Edinburgh Travel Guide
Why? A holiday in Edinburgh is a delight for the mind and
the senses: this grand medieval city is bursting with ancient
relics and vibrant contemporary life. Gothic churches stand side by
side with palaces and modern galleries, and the nightlife of
Edinburgh is legendary.
When? Weatherwise the best time to travel to Edinburgh is during summer, when hours of daylight are long and warm (the city's northerly latitude means darkness only falls around 10pm). August is the most popular month for an Edinburgh holiday because this is when the world-renowned Edinburgh Festival is held, and the breath-taking Military Tattoo. Those who prefer to avoid crowds would do better to explore Edinburgh in spring or autumn. Another busy time when people flock to travel to Edinburgh is for the traditional New Year's celebrations of Hogmanay.
Who for? All sorts of people find plenty to enjoy during a holiday in Edinburgh. There are dozens of sights to explore, not least of which is the landmark castle that overlooks the Old City. Art lovers relish the many galleries, while shoppers can descend with glee on the inviting stores along Princes Street. Whisky connoisseurs are, of course, also keen on a holiday in Edinburgh where they can liberally sample the Scot's favourite tipple at dozens of cosy hostelries.
More Info: Plan a holiday in Edinburgh with the help of our Edinburgh travel guide, which provides a host of basic information about how to get there, and details of what to do and see and how to get around once you arrive there.
Edinburgh © Ipoh Žq
Presenting a rather Gothic cityscape as it spreads out below its ancient Castle, reaching out to the port of Leith, Edinburgh is far from dour. The canny Scots have crafted a capital that is crammed with culture, filled with fun and festivity, veneered with sophistication but reeking of history and mystery.
It's a heady combination that never fails to charm visitors to this city, built on a set of extinct volcanoes on the Firth of Forth, an inlet from the North Sea, just north of the border between Scotland and England.
The first thing that catches the eye is the looming battlements of the castle, sitting atop sheer granite cliffs that can only be accessed from one steep ridge. Today the castle heads up the Royal Mile and a linear set of streets making up the 'New Town', created when Edinburgh was re-designed in the 1700s, after the Act of Union with Britain. Tourists eagerly wander up and down the main street, Princes Street, all year round, browsing in the top quality stores and photographing the vista of the castle and the old town. When it comes to sightseeing, Edinburgh's attractions are largely based on historic stories and legends, from the churchyard where Greyfriar's Bobby, the terrier, refused to leave his master's grave, to the grand royal apartments of Holyrood House, where Mary Queen of Scots watched her husband kill her lover back in the 16th century.
Edinburgh oozes atmosphere, but never more so than during the summer months, when the vibrant Edinburgh Festival fills the city with drama, creativity and colourful visitors from around the world. Another occasion when Edinburgh pulls out all its stops is during the traditional Hogmanay New Year festival, when the jolly festivities are warmed by a great imbibing of Scottish malt whisky and ales pulled in the many local pubs.
Edinburgh is perhaps best summed up by one of its famous sons, the novelist Robert Louis Stevenson, who described it as 'a profusion of eccentricities; a dream in masonry and living rock'. Just remember that if you want to endear yourself to the locals, pronounce the city's name as 'Edinbruh' and not 'Edinberg'!
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