Hear about fun things to do in Edinburgh, Scotland as the Amateur Traveler talks to Dan from the Zipping Around the World podcast about his recent trip to the capital of Scotland.
In answer to the question of why someone should go to Edinburgh, Dan says, “The history. If you like a little whiskey, if you like, just greenery, it’s just a wonderful place to go. The people are wonderful English-speaking, so it’s easy for a lot of people to cast their net first. So all those things encompass why you’d want to go to Scotland.”
Dan starts us on the rather touristy Royal Mile that runs from Edinburgh Castle to Holyrood Palace. Yes, it has a lot of whiskey and tourist shops but it also has a lot of history. We stop at an old merchant’s house turned museum at Gladstone’s Land.
We hear about a deacon by day and robber by night who may have influenced the creation of the “Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” and a faithful Scot terrier revered in the city.
We learn about Scottish history at the National Museum of Scotland and the Museum of Edinburgh. Visit St Giles Cathedral which will turn 900 years old in 2024. It was founded by King David the 1st.
We learn about some of Edinburgh’s famous residents who have monuments in the city like Adam Smith the father of economics, John Knox the founder of the Scottish Presbyterian church, and Robert Burns the poet.
At the end of the Royal Mile, you will find the modern Scottish Parliament Building and Holyrood Palace the home of Scottish royal history.
On the next day, Dan takes us up to Edinburgh Castle. If you come in August you might try and get tickets for the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo an annual performance of international military bands. You could spend a good part of the day just at the castle if you went to all the different museums. There are museums for various regiments, a museum for prisoners of war who were held in the castle, as well as the National War Museum.
See the giant Mons Meg canon or plug your ears if you are there when they fire off the modern canon that is the 1 o’clock gun. The castle also has a palace in it and a chapel that dates back to King David 1st from 1130.
When you come down from the castle, take a stroll in the Princes Street Gardens. But when are ready for another hike with a view, Dan talks about hikes to Salisbury Crags and Arthur’s Seat
or the monuments on Calton Hill like the Nelson Monument and the National Monument. Speaking of monuments you can climb the 287 steps to the top of the Scott Monument dedicated to author Sir Walter Scott.
Dan recommends day trips to Glasgow or St Andrews from Edinburgh and also recommends a trip to see the Stirling Castle and the monument to William Wallace of Braveheart and the Battle of Stirling Bridge fame.
There is much more to see in Scotland, but the beautiful city of Edinburgh is a great introduction to Scotland.
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The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo
Deacon Brodies Tavern
National Museum of Scotland
St Giles Cathedral
The Devil’s Advocate
Museum of Edinburgh
Scottish Parliament Building
Robert the Bruce
Official Edinburgh Castle Website
One o’clock Gun
National War Museum
The Great Hall – Edinburgh Castle
The Royal Palace – Edinburgh Castle
Prisons of War – Edinburgh Castle
St Margaret’s Chapel – Edinburgh Castle
Princes Street Gardens
The Lookout (restaurant)
The National Wallace Monument
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Castle Photo by Jörg Angeli on Unsplash
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