Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Reasons to Stay in Edinburgh

Arguably the best view of Scotland’s capital is from its landmark highland peak, Arthur’s Seat. It’s quite a climb, so you’ll be out of breath as you reach the top and survey the city’s rugged sprawl, its jagged landmarks and its deep green parklands. Go on a clear day for breathtaking views of Edinburgh’s contours, or feel the true grit of the city by climbing through rain.

The only problem with this spot, in fact, is that you’ll be temporarily missing out on all that the city itself has to offer. Edinburgh doesn’t just have world class entertainment, exhibitions, galleries, food and night life; it has it all!

Take the recently-opened Ghillie Dhu pub and entertainment centre, for example, which nightly packs in more Scottish Fare than you can shake Sgian Dubh knife at. You’ll be up and dancing before you know it.

If your calves can handle this steepest of cities, taking a stroll around town will reveal urban landscape like no other. Roughly divided into the Old Town and New Town areas, you’ll need to allow ample time for a full discovery…

New Town, created as an extension to a quickly-crowding city in the 18th Century, features stunning architecture and garden landscapes. New Town is also where you’ll find the celebrated National Gallery, and shopper’s paradise Princes Street.

Walking around the Old Town, meanwhile, it’s in the alleyways, narrow streets and staircases that you find the truly traditional urban Scotland. Spend enough time hitting the major spots – St Giles’ Cathedral, Surgeon’s Hall, Scottish Parliament, The Castle – but leave enough time for a few drinks in any of the area’s plethora of pubs too.

Visiting Edinburgh is a treat any time of the year, but for a truly unforgettable trip, make sure to head to the ‘Burgh either in August or at New Years.

The Edinburgh Festival, including Fringe, Comedy, Jazz, Book, Science, Military Tattoo and International Film Festivals, takes place for the whole of August, with some spill-over either side. There are literally thousands of performances, events, lectures, shows, screenings and workshops, almost all of which are fully open to the public. Careers have been made in Edinburgh, so this really is your chance to see the talent of tomorrow (not to mention some of the stars themselves.)

For a New Year like no other, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is regarded by many as the world’s greatest December 31st celebration. It’s so great, in fact, that it lasts a full four days! Expect spectacular fireworks, live music, bonfires, food and drink. Just don’t expect to escape without joining the traditional Scottish Ceilidh dance.

Edinburgh is not only easily accessible by train, plane, car or bus; it’s also the ideal gateway to the rest of Scotland. Glasgow, for example, is only a short train journey away, setting off from Waverly Train Station, right in the centre of Edinburgh. It’s also possible to arrange excursions out to the highlands with one of the city’s many tour operators.

Even closer, the city is connected by local bus to the coastal district of Leith, scattered with picturesque churches and bounded by beautiful sea views.

Isn’t it about time you got stuck in to Edinburgh?

Will writes for RentalReserve Ltd, an apartments online booking company specialising in both Apartments in Edinburgh and Apartments in Glasgow. Every apartment they list can be booked online.