Scotland’s capital lives and breathes history and Edinburgh doesn’t disappoint. We at Ingenious Travel recently visited this beautiful country and spent four active and fun-filled in this extraordinary city. A word to the wise, be sure to pack your walking shoes, the city is quite hilly.
Here are five things we recommend as a must see/do while in Edinburgh:
This famous castle sits upon Castle Rock, an extinct volcano, and provides some of the best views of this historic city. Edinburgh Castle is famous for its Great Hall, the Half Moon Battery, the Crown Jewels, and the Stone of Destiny. However, the oldest and most important buildings housed here is Margaret’s Chapel, built in the 12th century. This chapel is a tiny gem and if your name is Margaret, you can get married there for free.
The Palace of Holyroodhouse is The Queen’s official residence while in Scotland when she visits each July to conduct royal business. Here take the audio tour which will walk you through the palace’s history and its connection to Mary Queen of Scots and Bonnie Prince Charlie. The palace stands at the end of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile against the spectacular backdrop of Arthur’s Seat.
Like any city with history, Edinburgh has its ghosts. Mercat has exclusive access to the Blair Street Underground Vaults and brings its stories of old in rich, engaging detail. Our guide, Artemis, was an enchanting storyteller and really brought the past to life.
- Arthur’s Seat
Also sitting on an extinct volcano is Arthur’s Seat, the main focal point of Holyrood Park and a hiker’s dream. With an elevation of 822ft, your reward for reaching the top is a breathtaking panoramic view of Edinburgh. The climb is relatively easy, take your time and take water breaks. You’ll want a jacket for the top as it can be quite windy. Don’t forget your camera!
While this isn’t the same type of historic site as the royal establishments, it is the oldest visitor attraction in Edinburgh (1835). Visit the world of optical illusion, where you can serve your own head on a silver platter, walk through a mirrored maze, shrink and grow in the Ames Room, walk through the Giant Vortex Tunnel (and not get dizzy!). Very hands on and fun for the whole family.
And as a bonus for all you Harry Potter Fans, be sure to check out Victoria Street, J.K. Rowling’s inspiration for Diagon Alley, as well as The Elephant House where she wrote many of her early novels.
These barely scratch the surface of what to do and see in this incredible city. To learn more about visiting this incredible country, call Ingenious Travel at 888.695.0321. We look forward to helping you create the vacation of your dreams!