UK: +44 (0)1479 420 020
US: 1-866-740-3890
National Geographic - Best Adventure Travel Companies

Our Top 5 Edinburgh Attractions

Posted on Aug 01, 2013 by Jonathan Willet

Scotland’s capital has so much going for it. Since many of our guests pay Edinburgh a visit either on their way up to the Highlands or on their way south again, we thought we would share our Top 5 Edinburgh Attractions!

1. Arthur’s Seat.

At just over 800 feet high this ex-volcano gives a fantastic view over to the Castle, New Town, the Port of Leith and the Firth of Forth. It is just amazing. It is sighted in the middle of Holyrood Park, this used to be a Royal hunting forest very much in the countryside. How Edinburgh has changed.

2. The Scott Monument.

The largest monument in the world to a write. Sir Walter Scott has a great deal to do with how we perceive “Scottish-ness” both home and abroad. His monument is in the built from nearby sandstone discoloured by the soot and smoke of may Edinburgh coal fires, the stone is too fragile to be cleaned. At 200 feet (61metres) tall and in the very ornate Gothic style Bill Bryson was moved to call it a “Gothic Rocket”. For those with a head for heights and confined spaces you can climb the 287 step spiral staircase to almost the top and get a cracking view of Princes Street Gardens and the Castle.

3. The Oxford Bar.

It is difficult to single out one pub in Edinburgh. But “The Ox” is Inspector John Rebus’s favourite pub, Inspector Rebus is the creation of Ian Rankin one of Scotland’s best selling authors and his creation is the most famous detective to come out of Edinburgh since Sherlock Holmes. It can be found in a back street, Young Street, near Charlotte Square. It is a proper “old man’s pub” good beer and nothing but the hubbub of conversation. When visiting make sure you order a pint of Edinburgh’s finest beer Caledonian IPA.

4. The Royal Mile.

What can you say? So much history in a mile… from the Parliament and Canongate to The Castle and the old closes (covered alley ways). There is so much to see you could spend all day wandering there. Mary Kings Close is a look under the Royal Mile and get a feel for how people used to live in the Old Town of Edinburgh. But my favourite is the statue of David Hume, infront of the High Court, one of the world’s greatest philosophers. He has a lucky toe that sticks out and gets rubbed by all and sundry. The big joke the sculptor played was that Hume was a famously rational man having no time for superstition!

5. The Scottish National Portrait Gallery.

This building is nestled in the north east corner of the New Town on Queen Street. Not only is the building amazing built in and Arts and Crafts design with much intricate detail that warrants a close look before you even go in. The constantly changing exhibitions make it place to go back to again and again. It was also the first ever purpose built portrait gallery. So if it is raining or even if it isn’t then this is well worth a visit.

Our Top 5 Edinburgh Attractions

About the author

Jonathan Willet

Jonathan has a wealth of experience in biodiversity, history and landscape. With degrees in zoology and ecology and 20+ years as a wildlife guide, his regular blogs are always packed full of informational gems.

Read more articles by Jonathan

Popular Categories....

walking Road Cycling Sea Kayaking Mountain Biking How To Video