Edinburgh’s a city so steeped in its long, fascinating history that you can feel it everywhere you wander, whether in the 16th century narrow lanes of the Old Town, the gracious Georgian splendour of the New Town or shopping in Princes Street where the skyline is dominated by stunning views of the Castle and the Scot Monument. In fact there’s so much to see and do that it can be hard to know where to start, so why not put yourself in the hands of an experienced guide who can give you the lowdown and introduce you to some hidden gems.
When sightseeing in any city, it’s a good idea to make one of the city bus tours available your first port of call. Not only does it introduce you to the main must-see destinations, it also gives you the chance to get your bearings and hop off and on at attractions that have piqued your interest. There are lots of different tours available in Edinburgh and you can buy single or combined tickets depending on whether you want to stick to the city centre or venture further afield, maybe even including a boat trip to see the iconic Forth Road Bridge.
With Sir Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and more recently Ian Rankin and Alexander McCall Smith all hailing from Edinburgh, it’s fair to say this is a city where writing talent has always flourished. There are lots of bookworm-based tours of the city available – and don’t worry, they’re not stern lectures from librarians – most of them take place in the evening and combine their journey round literary Edinburgh with the favourite drinking dens of the authors they honour. In fact, fans of Ian Rankin’s best selling Rebus novels can take a tour of a darker side of Edinburgh as they follow in the footsteps of the whisky-loving, maverick detective.
Ghostly Goings On
Whether you’re a believer in things that go bump in the night or not, when you’re in Edinburgh’s Old Town, the sense of the myths and stories of haunted Edinburgh is palpable. If you want to discover more, Mercat Tours provide a daily programme of spooky walking tours that are great not just for learning about haunted Edinburgh, but also for finding out more about the city’s history and exploring its hidden nooks and crannies, many of which are underground. Choose from Ghostly Underground, Ghosts & Ghouls, Doomed, Dead & Buried and Hidden & Haunted. With names like that, how can you resist? Just make sure you’re with someone who won’t mind you gripping their hand tightly!
These are just some of the fantastic ways of gaining some extra insight into Edinburgh’s eventful past. And after all that walking around, you’ll need a comfortable bed to recharge your batteries ready for your next day of sightseeing. With eleven locations to choose from in Edinburgh, a Travelodge is a great bet for a good night’s sleep.