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Edinburgh is the Scotland capital and the most windy city in the UK.

What to do:

  • Aimlessly walk in the city center (make a circle around the hill with Edinburgh Castle, so you will not get lost) or go down the Royal Mile – wide street with small shops, cafes and museums.
  • Climb up to the Calton Hill – place with probably the highest concentration of monuments per square meter. Also it has a great view on the city center.
  • Either you can ascend to the Scott Monument. It was erected in the honour of Walter Scott. Its architect was self-taught George Meikle Kemp. His project was chosen in competition among other 53  alternatives. George sank in the canal which he didn’t notice because of the strong fog 2 years before he end of the building works. The monument was completed in 1846 by his son.
  • There are many city legends, but one of the most touching is about Greyfriars Bobby – skye-terrier, who spent 14 years living on the cemetery near his owner’s grave. This story tells that when there was a thread of catching Bobby a a stray dog Lord Provost of Edinburgh, sir William Chambers, paid for Bobby’s license and dog received a collar.  He was buried outside the Greyfriars cemetery, but near the gates. It is possible to learn more details and see Bobby’s collar in the Museum of Edinburgh on the 3rd floor (it is located on the Royal Mile) and a monument was erected near the George IV Bridge.
  • Not far from the monument (up to the bridge) famous Elephant House cafe is located. It is famous because Harry Potter saga began there: walls are decorated with pictures of elephants and shaggy Joanne Rowling photos to prove that fact. Cafe doesn’t have anything remarkable except velvet handle near the entrance with a tablet: “Wait here to be seated”. At the same time cafe is almost empty during the evening peak time. Another interesting point is that their menu has old prices and they use other ones from the wall.  It is worth visiting it only if you are a geek or because of the toilet: walls are full of notes with spells and curses written by visitors,  praises of some characters and gratitude to the author (as if she can come there again). By the ay e found the reason why Rowling started to write: “Service here is so slow that you can write some books while you’re waiting”.
  • Also don’t forget to visit Edinburgh Castle, Royal Botanic garden and underground Mary King’s close.

How to get there:

Planes from all airports. It is possible to find 50 pounds return tickets if to buy in advance.

Trains from London Kings Cross (tickets from £25,  at least 4 hours journey).

Buses from London Victoria coach station usually spend 9 hours to complete the journey. But you can buy a place in a sleeper service.

Useful tips:

  • Warm hat – that’s the key of the comfortable visit to Edinburgh.
  • If you’ll need to decide where to watch the New Year fireworks – choose London. In Edinburgh you should pay for it.
  • There is a seaside in Edinburgh. You can get there in 20 mins by bus (number 26) or walk about 1,5h along the Royal Mile. Portobello beach is long enough for the quite stroll.

Photos from Edinburgh

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