Why you can't miss Edinburgh on a Scottish tour

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Scottish guide Martin has a life-long passion for his hometown of Edinburgh and its history. A proud Scot, he will show up to greet visitors in national dress and “will leave you with a real sense of the city - past and present” (as one happy traveller told us). He’s here today to tell us a bit about the history of Edinburgh.

No visit to Scotland is complete without a visit to Edinburgh. To quote a former Lord, Provost Eric Milligan: “Edinburgh is a beautiful, dynamic European City, with a unique architectural heritage and a magnificent setting. It is host to many thousands of visitors who come here throughout the year to enjoy numerous cultural events such as Edinburgh's Hogmanay celebrations and the world renowned Edinburgh International Festival and The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.”

No visitor to Edinburgh should miss a visit to Edinburgh Castle, where Edinburgh began as a fortified Garrison on the volcanic rock. Back in the Bronze Age, long before the castle as we know it today existed, the site was already occupied, and later on by the tribes who lived in harmony with the Roman garrison at nearby Cramond.

The Old Town of Edinburgh stretches downhill from the Castle and it is an easy walk down the “Royal Mile” with its many interesting old buildings, some of which replicate very early skyscrapers. The Royal Mile continues down through the former town of Canongate finishing at the Royal Palace of Holyrood.

After the failure of “Bonny Prince Charlie's” 1745 rebellion, the Edinburgh Enlightenment resulted in world advances in many fields such as Philosophy, Economics, Geology, Medicine and Chemistry. This in turn led to the establishment of the New Town of Edinburgh in the 1760s. The original New Town with its wide streets, elegant houses and Grand Squares is still today the heart of the city.

Modern-day Edinburgh is the second largest financial centre in UK and among the top ten in Europe. It is the home of Scots Law, the Scottish Churches, financial services of all kinds, four universities, and since 1999 the location of the Scottish Parliament.

I was born and educated here and only on my return after working elsewhere came to appreciate what this unique city has to offer to residents and visitors alike: magnificent views from the seven hills, the elegant classical streets and squares, and the cultural experience of Edinburgh’s Theatres, Concert Halls and Art Galleries.

Isn’t that how it so often is? We travel far and wide, and see amazing sights, only to come home and realise how privileged we are to live in our own unique part of the world. Thank you Martin, for taking the time to tell us a bit about Edinburgh’s history, and giving us more reasons to visit your part of Scotland! Travelers can get in touch with Martin here: Martin’s guide profile page.
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