– Alan Rickman
The visitor to Edinburgh can be left in no doubt that they are in an important place, for its centre has all the drama and panache of a capital city.
Dominated by the proud outline of the Castle, perched high on its rock; the views of Edinburgh from the battlements are superb. For centuries this was the guardian of the city, focus at first for the little garrison town, later a royal residence before the Palace of Holyroodhouse was developed and took over that role.
The city’s main thoroughfare, and one of the finest streets in Europe. Divided into East and West by the Royal Scottish Academy and the National Gallery of Scotland, two impressive buildings which nourish and preserve both Scotland’s native art and its rich collection of European masterpieces.
Princes Street Gardens
On one side of Princes Street are the shops, but the other lies open to the attractive Princes Street Garden, lying below the cliffs of the castle.
At 200 feet high, this neo-gothic memorial erected in 1846, is the Scott Monument, the nation’s tribute to its greatest novelist, Sir Walter Scott.
If you happen to be staying near the train station, you only have to look out of your window. Or if you are sauntering down Princes Street, you need only look up. There, serrating the skyline with its towers and battlements is the castle whose jumbled buildings have been clinging to this volcanic ledge 300 feet above the city for 1000 years.
St. Margaret’s Chapel
The highest point on the rock is marked by its oldest building; that of a simple little chapel named St Margaret’s, built in 1076 by Malcolm III and named after his queen, who then went on to be canonized.
The Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh residence of Her Majesty the Queen. Holyrood lies at the foot of the ‘Royal Mile’, which runs from the Castle to the gates of the Palace; behind lie the glorious open spaces of the Queen’s Park, with its distinctive outcrops, Arthur’s Seat and the Salisbury Crags.
John Knox’s House
Lying about half way down the Royal Mile; here the fiery Reformation preacher is said to have lived.
Edinburgh’s International Festival and the Military Tattoo
During August, the city throws off any northerly inhibitions it may still possess, flies its flags, lengthens its licensing hours and fills its streets with marching pipers.
The Military Tattoo is held on the Castle Esplanade