Last weekend Kevin and I visited the Scottish capital city of Edinburgh (pronounced EDn’-burah). Formed by volcanic activity and by several glacial periods millions of years ago, Edinburgh has the hilly landscape and scenic beauty to prove it.
The center of Edinburgh is divided into the Medieval Old Town and the Georgian New Town. The Old Town includes the historic Royal Mile, which runs from Edinburgh Castle at the top to the Palace of Holyroodhouse at the bottom.
The Royal Mile consists of four different streets (but feels more like one continuous street) filled with shops, restaurants, cafés, and pubs, along with some impressive architecture.
Located on the extinct volcano of Castle Rock, Edinburgh Castle sits high above the city. It has served as a royal residence and a military stronghold over its long history. Highlights of the castle include St. Margaret’s Chapel, the Royal Palace, the Scottish Crown Jewels (Honors of Scotland), and the National War Museum.
Dedicated to Queen Margaret, St. Margaret’s Chapel is the oldest building in Edinburgh—built in 1130.
The Royal Palace was one of the former residences of Scotland’s royalty. Their other residence in Edinburgh, and the one they preferred, is at the end of the Royal Mile (see below).
The Soldier’s Dog Cemetery is quite possible the most touching site at the castle.
Located on the Royal Mile, St. Giles’ Cathedral, with its unique crown steeple and striking stained-glass windows, is sometimes referred to as the Mother Church of Presbyterianism. It was built in the 14th and 15th centuries but underwent major restorations during the 19th century.
At the end of the Royal Mile lies the Palace of Holyroodhouse. This was the other official residence of Scotland’s royalty before the Act of Union with England in 1707. It is now home to the British Monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, when she is in Scotland.
And finally, for a tale of Ye Olde Scotland, visit Deacon Brodie’s Tavern on the Royal Mile. During William Brodie’s time in the mid-to-late 1700s, he was a respected member of Edinburgh society as a successful cabinet-maker. He also served as deacon of the trades guild and was a member of the Town Council. At night, however, Brodie lead a secret life as a burglar. It is said that Brodie’s life was the inspiration behind Robert Louis Stevenson’s book, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
We enjoyed our visit to the beautiful and historic city of Edinburgh immensely… and hope to return.
121 Hanover Street, EH2 1DJ
47a Thistle Street, EH2 1DY