Whether you’re interested in witchcraft, royals or writers, there are many must-see attractions in the Scottish capital.
No visitor will be short of things to do in Edinburgh. There are, of course, many historic sites, from the castle on its rugged crag to the distinctly spooky Greyfriars churchyard. However, other attractions bring visitors bang up to date – there’s Dynamic Earth for science buffs, as well as outstanding modern art collections. Put on your walking shoes to navigate the hills and cobblestones and get exploring.
There’s no better way to honour Edinburgh and Scotland’s rich literary heritage than with a visit to The Writers’ Museum. This intriguing place lies within Lady Stair’s House, tucked away down a close off the Royal Mile. Explore a fascinating array of portraits, publications and personal objects related to Scottish literary heroes Sir Walter Scott, Robert Burns and Robert Louis Stevenson.
Standing stoic on the buzzing Royal Mile, St Giles’ Cathedral is dedicated to Saint Giles, the city’s patron saint and protector of cripples and lepers. The vaulted ceilings, intricate carpentry and stained-glass windows of the (mostly) 15th-century structure have an undeniable wow factor, while the famed crown steeple plays a notable role in Edinburgh’s skyline. Outside the western door, look out for the Heart of Midlothian, set into the cobbles – the somewhat icky local tradition says that spitting on it brings you good luck.
This wonderful old timbered house dates back to 1470 and is the only one of its type left on the Royal Mile. Lively tours shed light on the oak-clad interiors, as well as on former residents, including Reformation leader and preacher John Knox and James Mossman, friend and goldsmith to Mary, Queen of Scots who was ultimately executed.
Blink and you’ll miss Makars’ Court, a secluded courtyard commemorating Scotland’s greatest writers via inspiring quotes inscribed on a patchwork quilt of flagstones. Sited next to The Writers’ Museum, this ongoing national literary monument honours makars (makers) of the craft of writing. Scotland’s current official makar (the country’s equivalent of a poet laureate) is Jackie Kay.
This is an updated version of a story by Tori Chalmers.