Edinburgh is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the UK, and it’s not hard to see why. There is such a wide variety of things to do over the space of a weekend break and there is always something for everyone. No matter whether you want to brush up on your history, get some fresh air on a walk, kick back with a drink or two or sample the local cuisine, Edinburgh has the facilities to allow you to do whatever you please.
In many cities, sightseeing can prove to be quite an expensive jaunt. However, in Edinburgh one of the most popular attractions is also one of the most reasonably priced. The National Museum of Scotland is a great way to spend a few hours taking in all things Scottish, including details of the country’s history and some wonderful artefacts from Charles Darwin’s voyages. If culture is your thing then why not also stop off at the National Galleries of Scotland to see a wonderful collection of art, and weather-permitting you could also take in the Royal Botanic Garden.
Many people associate Edinburgh with its slightly castle, the home of the Edinburgh Tattoo festival. To get here you are more than likely going to have to walk The Royal Mile which is a road filled with many pubs, bars, souvenir shops and other photo opportunities and landmarks. Once you get to the castle, just take a minute to take in the view from the castle grounds, which allows you to see over Edinburgh for miles. If you’re in Edinburgh for the weekend, then try to get to the castle for 1pm on Saturday so you can be present for the firing of the field gun.
If the hike up to the castle didn’t sap all your energy, then why not take the trek to the top of Arthur’s Seat? Not only the Arthur’s Seat Edinburgh’s tallest hill (even more-so than the walk to the castle!) but it’s also an extinct volcano. If you don’t fancy making your own way up there, then many tour companies offer night-time walking tours which take in a number of sights, including Arthur’s Seat as well as other important parts of Edinburgh’s heritage.
A day of sightseeing and walking is sure to make you hungry and gagging for a drink. If this is the case then why not kick back in one of the many pubs and restaurants that are spread out over The Royal Mile. The national dish of Haggis is on the menu in many places, and don’t forget to sample the national beverage too. One of the best places to sample this is The Scotch Whisky Experience, which is situated in Castlehill in the Old Town. This is a scotch shop which also includes an exhibit of a barrel ride and talks you through the process of making the perfect Scotch whisky. Not sure if it’s for you? Don’t worry, your admission prices allows you a dram, so you can try the whisky before you buy, so to speak.
Finally, no guide to Edinburgh would be complete without a mention of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, which runs this year from 3rd August – 27th August. This is a great few weeks of theatre, music, comedy and any other type of entertainment you care to name. A word of warning however: book early. Many of the more popular acts sell out in advance, and many Edinburgh hotels are booked up well in advance of the event, especially at weekends.
Jack Oldham is a recent journalism graduate blogging on behalf of Barceló hotels, who have a range of 4 star hotels, country house hotels and Edinburgh hotels.