Dear lover of breathtaking landscapes and whiskey enthusiast. I’m here to talk to you this time about a magical journey through the cobbled streets of Edinburgh, Scotland ! So, let’s go !
Let me tell you about the fantastic city of Edinburgh. This amazing capital of Scotland will attract you by its architecture so particular and its inhabitants will make you feel at home wherever you go. This is a magical city which will put sparkles in your eyes as you walk through. I have been to Edinburgh 6 times, and I still have so much to see.
But let me show you some of my favorite places, are you ready ?
The Royal Mile: Where History and Shopping Marry
First, you cannot go to Edinburgh without walking up and down High Street, also called “the Royal Mile” It is at the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town. It connects the two royal residences ; Edinburgh Castle at its head and the Palace of Holyrood at its foot and has been a processional route for kings and queens for the last 500 years.
Along this street, you will find many souvenirs shop, restaurants and pubs, a very good tiny tearoom (Clarinda’s Tearoom), some secret gardens, some museums, the Scottish Parliament, the beautiful St. Giles’ Cathedral, the incredible Camera Obscura and the Whisky Experience. All of that in one street, it is a lot, but I will give you more details on some of them… Let’s start with the most famous one : The Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle: Forget Dracula, this Is Where the Real Mystery Is!
Perched atop a hill, the castle offers breathtaking panoramic views of the city. As you visit the Castle, you will see a royal residence, military garrison, prison, and fortress with so many exciting stories. Take a guided tour of the castle to dive into the history of this beautiful fortress and learn more about its former inhabitants, as famous as the Queen Mary Stuart.
You will walk to the castle entrance through a hug esplanade, where you will have an incredible view on the city and the hills and see surrounding it. For the visit you will need at least a couple of hours to not rush and not miss anything.
As you go down on the Royal Mile, you will find on your way the Whisky Experience, where you can learn everything, you need to know about Scottish whiskies, taste some of them and leave with a traditional whisky glass.
Then on your way, you will find the Camera Obscura & World of Illusions.
If you’re up for a bit of fun, this is the place to go… Maybe not right after tasting the whisky though.
As you continue to walk down the street, you will find the stunning St Giles Cathedral, founded in the 12th century.
“St Giles’ Cathedral: Scotland’s Spiritual Masterpiece in the Heart of Edinburgh”
St Giles’ Cathedral, often referred to as the “High Kirk of Edinburgh,” is an architectural jewel nestled in the heart of the city. This stunning cathedral boasts a rich history dating back to the 14th century and stands as a testament to Scotland’s deep spiritual heritage.
You can choose to take a free guided tour of this magnificent church or explore it on your own, but do not to miss the Thistle Chapel, that once greeted the Order of the Thistle, the greatest order of chivalry in Scotland. It is quite small but outstanding. At this point, you seen the major attraction in the upper part of the Royal Mile.
A visit to St Giles’ Cathedral is a journey through time, where the past and present converge in a blend of faith and beauty.
The next one will be The Scottish Parliament, which sits almost at the end of the street.
The Scottish Parliament: Where Democracy and History Unite
Because of their independent spirits, the Scottish were allowed to have the own parliament since 1999. You can go inside and watch parliament in session from the public viewing gallery or take a guided tour around the building and learn all about its enthralling architecture.
As you walk out of the building, you will find yourself in front of the Palace of Holyrood.
Palace of Holyroodhouse: Royalty and History Meet in Edinburgh’s Regal Residence”
You have made your way down the Royal Mile and find this beautiful palace, which is the King’s official residence in Edinburgh.
I would recommend taking a guided tour, because it is the best way to discover more about this fascinating building and the kings and queens who once resided here. Take the time also to discover the gardens and the ruins of an old Cathedral. By a sunny day, this is a very nice promenade.
If you feel up to go to a little hike, from Holyrood Place you can take the path to ARTHUR’S SEAT.
“Conquer the Heights: Hiking Arthur’s Seat for Breathtaking Views “
Arthur’s Seat, a dormant volcano and natural wonder, stands proudly at the heart of Edinburgh’s skyline.
Not many cities can offer you the possibility of climbing a hill, up to the summit of the 251m extinct volcano, while still in the capital, but I think you know by now that Edinburgh is not like any other city!! Arthur’s Seat is the perfect spot for people to escape from the excitements of the city, for an hour or two.
This hike would be the ending of your walk down High Street.
Explore other streets, maybe not as famous, but worthwhile for sure, as Cockburn Street or Victoria Street, which leads to Grass market..
Time now to discuss Museum. My favourite of all time is the National Museum of Scotland
You will need lots of time to wander around the grand halls of The National Museum of Scotland. An entire day might not be enough. This musuem is fascinating and covers everything from science and technology to Scottish history and archaeology. Entry is free, so during your time in Edinburgh you can come back anytime. And if you have’nt try the scottish scones yet, you might want to stop for a one of them with a nice cup of tea in the café on the growndfloor.
But before you leave take the elevator to the terrasse on the roof top where another incredible view of the city awaits for you, specially beautiful at night time.
The Princes Street Gardens where you can take some time to relax. The gardens separate the Old and New Town, and this is the place you will find the ice rank and the Christmas market if you go there in December. From there, you cannot miss The Scott Monument.
The Scott Monument: A Tribute to Scotland’s Literary Legacy”
Stretching 200ft into the air, the Monument is dedicated to one of the most famous Scottish writers, Sir Walter Scott. You can choose to view this impressive tower from the ground, or if you feel up to it, you can climb the 287 steps and be rewarded with spectacular views across Edinburgh and specially of the Castle.
One last stop I would point out. On your way to the National Museum of Scotland, you should stop off at the statue of Greyfriars Bobby. Greyfriars Bobby, tells the story of unwavering loyalty and devotion. This legendary Skye Terrier, who lived in the 19th century, is remembered for his remarkable loyalty to his owner, John Gray, even after Gray’s passing. For 14 long years, Bobby faithfully watched over his owner’s grave in Greyfriars Kirkyard. His story resonates to this day, and a bronze statue of Bobby stands near his resting place, serving as a reminder of the enduring bond between humans and their faithful companions.
Many tourist touch Bobby’s nose for good luck. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions and this monument of love and loyalty deserve a quick photo 😉
A visit to Edinburgh is an experience rich in history, culture, and touching narratives. So, let Edinburgh enchant you, and create unforgettable memories.
Join us for an exceptional Edinburgh experience that you will cherish forever !
Written by Emilie Caffin