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The Scottish capital is steeped in history, with many tales to tell. Learn why it’s dubbed the Athens of the North, discover its spookiest spots and find out how to gain entry to one of the biggest attractions, for free. Here’s our guide to Edinburgh’s unmissable points of interest.
Officially named the High Street, this quaint cobbled Old Town artery is more commonly known as the Royal Mile. Stand in the middle and you’ll glimpse the sea to one end and the castle at the other. It’s the heart of the bustling tourist quarter, with its Gothic architecture, haunted underground passages and many national attractions. The narrow lantern-lit Fleshmarket Close, just off the Mile, was the inspiration for one of Ian Rankin’s Rebus novels and is well worth a spooky wander at dusk.
The Grassmarket was the macabre scene of public executions in the 17th and 18th centuries. But today it’s the place to be for cosy historic pubs, outdoor dining and boutique shopping. Stand on the spot of the “last drop” hanging, then queue for a creative double-scoop gelato from Mary’s Milk Bar, a destination ice-cream shop with daily changing flavours.