I traveled to Edinburgh with little knowledge of this city other than its famous castle. I was pleased that the city had plenty of sights and history to indulge myself in. A stark contrast is the difference between the New and Old Towns, either side of the trainline that cuts between them, and Edinburgh successfully blends history with the modern bustle. Its two prominent streets are examples of this. The Royal Mile stretches from Edinburgh Castle to Holyrood House, taking in its stride a number of other attractions including Camera Obscura, the Writer’s Museum, Museum of Edinburgh and the Scottish Parliament. Its counterpart Princes Street offer a modern shopping district with bars, restaurants and places of leisure. Here are my highlights:
3. Edinburgh Castle
The most famous landmark of Scotland’s capital is its castle. However forget the panoramic views, forget the Scottish National War Memorial, forget its palace, my most memorable snippet is the castle’s very own pet cemetery, which is used to bury the soldier’s dogs. This was well worth the admission alone. Also visit West Princes Street Gardens below for ‘that’ iconic image of the castle.
2. Calton Hill
Offering one of the city’s finest viewpoints is Calton Hill. It overlooks both New and Old Town, Holyrood Palace, Arthur’s Seat and Firth of Forth. It is topped with a number of interesting buildings including a number of monuments. My favourite is the National Monument, nicknamed as ‘Scotland’s shame”. Consisiting of a dozen grand pillars, it was intended to be a full-size replica of Athen’s patheon, before building ceased due to a lack of funds.
1. Holyrood House
This is the Queen’s lodgings when visiting Edinburgh. The majority of the grounds are open to visit and with a free audio tour. Pictured below is the remains of the ruined Abbey Church where Charles I was crowned, but was destroyed due to its Catholic links during the revolution.
I highly recommend a trip to Edinburgh if you have a couple of days spare. This gem has some truly awe-inspiring sights. The cobblestone streets and magnificent buildings makes you marvel at the history this city has to offer the traveler.