A travel journal
to Edinburgh by ColinMoss
Quote: Edinburgh - a CAPITAL capital city.
NOT just during the Festivals in August, or the "Edinburgh's Hogmanay" (New Year) week-long party, but a place to visit all year round.
From a sleeping provincial city, Edinburgh has suddenly grown to be a major tourist attraction. Its combination of history (its oldest building is a 12th century chapel in the world-famous Edinburgh Castle), art galleries and museums appeals to the "culture vulture" while the Edinburgh Festival in August each year appeals to all tastes.
Accommodation is available at all costs - from extremely expensive 5 star to simple. The "Econolodge" style of hotel has suddenly appeared all over Edinburgh, with good basic accommodation at sane prices in central locations.
As always, it is advisable to take one of the city bus tours at an early stage of your stay - find out what the interesting sites for YOU are, and get the layout of much of the city worked out. The bus tours run round the centre most of the day.
Best places to see?
Edinburgh Castle / Crown Jewels etc
Camera Obscura - 15 minute look round the city
Dynamic Earth - "theme park" view of the history of the earth, indoor attraction
Royal Scottish Museum, Chambers Street
Holyrood House - Queen's home in Scotland, and historic residence of Mary Queen of Scots
Art Galleries at foot of the Mound, on Princes Street
Botanic Gardens, Inverleith
Ocean Terminal / Royal Yacht Britannia at Leith
Take time to explore the really old and interesting closes (lanes) off the High Street, the Dean Village and the Botanic Gardens for the skyscape!
Explore the area in the city associated with Robert Louis Stevenson, the "New Town" (which is over 200 years old, as opposed to the "Old Town" which is far older). Explore both on foot - plaques announce who lived where.
There are good walking tours of the Old Town - go to the Tron Centre in the High Street to find out about them. The "Ghost Tours" are great fun, real streets and exaggerated tales! One is even led by a ghost (he claims!!!). Pinches of salt required but it is fun and kids love them too.
Edinburgh taxis are good and safe, all drivers have to pass a strict test before being allowed to drive a black cab. For a party of 4 or 5 a taxi can be cheaper than a bus - unless you choose to buy Full Day bus tickets (ask the bus driver). And with the "bus lanes" allowing taxis and buses fast access everywhere, a car is a poor idea in Edinburgh. Edinburgh parking is hard to find and / or expensive, and the traffic wardens predatory - and paid by results!
Shopping is good (to become excellent when the new centre in St Andrews Square off Princes Street opens in late 2002).
Attraction | "Royal Botanic Gardens"
If you just want a quiet space in the hectic bustle that is Edinburgh, the Gardens (open during daylight hours only) are a must-see.
Located in the grounds of what was once Edinburgh's best-located stately homes, the Gardens have grown over the years to provide hothouses and rockeries, open spaces and riots of bloom - all with outstanding views of the Edinburgh skyline.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 8, 2002
Royal Botanic Garden
20A Inverleith Row
Edinburgh, Scotland EH3 5LR
+44 131 552 7171
Attraction | "Royal Scottish Museum"
Few people come away not having learned something new - no matter how hard they try.
And one day is not enough to see everything.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 8, 2002
National Museum of Scotland
Edinburgh, Scotland EH1 1JF
0300 123 6789
Attraction | "Edinburgh Festival"
a book festival
an arts festival
a music festival
a tv festival
formal concerts and operas from the whole world
informal theatre groups and solo acts from the whole world
street theatre and entertainment
all at ONE time
THAT is the Edinburgh Festival. It is a lie folks, it is a BATTERY of Festivals all to entertain you!
And at a budget to suit whatever you can afford.
Edinburgh Fringe Festival
180 High Street
Edinburgh, Scotland EH1 1QS
+44 131 226 5257
Edinburgh, United Kingdom