Edinburgh, Robert Louis Stevenson’s “own romantic town”, is dominated by the ancient castle perched on its rock. The romantic Old Town, running down the ridge of the Royal Mile from the Castle to the Queen’s Palace of Holyroodhouse, is the historic heart of the capital where many of the buildings known by Mary Queen of Scots and Bonnie Prince Charlie still survive. Across the green space of Princes Street Gardens the New Town, a creation of the Age of Enlightenment, amazes with its cool, classical elegance. The city’s lively night-life becomes manic each August, when it hosts the largest arts festival in the world.
Edinburgh is a relatively compact city, making it ideal territory for guided tours, whether on foot or in a vehicle. In particular, both the Old Town and the New Town can easily be covered in a half-day walking tour; while longer tours, embracing the suburbs, are more easily managed by car or coach.
Among the many attractions Edinburgh offers the visitor are the ancient Castle, perched on its rocky crag in the city centre; the Palace of Holyroodhouse, historic home of Scotland’s kings; the High Kirk of St Giles, with its distinctive 500 year-old crown spire dominating the central part of the Royal Mile; the Royal Yacht Britannia in the historic port of Leith; and a world-class collection of museums and galleries.
Edinburgh’s steep topography offers wonderful distant vistas and sight-lines, showing its distinguished architecture to full effect. Its outstanding impact has been recognised by UNESCO awarding both Old and New Towns the status of World Heritage Sites. Recently the mighty Forth Railway Bridge, whose southern end is within the city limits, was also awarded World Heritage Site status.
Many STGA Blue Badge tourist guides specialise in offering tours of Edinburgh, and no visit to the city would be complete without taking an STGA led guided tour. Whether your interests are historical, architectural or historical – or if you just want to soak up the atmosphere of this truly remarkable place – STGA members would be delighted to show you around.