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Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland, and its history goes back thousands of years. This is due in part to the volcanic rock outcropping that offered a very defensible location. Not surprisingly, the castle rock (as it is known) became the residence of Scottish kings long ago. The Old City is not all there is to Edinburgh, however. “New Town” came about in the 18th century, about the same time as the Scottish Enlightenment that saw so many scientific advances. There are plenty of fascinating things to see and do in this historic place.
The Royal Mile offers several stops of interest along the way. On one side is Edinburgh Castle, with its ancient walls, great hall, chapel, and still-active cannons. Guides are plentiful and worth your time. Further down the road, Lady Stair’s House holds the Scottish Writer’s Museum. If you are interested in Scottish writers and poets, this is the place to go. The High Kirk of St. Giles is a beautiful church and is worth the stop just for the architecture. The history is interesting as well; John Knox preached there, and it was there that he advanced Scottish Reformation in the early 16th Lastly, on the end opposite of Edinburgh Castle, is the Palace of Holyroodhouse. It has a varied and sad history, including the troubled life of Mary, Queen of Scots, but today it is one of the Royal Residences for the British monarchy.
If you grow weary from walking the Royal Mile (it is an uphill walk and can be full of people), why not stop for a spot of tea? There are many small tearooms like Eteaket and Clarinda’s Tea Room. Enjoy the tasty treats, even if you don’t care for tea (just don’t tell anyone!).
Calton Hill offers a view of the city that makes the hike worth the effort. From here, you can see Princess Street (a popular street with many shops along the edge of New Town), Old Town, and even the docks at Leith in the distance. From here, you can also see a lovely monument to Robert (“Bobby”) Burns, and even further away, you can see the infamous National Monument. Meant to be built on a grand scale and based upon the Parthenon, the project was dropped due to a lack of funds.
One of the top visitor locations in Edinburgh. There is no entrance fee for visitors. While it does offer a fair number of Scottish artists, there are a variety of pieces from around the world as well. What makes this museum exciting is the wide assortment of featured exhibitions, rather than just one or two per season. Some are meant for children and families, some for educators, while others are appropriate for adult audiences only.
The Seasoned Traveler pursues experiences that explore the culture and beauty of any adventurous city. From museums to symphonies, we search for cultural escapades that will stimulate the mind, enhancing your travel experience. Let us know what you think! Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Google +.