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Hiring a Coach to Visit Edinburgh
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Scotland. The very word conjures up images of crashing waves, rolling hills, and medieval fortresses. Countless artists, writers, and musicians have drawn inspiration from this northern nation throughout the centuries. If you only get to visit one city in this majestic land, be sure to make it Edinburgh (sometimes nicknamed "Edina"). Officially designated the capital of Scotland in 1437, this city is known by many names. For a while it was simply called "Auld Reekie"
(literally "Old Smoke") due to the fumes produced by coal fire in the harsh winter season. But the capital has also earned the epithet "Athens of the North" after it produced and attracted hundreds of world-class writers from the 18th century onwards. Today, Edinais considered one of the finest cities in the entire U.K. to live and work, and it has built itself up into a hot European travel destination. About 4 million
travelers spend roughly £1.32 billion annually visiting this stunning megalopolis. In this article, we'll take a look at just a few things to see and do in Scotland's enchanting capital.
The Top Historic Sites
Once you get here and walk down the famous Royal Mile in the Old Town district, you simply must visit Edinburgh Castle
. Sitting proudly atop a volcanic rock, this castle has become a major symbol of the Scottish people. Occupied for thousands of years by Scottish royalty, guests to this majestic castle can take in the Scottish Crown Jewels, St. Margaret's Chapel, and, of course, a stunning view of the Scottish capital. At one o'clock every day, be sure to get close to the castle so you can watch as Scottish soldiers fire the daily canon. Audio tours are available to help guests get a good sense of this amazing fortress.
After you've take in the capital's famous castle, why not stop by the modern Scottish Parliament
? Everyone in Scotland has an opinion of their parliament building, whether good or bad. The architect behind this building was a Catalan by the name of Enric Miralles. Construction on this building began in 1999 and it was first opened in 2004. Just from the outside, this building certainly catches the eye with its post-modern inspired architecture. You can visit inside the parliament building, you just have to order tickets well in advance. Whether you love it or hate it, you can't really have an opinion till you've seen this building for yourself.
Heading back to ancient Scotland now, be sure to visit the Abbey and Palace of Holyroodhouse
. For those who know a bit about Scottish history, you're probably already aware this is where Lord Darnley, Mary I of Scotland's husband, killed Mary's servant Rizzio in 1566. Visitors can learn all about Mary, Queen of Scots' time here as they explore her well-preserved chambers. This palace is still a royal residence, and it currently houses the Queen's Gallery.
St. Giles' Cathedral
is one of the oldest and most important religious sites in all of Scotland. Right between the Palace of Holyroodhouse and the castle, this cathedral was officially dedicated to the capital city in 1243. Visitors are often impressed by this church's unique crowned spire. People can learn more about Scotland's chivalric Chapel of the Order of the Thistle inside this fine medieval church. Admission into this church is free.
Stunning Scottish Scenery
Scotland is hailed around the world for its natural splendor. The famous Victorian composer Felix Mendelssohn actually drew inspiration from the natural wonders of Scotland for two of greatest works (Symphony 3 and the Hebrides Overture). The best place in Edina to take in the awe-inspiring natural wonder of Scotland is at Arthur's Seat
. This 2,000-year old hill fort in Holyrood Park offers unparalleled 360-degree views of Scotland's capital and Lothians. Arthur's Hill is approximately 251 meters high. After you're done marveling over the city from Arthur's Seat, be sure to explore the many other treasures in Holyrood Park
, such as Iron Age forts, the medieval St. Anthony's Chapel, and Sir Walter Scott's Radical Road.
For those in the mood for walking through some fine public gardens, head on over to the Princes Street Gardens
. These public gardens, which are located nearby the city's castle, were constructed between the 1770s and 1820s. As you enjoy the impeccable landscaping in these world-class gardens, you'll also be treated to some of the city's finest monuments. A few of these monuments include the Scots American War Memorial, the Royal Scots Regimental Memorial, and the David Livingstone statue.
A Few Wonderful Museums
Another way to learn about this Scottish capital's treasures is to visit some of its world-renowned museums. Luckily for you, most of the museums in this city are absolutely free.
Some key museums here include the National Museum of Scotland
, the Scottish National Portrait Gallery
, and the Scottish National Gallery
. All three of these museums will give you a great understanding of this city's long history and artistic achievements. For those traveling with children, perhaps the best museums to visit include the Museum of Childhood
and the Camera Obscura and World of Illusions
Shopping, Drinking, and Dining
For shopaholics, the best place to visit is the Ocean Terminal
. Constructed on what used to be industrial docklands, this shopping center features three floors of hot stores including H&M, Gap, and Debenhams. There are also a few restaurants, a gym, and a movie theatre located here.
People around the world order their gin from Scotland, so why wouldn't you want to try a few quality shots at the capital's official Gin Distillery
? You'll learn all about the gin making process first-hand, and, of course, get to sample some of Scotland's finest gins at the end of the tour. There's no better place to learn all about this country's rich heritage in spirits than at this centrally located distillery.
Since you're in Scotland, you might as well try haggis at least once. In case you didn't know, haggis is made with sheep or calf's intestines, oatmeal, offal, and various spices. It's considered a delicacy in Scotland, and, believe it or not, many foreigners actually acquire a taste for it when they come here. There are many fine restaurants serving this traditional dish, but some of the finest include Hadrian's Brasserie
, The Royal McGregor
, and the WHISKI Bar & Restaurant
As you can tell, there's a whole lot to see and do in this capital city. If you ever want to visit the "Athens of the North" for yourself, then call GOGO Charters right away. A member of GOGO Charters' wonderful staff is waiting to help you with all your transportation needs right now.