Beautiful & Ancient Edinburgh
Posted by Neil Hand on the 22nd of July 2016 at 16:37:32
One of the great advantages of staying in Dublin is that the United Kingdom is only a short flight away and you can easily combine the two countries. In the last six months I went to a lot of places in Ireland and the UK and there are a lot of amazing places (especially Dingle, Kilkenny or Belfast!) - but one city that really blew my mind was the Scottish capital Edinburgh!
My friend and I arrived early in the morning as the connection between Dublin and Edinburgh is amazing. It was a short flight of 45 minutes and another half an hour via bus into the city. We were instantly greeted by a man wearing a kilt and playing a bagpipe. A wonderfully welcome cliché. But it really fitted well with the atmosphere of the City!
Edinburgh is divided into an old and a new area. It is wonderful to stand on the modern side which is dominated by shops and restaurants and to look at the other side with the houses dating back to the Middle Ages. But without doubt there are a lot of things to do in Edinburgh:
Edinburgh Castle is one of the most amazing castles I have seen in Europe. This is exactly how you would imagine a fortress built in the Middle Ages - huge stone walls, little houses for the soldiers and a huge building on top for the Royal Family. And this castle has a lot of history! It was here that Mary Queen of Scots gave birth to her son, later King James I of England and Ireland. Also in the castle you can see the Crown Jewels of Scotland and the Keys to the City of Edinburgh that are presented to the Queen whenever she visits Holyrood Palace.
You can join the free guided tour every 1-2 hours.
Palace of Holyrood House
This is the official residence of the British Monarch in Scotland. Currently Queen Elizabeth II visits Edinburgh every year for the first week in July for ceremonial purposes.
The palace is open to the public and the 16th and 17th century apartments can be visited as well as the abbey and the gardens. The whole building is impressive, as is the interior design. Especially worthwhile is a look at the Great Gallery where portraits of 110 Scottish monarchs are displayed.
Arthur’s Seat is a hilltop of the group of mountains called Holyrood Park situated right next to the historic city centre of Edinburgh. The peak provides a great view over Edinburgh and is relatively easy to reach.
It takes only up to an hour to climb the 250m (822ft) to the hilltop and you are surrounded by the marvellous nature.
The old City Centre
Take a look around the ancient quarters, as the Royal Mile and the old buildings around the castle are magnificent and the many old shops and cafés are enchanting.
This yacht was owned by the Royal Family and was taken out of service in 1997 and is now a museum. You can enter it via the Ocean Terminal, a shopping centre at the Albert Dock outside the city centre.
The museum shows the (to that time) modern yacht and life on board. It also gives an overview of the happenings on the Royal Yacht and displays the Queen’s chambers.
I only spent 3 days in Edinburgh and I have seen a lot. But I would love to return to Scotland and Edinburgh for a longer time – also because Edinburgh is a perfect starting point for a tour through Scotland.
If you would like to do a Edinburgh or Scotland tour yourself, why not contact our office to get your customised holiday?