Edinburgh: The beautiful capital of Scotland…
Undeniably beautiful, Edinburgh has a medieval old town, and a Georgian new town; up above on the hill is Edinburgh Castle, where the Scottish crown jewels are kept. What a colourful city this is, one of vibrancy and pep; there’s a certain whirl, an excitement that makes it unique, served by two railway stations, an airport and an extensive road network. Maybe it’s all the goings-on, events like the annual Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
Edinburgh has 6 main districts set around a city centre packed with shops, art galleries and museums, parks, and places to eat. Modern buildings stand cheek by jowl with some impressive Georgian and Victorian architecture - the elegant Merchant’s Hall, the Hilton Edinburgh Carlton, and the Glasshouse Hotel with its 2 acre roof top garden.
In the old town, Grassmarket has a grisly past, originally where public executions took place, then a cattle/horse market. You’d never know when you’re here amidst the hustle and bustle, the eclectic bars and independent shops; it’s very relaxed these days.
The Royal Mile is the historic heart of the city and is where Scottish Parliament is, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, and the law courts, as well as the famous castle, St Giles Cathedral. Parts of the West End have quite a bohemian feel with one-off shops, artisan eateries and multifarious bars. This district is home to BT Murrayfield Stadium, much revered home of Scottish rugby, and it’s where the former Caledonian Railway Hotel stands, under its new guise as the Waldorf Astoria.
Waterfront Leith is the old maritime centre of Edinburgh; it’s where the Royal Yacht Britannia is docked and it really doesn’t look out of place among the redeveloped warehouses that are now curios shops, cafes and bars. Stockbridge is where the cool cats hang out - artists, writers musicians and the like. It’s a lovely area, at the bottom of the New Town, stretching down to the verdurous Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.
Site of the National Museum of Scotland, Southside has more of a villagey feel, with quirky boutiques and smaller shops; there’s a very convivial air, possibly because lots of the residents are students and they all know each other. Southside is home to the University of Edinburgh, which has beautiful grounds and some very striking venues including the McEwan Hall, and the Surgeons Hall.