Located in Lothian in the southern shores of the Firth of Forth, Edinburgh was the capital of Scotland since the 15th century. It is one among the most ancient cities of the world. Edinburgh has kept alive the legends of Scotland even today, by preserving its unique monuments that tell a million stories about the past. It is the second most populous city of Scotland. Edinburgh is also home to many national institutions. The city is also deeply rooted to its rich and intriguing history. Edinburgh lies in an unforgettable setting that trigger a sense of nostalgia through the veins.
The Old Town and New Town of Edinburgh is even listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Site in appreciation of its unique architecture. One can find the best of both the worlds in Edinburgh. Irrespective of whether one is looking for history, heritage, landmarks, delicious cuisine or drinks, you will get it all in Edinburgh. It is one place where anything and everything is possible. The city’s rich cultural and social heritage has without doubt proved that Edinburgh is one of the most elegant and beautiful cities in Europe. “This is a city of shifting light, of changing skies, of sudden vistas. A city so beautiful it breaks the heart again and again” says Alexander McCall Smith, an author.
The earliest known habitation in Edinburgh dates back to 8500 B.C. The modern city is believed to be built on seven hills, namely Carlton Hill, Corstorphine Hill, Craiglockhart Hill, Braid Hill, Blackford Hill, Arthur’s Seat and the Castle Rock, giving rise to the allusions of the seven hills of Rome. The Braid Hills and the Blackford Hills (a series of small summits spread over the south west of the city) gives us an expansive view of the city northwards, over the urban areas to the Forth. The Princes Street Gardens divide the city into two parts, with the Edinburgh Castle( built out of rocks) dominating the south and the Princes Street and the Old Town in the north. List most other cities of Scotland, Edinburgh has a moderate, relatively mild climate. Because of its close proximity to the sea and it being surrounded by coasts and hills, Edinburgh is also known as “the windy city”.
Edinburgh is the best place one could visit on a family’s day out as it offers you a treasure trove of the major attractions of the world. Irrespective of whether it is a family’s day out or a cultural pursuit, the city has the majesty to satisfy its most discerning visitor. Arthur’s Seat, one of the earliest known sites of human habitation in Edinburgh, The Pentland Hills and Edinburgh’s Waterfront are the major attractions the make the city look incredible to the rest of the world. You could roam around the cosmopolitan streets of the Port of Leith, take a cruise on the River Forth and explore the rugged terrains in just one day. The Edinburgh Castle located at the Royal Mile on top of the Castle Rock provides an incomparable view of the grandeur the city holds.
The Edinburgh Zoo is home to more than 1000 rare and wonderful animals including the koalas, meerkats, giant pandas and the cheeky chimpanzees! One could only hold one’s breath and marvel at Scotland’s Crown Jewels and the Stone of Destiny. We can also listen to the One o’ Clock being fired from the ramparts from Mons Meg, the world’s oldest cannon. For those who would love to taste a cup of royalty, you could take a tour of the Royal Yacht Britannia which was the seabound home Her Majesty the Queen and the Royal Family for over 40 years. Edinburgh doesn’t disappoint the carefree, adventure loving spirits out there too. An exciting, scary and fun filled trip through the Edinburgh Dungeon takes us into the bloody history of Scotland.
Youngsters can take a trip down the memory lane and see a wonderful collection of toys and games at the Edinburgh Museum of Childhood. The museum also helps enthusiastic people to learn more about the children of the past and also has a puppet theatre, dressing-up area and a fantastic museum shop. Edinburgh is also the best when it comes to hosting cultural fairs and festivals. In recognition of its rich literary heritage, UNESCO gave Edinburgh the title of the City of Literature in 2004. The Edinburgh International Festival is and has always been the biggest art festival in the world since its founding in 1947.
For those who would love to know more about the city, Sarah Guppy, a city author has brought Edinburgh to life in her book of short stories. From a juggling care worker and a bargain-obsessed shopper to an enthusiastic playboy and a pensioner who resides with a speaking parrot, Guppy has tried to portray the social life in Edinburgh using quirky characters and interesting lives. A walk through Edinburgh is a constant reminder of the cultural foundations of the capital. “There’s more to Edinburgh than meets the eye. It’s also a walker’s city- small enough to walk around in one day. It’s a city of the mind- but if you scratch its surface you’ll discover there’s a lot hidden away.”