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Edinburgh Holidays Overview

Edinburgh, the Athens of North, is Scotland's capital and one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Edinburgh combines the modern and ancient in a Scottish atmosphere. The symbol of this beautiful city is the castle and scattered around are medieval landmarks, contemporary attractions and Gregorian architecture.

Edinburgh has many good museums, galleries and gothic churches. It has a strong nightlife, excellent restaurants, good shopping opportunities and a number of festivals that keep the city alive throughout the year.

Edinburgh's New and Old Towns are listed by UNESCO as World Heritage Sights. It is also a City of Literature. The Old Town is the city's medieval centre and covers an extensive area from the Holyrood Palace to the castle. Most of the attractions are located in this area.

The New Town is the commercial centre and a shopping destination. The Royal Botanic Garden is located in the Canonmills and Stockbridge neighbourhoods. The area also offers a lot of independent shopping venues. Portobello is Edinburgh's beach district while Duddingston in the city's east is a charming, historic village.

South Edinburgh is home to the beautiful Roslin Chapel, the Pentland Hills and a number of good places for dining and drinking. Edinburgh is also known for its excellent zoo, located in West Edinburgh. The district has several good attractions like the Murrayfield Rugby Stadium.

Among the many galleries and museums in the city, the most popular are the National Museum of Scotland, Museum of Childhood, Museum of Edinburgh and the National War Museum.

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Edinburgh holidays - Top Places To Go

1. Edinburgh Castle
Castle Hill
What is it? This most famous of Scottish castles has a complex building history. The oldest part, St Margaret's Chapel, dates from the 12th century; the Great Hall was erected by James IV around 1510; the Half Moon Battery by the Regent Morton in the late 16th century; and the Scottish National War Memorial after the First World War. The castle houses the Honours (Crown Jewels) of Scotland, the Stone of Destiny, the famous 15th-century gun Mons Meg, the One o'clock Gun and the National War Museum of Scotland. In addition to guided tours provided by the castle stewards, there is an audio guide tour available in six languages. Hours of Operation: Daily 9.30am to 5pm (1 November to 31 March); 9.30am to 6pm (1 April to 31 October) Phone:(0)131 225 9846



2. Holyrood
What is it? The Royal Mile is Scotland's most fascinating street; it runs from Edinburgh Castle, through the Old Town, to Holyrood Palace and is lined with museums, churches and historic buildings dating from the 15th century. Holyrood is the Monarch's official residence in Scotland. It was founded in 1128 when David I founded an abbey on the site and is still used today by the Queen whenever she is in town. Guided tours are available and lead visitors through the grand State Apartments, the Throne Room, and the Great Gallery, culminating in the apartments of Mary Queen of Scots and her husband Lord Darnley, their bed-chambers linked by a secret staircase. A plaque on the floor marks the spot where Mary's Italian secretary David Rizzio was murdered in 1566. Next to the palace lie the Gothic ruins of the Abbey, whose Royal Vault contains the remains of kings David II, James II, James V, and Lord Darnley, who was himself murdered by Mary's lover. The adjacent Holyrood Park was historically a Royal hunting ground, but is now a wilderness where locals can escape to for walking and taking in the spectacular scenery. Hours of Operation: Daily 9.30am to 6pm (April to October); 9.30am to 4.30pm (November to March). Last entrance is 45 minutes before closing time Phone:(0)131 556 5100



3. National Gallery of Scotland
What is it? The National Gallery of Scotland is situated in the heart of Edinburgh and is home to Scotland's greatest collection of European paintings and sculpture from the Renaissance to Post-Impressionism. The museum opened to the public in 1859 and includes works by Botticelli, Cézanne, Van Dyck, Pisarro, Monet, Raphael, Rembrandt, and Titian. The Gallery also boasts the most comprehensive collection of Scottish painting in the world. The Scottish Portrait Gallery can be found nearby at 1 Queen Street and includes great paintings of Scots rather than by Scots. Hours of Operation: Daily 10am to 5pm (until 7pm on Thursdays) Phone:(0)131 624 6200 or 332 2266 (recorded information)



Edinburgh holidays - Top Events


1. Edinburgh Festival

From 2006-08-13

To 2006-09-03

What is it? Widely held to be one of the most important celebrations of the arts in the world, the Edinburgh International Festival is now more than 50 years old, and is held every year during the summer months. Artists, performers, musicians, writers and anyone else wishing to partake flood the city from all over the world, and it is well advised to book accommodation beforehand. Almost every public venue in the city turns into a theatre or gallery during the summer, and visitors often find it difficult to choose what to see and do. A short stroll down the Royal Mile will reveal a crowd of performers giving free previews of their shows to help visitors make up their minds. Where is it? The Hub, Castle Hill



2. Hogmanay



What is it? Hogmanay is Edinburgh's famous New Year's celebration, when the entire city becomes one huge party. In fact, it is so popular that entry to the city is open only to those with advance tickets. Over the years the organisation of Hogmanay has become increasingly professional, and a slick festival-style event, attracting major international musicians and bands who perform in the castle or the city's botanical gardens. Visitors are well advised to book tickets and accommodation beforehand, due to the sheer size of this event. Where is it? The Hub, Castle Hill



3. Military Tattoo



What is it? One of the most spectacular shows worldwide, the Tattoo is set against the backdrop of historic Edinburgh Castle and is the largest gathering of military musicians in the UK, including the Queen's Colour Squadron and the renowned Massed Bands of the Royal Air Force. It is part of the Edinburgh International Festival and features pipers and drummers from the country's finest fighting regiments, playing the rousing tunes of the battlefields, as well as whirling highland dancers, fireworks, and the final haunting sound of the Lone Piper on the Castle ramparts. Where is it? Edinburgh Castle



4. Edinburgh Fringe Festival



What is it? Part of the greater Edinburgh International Festival, the Fringe Festival is one of the world's largest and most famous art festivals, which had its beginning when unofficial theatre groups set up their shows around the fringes of the main festival in 1947. Unlike the official festival, performers do not need to undergo a selection process to take part, and as a result it attracts a huge diversity of entertainers with hundreds of shows expressing a wide range of cultural and artistic performances. Where is it? Various



5. Edinburgh International Science Festival

From 2007-04-02

To 2007-04-15

What is it? Every Easter the city becomes a gigantic laboratory of discovery, exploration and entertainment, as non-stop shows, demonstrations, hands-on activities, workshops and exhibitions are presented to educate and astonish all ages. The Edinburgh International Science Festival is designed to encourage discovery about the sciences and amazing technological events, such as outer space, our planet, the inner body and modern gadgets. Kids can become who or what they want to be, climb inside an enormous, snotty nostril and try to break world records, while adults can explore the chances of survival of the human race in the 21st century. Where is it? 20 different venues around Edinburgh; the main venue for adult events is the Royal Museum, Chambers Street




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About This Page

Information on Edinburgh Holidays, Edinburgh Hotels, Holiday Packages in Edinburgh (city breaks, short stays, all inclusive and luxury deals). Also provides links and resources to Air Travel, Flights and Edinburgh Car Hire Options

Holidays Travel Guide content part sourced rom, copyright © Globe Media Ltd. By its very nature much of the information contained in the travel guide is subject to change at short notice. Travellers are urged to verify information on which they're relying with the relevent authorities. We cannot accept any responsibility for any loss or inconvenience to a person as result of information contained above.