As the capital of Scotland, Edinburgh has always been a popular destination. Ensconced in legend, romance and history, its elegant architecture and distinct character make this an unforgettable city. Located on Scotland’s south-east coast, Edinburgh lies between the Firth of Forth and an extinct volcano, Arthur’s Seat. A vibrant and diverse city, it’s home to exciting culinary offerings, historical insights, lively attractions and, of course, the world-famous Edinburgh Festival.
Edinburgh’s centre is split into two parts and divided by bridges. The medieval Old Town is a maze of narrow passageways, known as wynds. These lead up to the Castle, which perches imperiously above the city with splendid views of the surrounding landscape and sea. Contrastingly, the New Town is an impressive display of Georgian grandeur, with elegant period architecture and public squares. In recognition of their attractive design and historical importance, both towns are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Visitors can explore the many stages of Edinburgh’s rich history – whether through a trip to the infamous underground Vaults, the Georgian House, Holyrood Palace or a guided tour of the Scottish Parliament. For those who want to sample the outdoors, scaling Arthur’s Seat is a popular activity – both for tourists and locals alike. Once at the top, walkers are rewarded with impressive views of the city. For those who prefer less taxing activities, take a stroll through Princes Street Gardens or visit the Meadows – an idyllic expanse close to Edinburgh University’s campus.
Edinburgh’s largest shopping district centres around Princes Street – the main thoroughfare through the New Town. Princes Street, George Street and the surrounding area are home to high-street chains, independent shops, boutiques and department stores, including the popular Harvey Nicholls. In the Old Town, the Grassmarket, Victoria Street and the Cowgate are lively areas filled with artisan shops, restaurants and independent stores.
With a range of luxury 5-star hotels in Edinburgh, as well as Michelin-starred restaurants, the city promises a sumptuous stay. Once home to the Scotsman Newspaper’s offices, the Scotsman Hotel is a grand and impressive building on the famous North Bridge. Its popular brasserie serves seasonal Scottish dishes with a French twist. The Howard is another 5-star hotel occupying a Georgian townhouse in Edinburgh’s New Town. With a grand drawing room, complimentary breakfast and the popular Atholl restaurant, it offers an exclusive and intimate experience. Letham House in the East Lothian district is an elegant 17th-century mansion outside the city. Near to the Longniddry Gold Club, it promises a relaxed and peaceful stay close to the market town of Haddington. Back in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town are the Old Town Chambers. These 32 bespoke apartments range from studios to penthouses and promise luxurious design with a personal feel – as well as fabulous views of the city.
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