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Discover Magical Edinburgh

Edinburgh has been the capital of Scotland since 1437 and is the seat of the Scottish Parliament. The city was one of the major centres of the enlightenment, led by the University of Edinburgh, gaining the nickname Athens of the North. The Old Town and New Town districts of Edinburgh were listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995. There are over 4,500 listed buildings within its limits.

Magical Journeys to Edinburgh

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» Alnwick Castle

Alnwick Castle, Edinburgh

Alnwick Castle has been home to the aristocratic Percy family, who hold the ancient title of the Dukes of Northumberland. It is one of the largest inhabited castles in the UK and is now perhaps best known as the setting for Hogwarts Academy in the Harry Potter movies. Starting life at the end of the 11th century as a Norman motte and bailey defence castle, Alnwick has expanded piecemeal and been consistently restored down the centuries; a visit today encompasses architectural styles from medieval through Gothic and on to Italianate neo-classicism …

» Arthur's Seat

Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh

Along with Calton Hill and Castle Rock, Arthur's Seat forms part of the ridge of cold volcanoes that give such drama to the Edinburgh skyline. The mountain sits in Holyrood Park, 650 acres of wild parkland just a short walk from the Royal Mile. So you can be shopping for Argyle socks one moment and roaming around lochs and moorland the next! From some angles, the mini-mountain resembles a sleeping lion. It's perhaps seen at its best in the mellow light of sunset …

» Canongate

Canongate, Edinburgh

The historic street of Canongate makes up the eastern section of the Royal Mile, leading up to the grounds of Holywood Palace and is home to many of the key attractions of Edinburgh's Old Town. Taking its name from the canons of the neighboring Holyrood Abbey, modern-day Canongate is one of the most architectural diverse sections of the Old Town, with the strikingly modern Scottish Parliament building standing in contrast to the grand Holyrood Palace …

» Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle , Edinburgh

Look up anywhere in Edinburgh's old town and you'll see Edinburgh Castle, seeming to grow out of the blackened cold volcano that forms its plinth. There's evidence of human habitation on this spot that dates back to 900 BC, and the Castle has been a royal stronghold since the Middle Ages. The place is steeped in history. There's the Honours of Scotland - the oldest crown jewels in the United Kingdom, no less - and the Stone of Destiny, the coronation seat of ancient kings …

» Edinburgh Cruise Port

Edinburgh Cruise Port, Edinburgh

Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland and a proudly historic city of kings and queens, kilts and military tattoos (of the musical kind). Rising darkly proud above the city is Edinburgh Castle, perched high on black volcanic rock. The Old Town's city buildings march down from the castle along the Royal Mile to the royal palace at the other end of the road, Holyroodhouse - still one of the Queen's official residences and full of history. Nearby is the modern and controversial Scottish Parliament building …

» Edinburgh Dungeon

Edinburgh Dungeon, Edinburgh

Lovers of spooky kitsch, you have discovered your Mecca. The history on which these gruesome attractions of Edinburgh Dungeon are based - hangings at the Grassmarket, Plague victims abandoned to die - may be real, but the treatment, complete with actor-led 'experiences' and rides, is true theater. Descend into the bowels of the place and be confronted by ghosts, dodge grave-snatchers and cannibals, witness the drawing and quartering of William Wallace …

» Falkland Palace

Falkland Palace, Edinburgh

Once the favored countryside retreat of the Stuart kings and queens, the magnificent Falkland Palace has seen a long list of famous royals pass through its grand gateway. First built as a hunting lodge in the 12th century, the residence was transformed into a French Renaissance-style palace in the 16th century by King James IV and King James V, complete with 3 hectares of parks, orchards and flower gardens. Now a National Trust property, Falkland Palace is a popular tourist attraction and an easy day trip from Edinburgh …

» Gladstone's Land

Gladstone's Land, Edinburgh

Tucked away between the many attractions of Edinburgh's Royal Mile, the looming tenement building known as Gladstone's Land is easily overlooked, but behind its unassuming façade is one of the capital's most fascinating historic gems. The six-story complex was developed by wealthy local merchant Thomas Gledstanes in 1617 and was renowned as one of the first 'high-rise' buildings of its time. Now preserved as a National Trust property, Gladstone's Land has been restored to its former glory …

» Greyfriars Church

Greyfriars Church

Opened for worship on Christmas Day 1620, Greyfriars Kirk is best-known as the home of Greyfriars Bobby, the loyal dog who became famous in 19th-century Edinburgh for maintaining a vigil at his master's grave until he also died fourteen years later. The story was made into a Disney movie in the 1960s, and ever since, the memorial statue of the faithful Skye terrier, just outside the churchyard, has been a popular spot for a selfie …

» Hogwarts Express Train

Hogwarts Express Train

Scotland's legendary West Highland Line is dubbed the Hogwarts Express Train line, photogenically featured in the Harry Potter films when Harry and crew are transported by train to Hogwarts School from King's Cross Station's Platform 9 3/4. Away from the cameras, the historic steam train is called The Jacobite and runs from Fort William to Mallaig, essential destinations if you're touring Scotland's West Coast. The route winds through Highlands valleys and beside lochs and glens …

» Holyrood Palace

Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh

The Palace of Holyrood House, most often called Holyrood Palace, faces Edinburgh Castle along the length of the Royal Mile. Like its majestic companion, it's riddled with some of Scotland's most potent history. The Abbey in the grounds was founded in 1128, and the palace itself is baroque. These days Holyrood Palace is the Scottish residence of Queen Elizabeth II, but it's probably best known for its association with another royal figure, Mary Queen of Scots …

» Iona Abbey

Iona Abbey, Hebrides

Just off the west coast of Scotland on the Isle of Iona, the Iona Abbey has long been a symbol of Scottish history and religion. It served as a mausoleum for many early Scottish kings, with more than fifty accounted for by the 16th century. It is one of the oldest religious centers in Western Europe. The Irish monk Columba arrived to the island in 563, establishing a monastery that survived for centuries to come. In around the year 1200 the historic Abbey and Nunnery were constructed …

» Isle of Islay

Isle of Islay, Hebrides

Known as the Queen of the Hebrides, Islay is Scotland's fifth-largest island and lies off the country's west coast in the Inner Hebrides. Avid birdwatchers often make the trek to Islay, which is home to many species of birdlife, including the barnacle goose and the Greenland white-fronted. However, it's the malt whisky that really draws the visitors. Islay is one of Scotland's main whisky-producing regions, and it's a whisky-lovers paradise, with nearly 10 distilleries you can tour …

» Isle of Skye

Isle of Skye

Most visitors to The Isle of Skye tend to stick to the beaten track, but it won't take you long to explore your own favourite part of this paradise. When the sun's out Skye is enchanting, with its vivid blue lochs, seas glittering in the light and its green crags glowing. If it rains, Skye has an eerie beauty that is best viewed from inside a nice cosy pub …

» John Knox House Museum

John Knox House Museum

Reputedly the last residence of Scottish clergyman and author John Knox, the 15th-century John Knox House is one of Edinburgh's oldest preserved buildings, now housing a museum devoted to its namesake. Despite its name, the house actually belonged to James Mossman, loyal goldsmith to Mary, Queen of Scots, who was eventually beheaded for counterfeiting once Edinburgh Castle surrendered. The dramatic histories of Mossman, Mary Queen of Scots and Knox …

» Linlithgow Palace

Linlithgow Palace

Linlithgow Palace is the classic romantic ruin, steeped in royal history and set beside a picturesque loch. It was begun in 1424 on the site of another palace that burnt down. Its halcyon period was during the reign of the Stuarts, who used it as a pleasure palace; it was particularly popular amongst the queens. Mary Queen of Scots and Elizabeth I lived there as babies. The palace is roofless now (it was gutted by a fire in the eighteenth century), but plenty of the old grandeur remains …

» Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond

Britain's largest lake, Loch Lomond is part of the Trossachs, Scotland's first national park. An angler paradise with plenty trouts and salmons, Loch Lomond is also highly appreciated by hikers and watersports amateurs alike. Take a boat trip on the lake or hike nearby Ben Lomond (3,192ft / 973m) for super views of the Scottish Highlands. On your way to the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond, visit Stirling Castle, Scotland's most important medieval stronghold and a popular day trip from Edinburgh …

» Loch Ness

Loch Ness

Loch Ness Monster - fact or fiction? Find out for yourself when you visit this infamous Scottish loch! An enjoyable day trip from Edinburgh, your journey to the loch will take you through the lush Scottish Highlands, providing you with plenty of sightseeing and photo opportunities of castles and the countryside along the way. Once at Loch Ness, take in the views from the shore of this vast freshwater pool or even take a boat ride across--just look out for "Nessie"! …

» Museum of Edinburgh (Huntly House)

Museum of Edinburgh (Huntly House)

It may not be the most spellbinding museum in town, but sentimentalists will love the Museum of Edinburgh, or Huntly House, just because it houses the collar and bowl of Greyfriars Bobby, that terrier symbol of devotion famous for sitting steadfastly on his master's grave. Once you've paid your tribute to these relics, make your way through a series of restored 16th and 17th-century townhouses to trace the history of Edinburgh from its earliest days …

» National Gallery of Scotland

National Gallery of Scotland

The building of the National Gallery of Scotland is imposing enough - a neoclassical behemoth sprawling on the Mound - but what's inside is the real treat. This is Scotland's most impressive art collection, and while it's not the equal in size of a Met or a Tate, there are plenty of gems up those stain-glass-lit stairs. The collection ranges from the Renaissance to the 19th century, and there's a host of big-hitter names. You'll see work from Titian and Raphael, Rembrandt and Velasquez …

» Nelson Monument

Nelson Monument

An enormous telescope-shaped tower perched 456 foot above sea level on the summit of Calton Hill; the Nelson Monument is one of Edinburgh's most instantly recognizable landmarks, dedicated to the revered Admiral Lord Nelson. Designed by Robert Burn to appear like Nelson's naval spyglass, the 106 foot tall monument was built in 1816 to commemorate his victory and death at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. Climbing the tower is a popular pastime for visitors …

» Newhailes

Newhailes, Edinburgh

Among Scotland's most notable National Trust properties, the elegant 17th-century villa of Newhailes is most famous for its opulent rococo interiors and much of its original décor and furnishings still remain. Built by architect James Smith, the property was purchased by the Dalrymple family in 1709 and remained under their ownership until 1997. Visitors to Newhailes can explore the house by guided tour, browsing the huge purpose-built library, the grand Chinese sitting room, the servants' entrance tunnel and the tranquil gardens …


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HomeEuropeScotlandDiscover Scotland • Edinburgh

Edinburgh Tours, Travel & Activities
Edinburgh Hotels & Accommodation

Magical Journeys to ScotlandEdinburgh Tours
Travel & Activities

Edinburgh Hotels

In Edinburgh, medieval palaces rub shoulders with the best of modern architecture, Gothic churches with amazing museums and galleries. The throbbing night-life centre of the Scottish north, Edinburgh - the Athens of the North is also a feast for the mind and the senses, playing host to great restaurants, shops and an unequalled program of city festivals throughout the year …

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Magical Journeys to ScotlandEdinburgh Hotels
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Edinburgh Hotels

Edinburgh is one of the prettiest capitals of Europe. Once known as the "Athens of the North", Edinburgh is rich in medieval and Georgian history, and for three weeks at the end of summer hosts the Edinburgh Festival of the Arts …

Edinburgh Hotels

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