical building is home to the National Archives of Scotland, but it was once derided as the only fit for pigeons. The idea to construct a new home for the public records was a key part of the proposals for the New Town in 1752. A grand public building was seen as suitable for the ambitious project, but it was also needed as the existing storage underneath Parliament House was totally unsuitable for such important records. To start the construction was provided by the government, taken from forfeited Jacobite estates. “The famous Scottish architect Robert Adam was brought in to design the building and work started in 1774, but it stopped only five years later when the money ran out. The unfinished structure soon became the focus of local criticism, described it as “the most magnificent pigeon house in Europe”. The site lay unfinished until 1785 when a new architect was appointed and work began again. Over the years there have been many changes, with the front wall being pushed back to accommodate the statue of […]
General Register House, Edinburgh
The building was designed by painter Alexander Nasmyth in 1789, the figurine inside the structure is a depiction of the Greek goddess of health Hygeia. Discovered in 1760, this natural spring was rumoured by the locals to have healing powers, an excellent source for people’s health and wellbeing. The well was recently restored and features an exquisite mosaic ceiling. “The chief ornament of this delightful valley” Alexander Campbell, 1801 A natural spring was discovered near the Dean Village on the Water of Leith in 1760 and was soon a visitor attraction as at that time ‘taking the waters’ was thought to be very good for the health. Some claimed that the water could cure everything from a bruised leg to ‘total blindness’, but others described the taste as having the ‘odious twang of hydrogen gas’ or even like ‘the washings from a foul gun barrel’.
St Bernard's Well, Edinburgh EH3 6TS
The Water of Leith is the main river flowing through Edinburgh, Scotland, to the port of Leith where it flows into the sea via the Firth of Forth. It is 35 km long and rises in the Colzium Springs at Millstone Rig of the Pentland Hills.
Dean Village, Edinburgh
Newhailes is an amazing survival story of the east of Edinburgh’s historic town Musselburgh. From the moment you pass through the gateway, you are in one of the most intriguing properties in the care of the National Trust for Scotland. This fascinating multi-layered house and historical landscape took centuries to evolve and still remain remarkably intact. A Palladian house fits for a baronet, originally built in the 17th century, Newhailes brings three centuries of history to life. The house was owned by the Dalrymple family and featured prominently in the Scottish Enlightenment. Palladian house with sumptuous decorative details and surrounding woodlands. From 1709, Newhailes was home to the influential Dalrymple dynasty, who gave the house its important library and superb interiors and created the intricately designed landscape. The picture collection includes an exceptionally fine series of portraits, including examples by Allan Ramsay and John Baptist de Medina. Much of the original decoration and furnishings have survived intact, retaining the mellowness of its interiors, rather than being an immaculately restored dwelling. Discover breathtaking rococo designs in the Great Apartment. Admire features such as gilded eagles and early 18th-century trompe l’oeil decoration. Soak up the atmosphere in the eerie abandoned servants’ kitchen and scullery. […]
Newhailes, Edinburgh EH21 6RY
Inveresk Lodge Garden climbs the slope between the east bank of the River Esk and the main road running through Inveresk, a beautiful and exclusive village on the southern side of Musselburgh, which was once home to a Roman fort. Tall trees, fragrant flowers, clear water – these walled grounds tucked away in the charming village of Inveresk, near Edinburgh, have all the ingredients for garden paradise. This hillside plant haven offers a sanctuary of tranquillity and a year-round feast for the senses. It is home to colourful borders and a heady mix of scents, including roses, honeysuckle and herbs. Inveresk Lodge itself is NOT open to the public, but it does add a point of focus in the northeast corner of the upper garden. We say “upper garden” because this is a garden of two very distinct parts. The lower part, in the flat bottom of the valley of the River Esk, comprises open meadow and an attractive pond. Mown walkways lead you around the pond and to other points of interest. The garden is split into two main areas, with sloping lawns and borders at the top of the hill and the wilder woodland and ponds below. The point of origin […]
24 Inveresk Village, EH21 7TE
Queen Margaret University is a university located in Musselburgh, East Lothian near Edinburgh, Scotland. It is named after Saint Margaret, wife of King Malcolm III of Scotland. From its founding in 1875, Queen Margaret has developed into a university of ideas and influence which prepares graduates for useful careers and equips them with the skills which will help them make a real difference to society. QMU has recognised expertise in the following flagship areas: Health and Rehabilitation, Creativity and Culture, Sustainable Business. Relocated to a new purpose-built university campus on the south-east side of Edinburgh in 2007. Considerable effort is also placed on interaction with the wider community. The University is divided into four Schools: the School of Business, Enterprise and Management; the School of Drama and Creative Industries; the School of Health Sciences; and the School of Social Sciences, Media and Communication. In April 2008, the University opened its Asian Campus in Singapore, providing business education to about 1,600 students. The university’s Musselburgh campus occupies some 35 acres and costs £100m to build. It is claimed to be the UK’s greenest university campus and houses a broad range of educational buildings, a students’ union, a gym, and 800 residential rooms […]
Queen Margaret Dr, Musselburgh EH21 6UU
The Royal Yacht Britannia was home to Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family for over 40 years, sailing over 1,000,000 miles around the world. Now berthed in Edinburgh, you can follow in the footsteps of Royalty to discover the heart and soul of this most special of Royal residences. Built on Clydeside, the former Royal Yacht Britannia was the British royal family’s floating holiday home during their foreign travels from the time of her launch in 1953 until her decommissioning in 1997, and is now moored permanently in front of Ocean Terminal. The tour, which you take at your own pace with an audio guide (available in 27 languages), lifts the curtain on the everyday lives of the royals and gives an intriguing insight into the Queen’s private tastes. Britannia is a monument to 1950’s decor, and the accommodation reveals Her Majesty’s preference for simple, unfussy surroundings. There was nothing simple or unfussy, however, about the running of the ship. When the Queen travelled, with her went 45 members of the royal household, five tonnes of luggage and a Rolls-Royce that was carefully squeezed into a specially built garage on the deck. The ship’s company consisted of an […]
Ocean Dr, Edinburgh EH6 6JJ
Edinburgh’s 18th-century City Chambers were built over the sealed-off remains of Mary King’s Close, and the lower levels of this medieval Old Town alley have survived almost unchanged amid the foundations for 250 years. It can be a strange concept to understand – back in the 1600’s, The Mary King’s Close and neighbouring Closes were at the heart of Edinburgh’s busiest and most vibrant streets, open to the skies and bustling with traders selling their wares to the Old Town’s residents. The Real Mary King’s Close is a warren of underground streets and spaces. Why would this street find itself underground 400 years later? Now open to the public, this spooky, subterranean labyrinth gives a fascinating insight into the everyday life of 17th-century Edinburgh. Costumed characters lead tours through a 16th-century townhouse and the plague-stricken home of a 17th-century gravedigger. Tours run every 15 minutes from 10 am throughout the year and pre booking is strongly recommended in advance for this popular attraction. For years, the hidden closes of Old Town Edinburgh have been shrouded in myths and mysteries, with tales of ghosts and murders, and of plague victims being walled up and left to die. Research and archaeological evidence […]
Real Mary King’s Close, Edinburgh EH1 1PG
Preston Mill & Phantassie Doocot. Preston Mill was used twice in the making of Outlander season 1. The most immediately memorable scene is that set at Lallybroch where Jamie is mending the mill wheel when Redcoats suddenly arrive. He is forced to hide underwater while Jenny and Claire satisfy the soldiers’ questions. With its curious Dutch-style conical roof, the mill is an architectural oddity that will beguile visitors as much as it delights painters and photographers. There has been a mill on this site since the 16th century, and the present stone buildings date from the 18th century. When you first see Preston Mill you might think you’ve wound up in a storybook. Preston Mill was used commercially until 1959 and was the region’s last working watermill. Guided tours reveal the gruelling nature of the miller’s work, from heavy lifting to dealing with floods, mice and dust. The conical roofed kiln and attractive red pantiled buildings make Preston Mill a popular haunt for photographers and artists, while the nearby millpond with resident ducks and geese provides the finishing touches to an idyllic countryside spot. Just across the River Tyne lies the unusual structure of Phantassie Doocot, built in the 16th century to house […]
Preston Road, East Linton EH40 3DS
In 1850 a gardener called John Gray, together with his wife Jess and son John, arrived in Edinburgh. Unable to find work as a gardener he avoided the workhouse by joining the Edinburgh Police Force as a night watchman. To keep him company through the long winter nights John took on a partner, a diminutive Skye Terrier, his ‘watchdog’ called Bobby. Together John and Bobby became a familiar sight trudging through the old cobbled streets of Edinburgh. Through thick and thin, winter and summer, they were faithful friends. The years on the streets appear to have taken their toll on John, as he was treated by the Police Surgeon for tuberculosis. John eventually died of the disease on the 15th February 1858 and was buried in Greyfriars Kirkyard. Bobby soon touched the hearts of the local residents when he refused to leave his master’s grave, even in the worst weather conditions. The gardener and keeper of Greyfriars tried on many occasions to evict Greyfriars Bobby from the Kirkyard. In the end, he gave up and provided a shelter for Bobby by placing sacking beneath two table stones at the side of John Gray’s grave. Bobby’s fame spread throughout Edinburgh. It is […]
Greyfriars Bobby, Edinburgh
The Well Court was commissioned in the 1880’s by Sir John Findlay, who was then the owner of The Scotsman newspaper. He bought land in Dean Village and had old tenements there cleared away, to allow his new housing to be built. Timeline 1883 J.R. Findlay commissions architect Sydney Mitchell to design Well Court. 1886 Work on Well Court is completed. 2007 Work starts on a major restoration of the building funded by Edinburgh World Heritage and the property owners. The Carved Plaques The building has many carved red sandstone plaques to commemorate its building. Clock Tower The clock tower rises above what once was the social hall. A possible source for the design of the tower is the 17th century Earl’s Palace in Kirkwall. The Font The font originally belonged to the nearby Belford Church, built 1888-1889, which was also designed by Sydney Mitchell. It was brought to Well Court following the church’s conversion to the Belford Hostel. The Courtyard Four and five-storey tenement flats enclose a communal courtyard which is evocative of the old squares – such as James Square in the Old Town. The accommodation in Well Court was originally intended for local workers in the Dean Village […]
Well Court, Edinburgh
Admire one of the oldest buildings on the Royal Mile, housing wealthy residential and commercial tenants in its heyday. View hand-painted Renaissance interiors with deep hidden meanings. See the 1600s stone arches, built to shelter customers but which became the ideal place for criminal activity. Spot the gilded bird of prey that hangs outside the house. The best address in town! Just a stone’s throw from the castle, this 500-year-old building is a towering testament to tenement life in Edinburgh’s Old Town and was once owned by merchant Thomas Gladstone. He extended and remodelled the building to attract wealthy tenants for his opulently decorated apartments, as well as for the high-end grocer and cloth shop on the ground floor and the tavern located in the basement. By the 1800s, only the poorest of the city’s inhabitants remained in the Old Town. Gladstone’s Land was one of the first buildings that the National Trust for Scotland acquired, rescuing it from demolition in 1934. Visitor Information Discover the real Royal Mile of the 17th century. Gladstone’s Land shows how people from a variety of backgrounds went about their lives at a time when the cramped Lawnmarket was at the heart of one […]
Gladstone's Land, Edinburgh EH1 2NT
Many generations of students at the University of Edinburgh will have fond memories of time spent in Teviot Row House, others will remember the Fringe Club of past years and the Gilded Balloon of today. It is one of the city’s most important venues, but also a fascinating piece of architecture in its own right. It opened its doors in 1889, making it the oldest purpose-built student union in the world. It was the inspiration of the university’s new ‘Student Representative Council’ formed a few years before, who saw an urgent need to provide facilities catering to all the students’ needs. The essential requirements of a Victorian student were quite different to those of today, and the building was to include billiard rooms, a servants hall, tea and luncheon rooms, a writing room, library, dressing room, ‘retiring room’, barber, and a fives courts in the basement. Sydney Mitchell was appointed to design the new building, one of the city’s most important architects, responsible for many of Edinburgh’s most distinctive buildings such as Ramsay Garden and Well Court. In 1885 he was in charge of the restoration of the Mercat Cross on the Royal Mile, a high profile project for a relatively […]
13 Bristo Pl, Edinburgh EH8 9AJ
Explore the palace’s close associations with some of Scotland’s most well-known historical figures such as Mary, Queen of Scots and Bonnie Prince Charlie, and learn how today it is used by The Queen when carrying out official engagements in Scotland. Walk in royal footsteps around Holyrood Abbey, founded by David I in 1128. The cloister precinct was later turned into a modern Renaissance palace – Holyroodhouse – and became the royal family’s main home in Scotland. Things to do Wander through the abbey nave and gardens after touring the Palace of Holyroodhouse (run by the Royal Collection Trust) Admire the east processional doorway, the only surviving part of David I’s original ‘monastery of the Holy Rood’ Take in the west front of the rebuilt abbey church, one of the most impressive Gothic façades anywhere in Scotland View the royal vault, the final resting place of both royalty and Augustinian canons Opening times Access to Holyrood Abbey is through the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Her Majesty The Queen’s official residence in Scotland. To visit the Abbey you must pay the entrance fee to the Palace of Holyroodhouse (this includes Historic Scotland Members and Explorer Pass holders). 20% discount for Historic Scotland members on […]
Holyrood Abbey, Edinburgh EH8 8DX
The Nelson Monument on Calton Hill is one of the defining features of the Edinburgh’s skyline and provides probably the best vantage point for views across the city and beyond. Yet the monument is not just a historic and striking building because for the past 150 years it has also had an important function to perform. The monument was built to commemorate Admiral Lord Nelson, who died at the Battle of Trafalgar during the Napoleonic Wars. The battle was a victory for the Royal Navy, but Nelson was fatally wounded. When the news reached Edinburgh, a group of subscribers banded together to raise funds for a monument to express their gratitude to the Admiral. An initial idea was to build the monument in the shape of a Chinese pagoda, but this was quickly rejected in favour of a design by Robert Burn, which was more appropriately modelled on an upturned telescope. Building work began in 1807 but fundraising was so slow that the monument was not completed until 1816.By then the subscribers were desperate for money, and so it was opened to the public with a small entrance fee. £5 entry to climb the tower, but the museum on the […]
Calton Hill, Edinburgh EH7 5AA
The Canongate forms part of what is now called the Royal Mile running from Edinburgh Castle down to Holyrood Palace. Moray House, now part of the University of Edinburgh, occupies a number of properties on the south side of this historic street. This section describes the colourful history and development of this area. The Canongate has probably existed for over a millennium initially as a rough track running eastwards down the rocky ‘tail’ of the Castle Rock. The surrounding area was once shrub, mire and part of the forest of Drumselch, with Arthur’s Seat, part of an ancient volcano, rising to the south. Holyrood Abbey and Holyrood Palace Legend has it that on the 14 September 1128 King David I of the Scots was out hunting, despite this being a Holy Day. He became separated from the rest of his party and was suddenly attacked by a stag (hart). Thrown from his horse he raised his arms to protect himself. But instead of its antlers, he found across (or rood). That night he dreamt that a great religious house would be established at the place of his miraculous escape. That same year the establishment a monastery was approved which was to become […]
Canongate, Edinburgh EH8 8BN
The Blackford Hill 164 metres is one of the largest – and one of the finest. The views of the city in all directions can hold visitors and locals spellbound as the Blackford panoramas extend over the Forth to the distant Lomond Hills. History and heritage Blackford Hill came into the hands of the old Edinburgh Corporation in 1884, purchased for the sum of £8000 from Lt. Colonel Henry Trotter of Mortonhall. A few years later, the Observatory on Calton Hill required to be moved from the city-centre glare and three and a half acres were sold for the building of a new National Observatory on Blackford Hill, where it has been cited ever since. Several other smaller parcels of ground were bought later, including in 1906 the area known as Egypt field, which contained Blackford Pond. Blackford Hill is wild and wind-blown, a large slice of countryside within the city. It is an important part of Edinburgh’s natural heritage, and along with neighbouring Hermitage of Braid is classified a Local Nature Reserve. Blackford Pond and the surrounding wetland are important for water birds such as swan, little grebe, heron, pochard, mallard and tufted duck. Moorhen and coot nest at […]
Observatory Rd, Edinburgh EH9 3HJ
Calton Hill is one of Edinburgh’s main hills, set right in the city centre. It is unmistakable with its Athenian acropolis poking above the skyline. Acropolis is in fact, an unfinished National Monument. Initiated in 1816, a year after Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo, it was meant to be a replica of the Parthenon in Athens, as a memorial to those who had died in the Napoleonic Wars. Building began in 1822, but funds ran dry and celebrated Edinburgh architect William Playfair only saw a facade of his building completed. It was dubbed “Edinburgh’s shame”, but it’s now a popular landmark and it’s a lot of fun crawling up and down its giant steps. Plans since to complete the building never really get much support. The top of Calton Hill is a usually quiet place to come on any day, with its grassy slopes and panoramic views of the city, including down the length of Princes Street (the main shopping thoroughfare) and Edinburgh Castle. There is a good view North of the ruddy-coloured cliffs of Salisbury Crags, Arthur’s Seat, and the undulating slopes of Holyrood Park. Calton Hill is easily accessed. It takes about five minutes to get to the top […]
Calton Hill, Edinburgh EH7 5AA
Haymarket and Dalry are located in the West End of Edinburgh, close to the city centre. While Haymarket is a mix of residential and commercial properties centred around the train station and is known for its Georgian and Edwardian architecture, Dalry is more predominantly residential and known for its tenement flats. Eat There are some very good restaurants and takeaways in the Haymarket and Dalry area. As well as excellent Scottish eateries, you will find a host of exciting Indian, Vietnamese, Japanese and Chinese restaurants. Italian cuisine is also well favoured and we would be remiss if we did not mention the many great fish and chip shops!
Leith is an area like no other. The district of Leith rests on the shores of the Firth of Forth, at the mouth of the Water of Leith. Boasting its own distinct character, Leith is a hub of lively eating and drinking spots, creativity and cultural diversity. Having served as the port of Edinburgh for hundreds of years, the area’s original harbour dates back to the 14th century and has been visited by many travelling kings and queens, including Mary Queen of Scots and King George IV. The area has been redeveloped since 1980 and it now boasts some of the finest restaurants, bars and shopping that Edinburgh has to offer. Things to do As Edinburgh’s port, Leith is still busy with an influx of cargo from all over the world. The redeveloped docklands are a pleasant place to take a walk and you are spoilt for choice when it comes to eating out. The most popular tourist attraction in Leith is probably the Royal Yacht Britannia at Ocean Terminal. The Leith Links is also a lovely park with a large play area for kids. Eat You’ll find more than one Michelin starred restaurant in Leith and some of the finest seafood that Scotland […]
This attractive leafy neighbourhood is one of the most affluent in Edinburgh. Heading south from the west end of Princes Street up Lothian Road and through Tollcross, you’ll visit Morningside. It is a friendly place with plenty of cafes, pubs, restaurants and quirky shops. Things to see The Meadows is a popular area of park land in the heart of Edinburgh and the Bruntsfield Links forms part of it. This tree-lined park was once a mini-golf course. Nowadays it is a great location for a picnic and a spot of sunbathing when the weather permits. There are public toilets nearby and you can retreat to one of the local pubs or restaurants later in the day. You’ll also find some gorgeous architecture in Bruntsfield and Morningside which provides a real contrast to the medieval Old Town or the classical Georgian New Town. Eat You’ll find a real mixture of eateries in Bruntsfield and Morningside. There is no shortage of good pub grub and there are a lot of brasseries and bistros serving up quality local produce. You also have a small selection of international cuisine to choose from, including Indian and Italian. The area is also a real haven for café […]
Musselburgh is a historic town in East Lothian, well known for golf, and its racecourse. It’s just five miles east of Edinburgh and is a strong contender for the title of Scotland’s oldest town. Things to do The name, Musselburgh, derives from the extensive mussel beds which lie along its shore on the Firth of Forth. The Coat of Arms for Musselburgh is made up of three mussels and three anchors, with the anchors referring to the fishing tradition of the community. Leisure also became increasingly important to Musselburgh. Proximity to Edinburgh, a nice seaside location, and increasingly good transport links led to Musselburgh’s rapid growth as an upmarket dormitory and resort. A golf course was in use to the east of the town at least as early as 1672, and this has been recognised as the oldest in the world. It may actually date back much further: it is said that Mary Queen of Scots played here in 1567. The most recent addition to the town lies close to the A1 bypass between Musselburgh and Edinburgh. In 2007 this became the site of a new campus for Queen Margaret University. Eat You’ll find a real mixture of eateries in Bruntsfield and Morningside. There is no shortage of good […]
The New Town is a central area of Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland. It is often considered to be a masterpiece of city planning and, together with the Old Town, was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995. When the Old Town became too crowded Edinburgh expanded to the North. It was built in stages between 1767 and around 1850 and retains much of the original neoclassical and Georgian period architecture. Its most famous street is Princes Street, facing Edinburgh Castle and the Old Town across the geographical depression of the former Nor Loch. Wide avenues and grand townhouses and buildings in the neoclassical and Georgian style proved to be an elegant solution to overcrowding. This affluent area is home to shops, businesses and expensive houses. Things to do The city centre is home to the National Gallery of Scotland and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery where you’ll find some of the finest art that Scotland has to offer. Princes Street is the main thoroughfare of the city and the gardens are a great place to enjoy an ice cream in the sunshine. You’ll also find that the world-famous Hogmanay celebrations take place here. Eat There are plenty of […]
New Town, Edinburgh
Holyrood Palace (The Palace of Holyroodhouse), Her Majesty The Queen’s official residence in Scotland. Standing at the end of Edinburgh’s historic Royal Mile, this fine palace is the home of Scottish royal history. At the Palace of Holyroodhouse, visitors can explore 14 magnificent historic and State Apartments, the romantic ruins of the 12th-century Holyrood Abbey and remarkable royal gardens, all with a complimentary audio tour. Best known as the home of Mary, Queen of Scots, the Palace was the setting for many dramatic episodes in her short reign. Today, the State Apartments are used regularly by The Queen for State ceremonies and official entertaining. The Queen’s Gallery at the Holyrood Palace hosts a programme of changing exhibitions from the Royal Collection. A current exhibition at The Queen’s Gallery on exhibition inspired events, talks and family activities, please visit www.royalcollection.org.uk/whatson Palace Opening times: April – October 09:30-18:00 (last admission 16:30) November – March 09:30-16:30 (last admission 15:15) The Palace of Holyroodhouse is closed 30 March, 15 – 26 May, 26 June – 7 July, 25 – 26 December and during royal visits. Admission prices: (includes an audio tour available in 9 languages) Adult £14.00 Over 60/Student (with valid ID) £12.70 Under 17 […]
Canongate, Edinburgh EH8 8DX
Old Town (Scots: Auld Toun) is the name popularly given to the oldest part of Scotland’s capital city of Edinburgh. The Old Town is a captivating warren of historical wonders. From the stunning Edinburgh Castle at the top of the Royal Mile down to Holyrood Palace and the Scottish Parliament at the bottom, the entire area is a World Heritage Site. You’ll find attractions, restaurants and nightlife galore. The area has preserved much of its medieval street plan and many Reformation-era buildings. Together with the 18th-century New Town, it forms part of a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site. Things to do The original city grew from a defensive fort on the volcanic plug which is now home to the castle. The main street, known as the Royal Mile runs down a ridge to the foot of the crags and tenements, shops and churches sprang up on either side. The medieval layout plays host to a number of wynds and closes (narrow alleys) which make the Old Town an interesting place to explore. This is the main tourist area of the city and there are many statues and beautiful historical buildings to behold. Eat From fine dining to decent pub grub […]
Old Town, Edinburgh
Princes Street Gardens is a large public open space occupying much of the valley to the south of Edinburgh’s Princes Street and to the north of Edinburgh Castle. It is effectively divided into three parts. To the east of The Mound and the Scottish National Gallery in East Princes Street Gardens, while to its west is, unsurprisingly, West Princes Street Gardens. The latter is further subdivided by the railway lines running from Waverley Station into the main area to their north and the open areas around the lower slopes of Edinburgh Castle Rock to their south. The Gardens are set in the valley between the old and new towns with Edinburgh Castle on its rock towering above the western end. The park has been awarded a Green Flag since 2011 and its central location makes it a popular choice for residents and visitors. The world-renowned Floral clock was first planted in 1903 and each year the planting scheme commemorates a special anniversary. The planting schemes are designed by the Technical team in the Parks and Greenspace Service. The colourful displays take 30,000 plants, and a variety of flower and foliage plants are used in the designs. All are of a […]
Princes St, Edinburgh EH2 2HG
Edinburgh Airport (Scottish Gaelic: Port-adhair Dhùn Èideann) (IATA: EDI, ICAO: EGPH) is an airport located in the Ingliston area of the City of Edinburgh, Scotland. It is owned and operated by Global Infrastructure Partners. Scotland’s busiest airport, with over 9.4 million passengers passing through its terminal in 2016, Edinburgh Airport has won a number of awards, including Best European Airport! The easily accessible site makes it ideal for all modes of travel; from 1000’s of car parking spaces to bus and train stations close by, anyone can reach the terminal doors with ease.
Edinburgh EH12 9DN
The Meadows is a large expanse of common, green space to the South of Edinburgh Old Town, adjoining the main Edinburgh University area. It extends from Melville Drive in the East as far as Bruntsfield in the West. In the Summer, this central, car-free space is the scene of festivals, sports days, and is a popular place for people who just want to soak up the sun, kick a ball about, fly a kite, walk the dog, or play Frisbee. There are tennis courts to the East of the Meadows, and golf is played West of Whitehouse Loan on a small putting course. Formal cricket matches are also held in West Meadows and five-a-side tournaments take place from time to time. The Royal Company of Archers also holds its annual archery tournament, the Edinburgh Arrow, in the Meadows. There are a number of busy cycle and pedestrian pathways through the Meadows which are lined with mature trees. Arthur’s seat in Holyrood Park is clearly visible from the Meadows.
Melville Drive, EH9 9EX
Leith Festival is all about the community of Leith. Organising for the people of Leith by the people of Leith. It gives the opportunity for professional and amateur groups alike to be involved in theatre, music, arts, history, song, in fact pretty much anything within their local community. There is a Leith Festival programme so you can find what event/s and venue/s you’re looking for in the area during Festival time. Oh, and don’t forget to look out for our opening ceremony, the Leith Pageant, where dancers, artists, pipe bands, folk in fancy dress parade through the heart of Leith and where hundreds of well wishers line the streets, and of course, not forgetting our Gala Day (both events take place on Saturday), which takes place on Leith Links from 10.30 am. Another show stopping event for you to note in your calendar, is our traditional closing ceremony, the Leith Festival Tattoo (Sunday 19th June 2016), which takes place at the end of Tower Street next to the Water of Leith, opposite the Malmaison Hotel.
17 Academy Street, Leith. Edinburgh. EH6 7EE
The Mound is an artificial hill in central Edinburgh, Scotland, which connects Edinburgh’s New Town and Old Town. It was formed by dumping around 1,501,000 cartloads of earth excavated from the foundations of the New Town into the drained Nor Loch which forms today’s Princes Street Gardens. The construction of the Earthen Mound, as it was originally called, was begun in 1781 and it was extended over the years until by 1830 it was macadamised and landscaped so that it appeared more or less complete. When the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway was extended to Waverley in 1846, tunnels were driven under The Mound to allow access to the west.
The Mound, Edinburgh
The Edinburgh Playhouse is the largest working theatre in the UK in terms of audience capacity, seating 3,059 people over three levels. Originally used as a cinema, nowadays the venue is used for large-scale touring musical productions. The theatre is managed by the Ambassadors Theatre Group (ATG) who use it to house a wide variety of different performances each year. The building itself is a Grade I Listed Building and was originally modelled on the Roxy Cinema in New York. Owned by the Ambassador Theatre group, the Playhouse is the largest and one of the most iconic theatre spaces in Edinburgh, not to mention one of the largest non-sport theatres in the UK, with a capacity of just over 3,000. Opened in 1929, it was originally intended as a variety hall, although a change of heart by the owners mid-construction saw it run as a cinema from the very start. Designed by Glasgow architect John Fairweather, its design took inspiration from the Roxy Theatre in New York. The cinema boomed in its early years, and stars including Marlene Dietrich, Yul Brynner and Laurel and Hardy all visited, until a downturn in demand for auditoriums of such a size led to […]
18-22 Greenside Ln, Edinburgh EH1 3AA
Situated in Edinburgh and dealing with modern and contemporary art. Includes details of past current and future exhibitions and artists. Look out for large-scale works on the ‘Billboard for Edinburgh’ on the outside of the gallery. Founded in 1998, the Ingleby Gallery was established in a townhouse on Carlton Terrace by art buyers and artist representatives Richard and Florence Ingleby. From there, it moved to a more traditional two-storey space to the rear of Waverley station, which was previously home to the rough, ready and much-loved local gig and club space the Venue. The renovation of the building has created a versatile exhibition space with three rooms on the ground floor and a large, long room on the first floor. The gallery has hosted numerous group and solo shows from artists including Ian Hamilton Findlay, Callum Innes, Jonathan Owen and Peter Liversidge, while the Billboard For Edinburgh project has seen an old advertising billboard on the side of the building used for one-off site-specific commissions to fit the medium. Artists who have shown on it include Rachel Whiteread, Martin Boyce, Mark Wallinger and Bob and Roberta Smith. The gallery is a commercial venture and sells a wide range of books, […]
6 Carlton Terrace, Edinburgh EH7 5DD
At the West End of Princes Street, you’ll find Lothian Road which leads you up to the lively area known as Tollcross, which takes its name from a busy crossroads. It’s full of affordable places to eat, some boisterous nightlife, comfortable pubs, and a smattering of shops. Things to do The two best independent cinemas in Edinburgh are located in this part of town. If you want to see something a little more interesting than the latest blockbuster then you can head for the Filmhouse on Lothian Road or continue up to Tollcross and see something at the Cameo. Both cinemas also feature great bars. If you prefer the big chain cinema experience then you’ll also find an Odeon on Lothian Road and there’s a big Cineworld multiplex just along from Tollcross at Fountainbridge. If you prefer the stage then head for a production at the King’s Theatre. Where to eat? You’ll find lots of restaurants around Tollcross that serve up various cuisines from Indian restaurants, like Mezbaan, to Mexican to Italian. There is also plenty of good pub grub to choose from. There are enough options here that you can usually find somewhere to walk in and get a […]
Edinburgh South Side is a lively, cosmopolitan area just next to the Old Town, where most of Edinburgh University is located and it is also home to a wide variety of attractions, venues, hotels, pubs, and restaurants. Things to do The South Side of Edinburgh is where you will find the National Museum of Scotland which is an essential attraction for any visitor to Edinburgh. You’ll also see a mix of grand old architecture and cutting-edge design in the shape of the Edinburgh University’s many buildings. Just at the Eastern edge of the South Side, you’ll find the Crags and Arthur’s Seat which afford splendid views over the neighbourhood and the city beyond it. If you want to relax with a picnic then make for the popular The Meadows public park. Eat You’ll find all sorts of restaurants in the South Side and most of them are relaxed, friendly, and very reasonably priced. If you like a bit of spice then Kismot is unmissable because they offer a curry with the hottest chillies in the world. You can also find vegetarian Indian cuisine at Kalpna and a wide range of tasty, spicy food at Mother India’s Cafe. Another excellent Indian […]
South Side, Edinburgh
Stockbridge is an affluent suburb of the city of Edinburgh situated to the north of the city centre. Once a sleepy village at the outskirts of the city, its cobbled streets, classical architecture and upscale shops, bars and restaurants make it popular with both residents and visitors. Things to do Stockbridge benefits from beautiful architecture and numerous delightful parks and open spaces. A walk along the Water of Leith takes you past St Bernard’s Well and Dean Village or you could enjoy a picnic in Inverleith Park or The Royal Botanic Gardens. The grounds of the National Gallery of Modern Art are beautifully maintained and it houses an impressive collection of artworks. Eat Stockbridge has some delightful cafes and bistros, as well as more formal restaurants. For a fine dining experience head to the Stockbridge Restaurant or Purslane. For a more casual (and less expensive meal) Hamilton’s Bar and Kitchen is a great favourite. You can also sample delicious Italian, Spanish and Thai cuisine here. Stockbridge’s Best Restaurants
Compliment your tour by visiting the Real Mary King’s Close‘ Coffee House, set in the historic Burgh Courtroom. Mary King’s Coffee House is one of the perfect places to enjoy a sandwich or indulge in cake and coffee. Enjoy coffee Indulgent Cake and Coffee Whether out with friends or treating the family, you can unwind in our unique setting. Mary King’s delighted to serve Brodies Fairtrade tea and coffee, which not only boasts full of flavour but a rich and strong heritage. Do you know? There previously was The Royal Exchange Coffee House in the closes which operated between the mid-18th and early 19th centuries and could be accessed via what is now the Quadrangle of the City Chambers. At its height, the Royal Exchange Coffee House was one of the Edinburgh’s main talking shops where key figures of the Scottish Enlightenment met to debate the issues of the day.
High Street, 2 Warriston's Close, Edinburgh EH1 1PG
Why is the pub called The World’s End? Back in the 16th century, Edinburgh was a walled city. The gates of the city were situated outside the pub, and the brass cobbles in the road represent their exact location. As far as the people of Edinburgh were concerned, the world outside these gates was no longer theirs: hence the name, The World’s End. Today, those venturing inside the tavern will find that its unique hospitality makes the world of difference. If proof were needed of a pub steeped in history, look no further than The World’s End on the Royal Mile. The pub is billed as one of the ‘old style’, pulling in tourists who walk the cobbled street to quench their thirst with a perfectly poured Belhaven beer. Above the bar, scores of foreign banknotes give a nod and a wink to the broad, international clientele who have drunk there. Complementing the ‘old-fashioned feel’, television is minimal, allowing the pub’s capacity of around 140 to drink in peace!
2-8 High St, Edinburgh EH1 1TB
The Scottish Storytelling Centre is a vibrant arts venue with a seasonal programme of live storytelling, theatre, music, exhibitions, workshops, family events and festivals. The venue and its staff have a welcoming spirit, inclusive nature and talent and creative skill to boot. What makes the centre special? It is unique approach to collaboration and the welcome it affords performers, customers and audiences. The Centre’s ethos is summed up nicely by the old Scottish proverb, “The story is told eye to eye, mind to mind and heart to heart”. What is Storytelling? Storytelling is one of our oldest art forms. It stimulates the imagination and builds a sense of community between tellers and listeners. Stories are everywhere – in newspapers, books, on TV and the internet. Everyday conversation is full of anecdotes and real life stories. Storytelling helps us understand our environment and personal experience. John Knox House A-listed building dating back to 1470 which houses an exhibition exploring the Scottish Reformation. A very unique and historic setting for small-scale events, like wine-tastings or intimate wedding blessings. A guided tour of the house can also be arranged as part of your event, plus Story Tours for those wanting further insight into Old Edinburgh and its characters.
45 High St, Edinburgh EH1 1SR
Light, compact, hipster coffee-house serving sandwiches, global snacks/meals, and elegant patisserie. Beans are house-roasted and there are made-to-order sandwiches, hot snacks, and decidedly decent cakes too. They’ve done their homework where it counts, with five coffees on offer via a host of brewing variations – note the line-up of gadgets and home-barista gear.
38 Easter Road, EH7 5RG
Charlotte Square is a Georgian, neoclassical square just off the West End of George Street. The Square, which is mirrored by St. Andrew Square in the East End, was designed by Robert Adam, the leading Scottish architect of his day. Adam’s plans were drawn up in 1791, when he was at the height of his career, and were commissioned by the Lord Provost and the City of Edinburgh Council as the architectural culmination of Edinburgh’s first New Town. Adam was to die a year later, but his completed designs were eventually realised in 1820. In August, the Edinburgh Book Festival erects a tented village in Charlotte Square Gardens, at the centre of the Square.
Charlotte Square, Edinburgh EH2 4HQ
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