Princes St Gardens
There’s something spectacular about the Princes St Gardens, especially when the sun shines and the flecks hit the castle in just the right way. Jaw-dropping to newcomers, these gardens, which run the full length of the main, vibrant thoroughfare, offer an oasis of sanctitude and lush patches of green within the usual chaotic city shuffle. Whether lounging on the grass looking up or staring from the nearby Scott Monument, these gardens offer front row seats to views of the castle.
A collection of pleasing coloured buildings line the steep, cobbled Victoria Street. This charming street trickles down into the equally as vivacious Grassmarket — a place where history makes itself known thanks to the many memorials and whispering old buildings. Remember to look up as this part of town offers many sneaky vantage points to grasp the best cityscape views.
The End Of The Royal Mile
Standing at the end of the noble Royal Mile presents a unique predicament — to run towards the open rolling terrain of Arthur’s Seat or scan the Mile for tartan souvenirs! Either way, make sure to look around and take in the scenery. The imposing yet impressive modern Scottish Parliament building blends in with the grand Palace Of Holyroodhouse. These sights are only complimented by the presence of the rugged parkland, ascending roads and Arthur’s Seat. This unassuming spot offers a glimpse into the real Edinburgh, while presenting a telling juxtaposition of new and old.
The Royal Botanic Garden
Those craving serenity but lacking the time for travelling to the Highlands can seek sanctuary at the Botanics. Tall trees, wildlife and a wondrous potion of plants from all over the world make this one of the most breathtaking places in Edinburgh. Wandering around the giant lily pond, touring the glasshouse and investigating nature right in the heart of the city provides scenic moments that last for hours.
St Giles’ Cathedral
When flustered or uninspired, make way for St Giles’ Cathedral and embrace the beauty. Dating back to the late 14th century, this iconic landmark was built in honour of Saint Giles, Edinburgh’s patron saint. The mosaic of stained glass and marvellous stone carvings never fail to catch the eye. Located within the Thistle Chapel, the angel playing bagpipes cannot be missed either.
A no brainer when in search of scenic locations, Arthur’s Seat is up there with the most idyllic places in the city. From the swans dancing on the loch and runners weaving around the park to the little dots of people atop the summit, it’s astonishing to think that such a natural wonder lies smack bang within this concrete jungle! You can always rely on this good old lump of rock to provide the most breathtaking views of Edinburgh and beyond.
A village within a city, Duddingston resembles a picture-perfect ‘wish you were here in Scotland’ kind of postcard! The Sheep Heid Inn, a charming drinking den with a veteran bowling alley, dates back to the 1300s and is one of the many personality traits of this sought after area. What’s more, Arthur’s Seat near Duddingston Loch and Dr Neil’s Garden are gems within this giant scenic gem.
National Museum of Scotland
The National Museum of Scotland, or The Chambers Street Museum as it is locally known, is a trusty cure for those days where you just can’t catch a break. If you have five minutes to spare, head on into the main hall, meander up the enchanting steps and gaze out onto the exhibits and sea of curiosities below. Pure magic.
Edinburgh really offers the best of both worlds — spaces with village feels and an urban playground. Just a short bus ride away, Cramond has that golden village atmosphere (where everyone knows your name) and a beach made for strolling while savouring a chippy! Watching the causeway pylon shadows shift as the light changes is like a scene straight from a film. Then again, so is walking alongside the river Almond, admiring the bobbing boats and adoring the vast Scottish sunset.
The Scottish National Gallery Of Modern Art
Whether Modern One, Modern Two or both, the Scottish National Gallery Of Modern Art is a magnet for art lovers and ‘scenic setting seekers’ alike. The grounds of each consist of a surprising amount of parkland decorated with stunning sculptural works by revered artists like Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth and Nathan Coley. Landform, the landscape art by Charles Jencks outside Modern One, is as captivating as the nearby ‘Everything Is Going To Be Alright’ sign or Work No. 975 by Martin Creed.