Edinburgh in a Nutshell – What to Expect from a Trip to this Scottish CitySeptember 19, 2012
Edinburgh makes for a fantastic destination (be it for a scenic holiday, romantic city break or just a quick weekend getaway), it’s an old city dominated by not only by Edinburgh Castle, but others besides, there’s medieval and Georgian architecture, hills and the sea. There are lots of accommodation place very near to the Castle which boasts amazing views of the Castle and the sea.
In all there are seven castles in and around Edinburgh, some just ruins now, adding to the romantic scenery as they crumble over the centuries back into the landscape, others as solid as they ever were yet serving a far more peaceful purpose, as centrepieces to beautifully tended gardens, exhibition centres and museums. The Edinburgh Tattoo takes place in Edinburgh Castle, an event for those with a military bent.
Edinburgh is also known as the Athens of the North during the Enlightenment, a period when science and reason took over from superstition and myth in the way we saw the universe and our place in it. Edinburgh University was one of the seats of learning which added much to this step from the fear of mysticism into the light of rationality.
As well as keeping the mind well nourished, the city also keeps the body fed too. Now Scotland has a reputation for a diet that is unenviable, people are suspicious of haggis and positively baulk at deep fried Mars bars. However, there are plenty of treats available which even the fussiest of eaters would be happy to wolf down. The climate is perfect for sheep rearing so, when the lamb is in season, it’s the freshest and tastiest there is. Deer live in semi-wildness in the parks and forests, again making venison a tasty meal which is available on almost every menu, then there’s the fish. Edinburgh faces out to the North Sea meaning that the freshest of the catch is always available to every restaurant and hotel in town. And then of course there’s the whisky. Many are distilled and all are available in the city. From single malts aged over decades to blended whiskies and Scotch liqueurs no matter what your taste there’s sure to be a drum for you here.
When it comes to places to stay when you get into town, again, there is no reason to look for anything but the best. In Edinburgh there are five star Georgian hotels where you feel like royalty as well as discrete guest houses where you can hide away and take things at your own pace.
Having found somewhere to sleep and enough to eat you’ll want to find things to do. Well, Edinburgh has a plethora of museums, galleries, open and covered markets, theatres, cinema street performances and even sandy beaches. Of course it’s hard to talk about theatre in Edinburgh without mentioning the Edinburgh Festival and Fringe Festival. During the summer, when the festivals take place the number of people staying in the city doubles and visitors and holiday makers are thought to number over four million each year. If theatre is your thing then the festivals are not to be missed, however, make sure you book somewhere to stay well in advance since late bookings are almost unheard of.