Suited for both bad days and the best, the Botanic Gardens are a place of positivity and light. And the locals can’t get enough. Between the gargantuan lily pads and hypnotic maze of exotic plants donning the glasshouses, this horticultural haven resembles something out of a fairytale. Time after time, a new colourful rock garden or cascading secret waterfall arises, proving that there’s always more than meets the eye.
Arthur’s Seat is a shining source of perennial pride for locals. This multifaceted mountain is as wise as time itself, having bore witness to numerous historical occurrences. Once more, it boasts some supernatural panoramic views of the city (and further afield). It also lends itself to swarms of fitness fanatics who climb, run, walk, hike and bike around, up and over it! Dotted with lochs, swans, gorse, jagged crags and geological intrigue, many associate Arthur’s Seat with the ancient legends of King Arthur.
Thanks to the picturesque buildings and charming cobblestone streets, Dean Village has long been one of Edinburgh’s most desirable areas. Rewind in the mind to centuries ago and see this fairytale residential pocket transform into a prime grain milling place. The success of this grain mill heritage, which continued for 800 years, owes credit to the meandering Water of Leith powering the machinery. Whether taking in the scenery by the Dean Bridge or soaking up the tranquility, this former village within a city will always be a gem to locals.
As bonnie as she is noble, Edinburgh Castle is the eyes, ears, heart and soul of Scotland’s capital. This age-old fortress is an integral component of the cultural fabric of the city, with her one O’Clock Gun serving as a daily dose of sweet music to the ears of locals. Her colourful past and sturdy demeanour is an endless source of fascination. From the early 16th century Great Hall and Scottish regalia, to the trusty old Mons Meg canon, this castle’s colours will never diminish.
Between its menu of critically acclaimed restaurants and top attractions like HMY Britannia, Leith will always hold a place in the hearts of Edinburghians. Strolling and sampling the sights along the docks under the summer sun is therapy at its finest, as is drinking all cares away at the dynamite pubs. From patches of green and pockets of water, to some insanely tasty seafood restaurants, Leith is one in a million.
So much more than an imposing Gothic rocket ship, the Scott Monument is just one of the many impressive architectural embellishments of Edinburgh. This Victorian structure, the largest monument to a writer in the world, was built in honour of Sir Walter Scott. Made of sandstone and punctuated with 68 figurative statues, all 287 steps are as narrow as they are vertigo-inducing. Still, this ornate monument is adored by all.
Dr Neil’s Garden
Just one magical quality of Edinburgh is its maze of hidden layers, with a new surprise lurking around every close and corner, providing some respite from city life. A horticultural masterpiece tucked in between Arthur’s Seat and the charming Duddingston Village, Dr Neil’s Garden is an Eden of Earth. Some use this flower-infused, leafy oasis to unwind and others to hone in on their thoughts. Either way, the all-encompassing natural beauty is one of life’s little pleasures.