Wolsey Lodges guide to the National Parks of the UK and Ireland
- Travel Guide
A History of Britain’s National Parks
Great Britain came late to National Parks. It was perhaps easier for other countries to create National…Read More
Edinburgh is a staggeringly beautiful, compact city steeped in culture and history. The Scottish capital since the 15th century, its architecture provides an iconic skyline dominated by the medieval Castle and the drama of extinct volcano Arthur’s Seat. As well as breathtaking scenery the city boasts ancient buildings, countless attractions and world renowned festivals, an exceptional culinary scene and wonderful green parks. And the best way to experience Edinburgh is in a Wolsey Lodge B&B. Let Lizzie Scott of Kingsway Guest House, a native resident, be your guide to this wonderful city.
Due to its architecture and topography Edinburgh is aptly named “The Athens of the North” and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city is home to the world’s largest number of Georgian buildings in its New Town including many designed by well-known architect William Playfair. Many of these are crucial to Edinburgh’s most famous views across the Mound to the Castle and of Calton Hill. Hundreds of ancient monuments and an underground network of ancient streets, tunnels and vaults help to tell the tales of the city’s history.
Edinburgh is a wonderfully green city – visitors can enjoy many beautiful parks including Queen’s Park and The Meadows. It is located within a ring of no less than seven volcanic hills including the famous Arthur’s Seat and Calton Hill which offer 360 degree skyline views of the city and out to sea beyond. The Royal Botanic Gardens are a tranquil escape within the city and home to iconic Victorian glass houses.
Visitors can also discover ancient Dean Village hidden within the city along a leafy river walkway by the Water of Leith. It’s a little known fact that Edinburgh also has a beautiful long beach at Portobello with broad promenade. Locals stop for refreshments at cafes whilst enjoying views over the Firth of Forth to the coast of Fife.
The most famous of Edinburgh’s historic sites is imposing Edinburgh Castle, one of the oldest fortified places in Europe and the most besieged place in Britain. The One O’Clock Gun is still fired with pomp each day, as it has done since 1861, and you can admire the Scottish Crown Jewels. For history buffs a short journey out of Edinburgh offers the ruined castles of Craigmillar and Direlton, and the drama of medieval Tantallon Castle set high on a cliff edge.
Royal connections include Holyrood Palace, the Royal family’s Edinburgh residence, and they share their art within the attached Queen’s Gallery. The Royal Yacht Brittannia is permanently retired to Edinburgh’s dock area of Leith and includes a very interesting photographic exhibition.
The variety of Edinburgh’s attractions allows it to appeal to all. There are six art galleries and numerous museums including Surgeons Hall medical museum and the National Museum of Scotland, housed in a stunning Victorian building. Other activities can include a visit to Edinburgh Zoo, history and ghost walking tours, a round on the city’s many golf courses and the much anticipated new Johnny Walker visitor centre. And Europe’s largest privately owned arts venue Summerhall is an intriguing conversion of the city’s veterinary school (local to our guest house).
Literary heritage can be discovered in the Writers’ Museum with names such as Sir Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle living in and inspired by Edinburgh. This legacy continues as the city continues to be home to authors such Ian Rankin, Alexander McCall Smith and JK Rowling.
The many festivals that run throughout the year add to the tapestry of culture and entertainment in the city. These include the world famous Fringe, the Royal Military Tattoo, Book and Science Festivals, Jazz and Blues Festival, Film Festival, Christmas markets and three day Hogmanay celebrations.
Edinburgh’s culinary scene is unrivalled in Scotland with restaurants specialising in the best of fresh Scottish produce as well as styles from all over the world. The city boasts four Michelin rated restaurants including Tom Kitchin and Condita (local to our guest house). Visitors can learn about Scotland’s national drink at the city’s Holyrood whisky distillery and enjoy tastings at the iconic Scotch Whisky Society. The growing trend of gin making has seen artisan distilleries pop up in the city offering tours and tastings, such as Pickerings and Edinburgh Gin.