Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital, is the most beautiful city in the United Kingdom. Don’t believe me? See for yourself.
Experiencing the most beautiful city in the UK
BY PHILL FELTHAM
Originally, my friend Tim and I had never planned to visit Scotland. However, after reading some positive reviews, Tim suggested we visit the country since it was next to England–the intended destination of our forthcoming trip. Shortly afterwards, Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital city, was added to our itinerary.
PHOTO: A panaromic view of Edinburgh from Arthur’s Seat (Phill Feltham).
Tim and I spent the first two days of our trip in London and, on our second evening, traveled south to Edinburgh on the overnight train. We planned to tour Scotland’s capital in one day; we would start touring the city in early morning, wrap up our trip to Edinburgh that evening, and return to London on the overnight train. Words could not describe the breathtaking scenery of Edinburgh.
ARCHITECTURE OF EDINBURGH
The best way I can describe Edinburgh is medieval, Reformation-era and neoclassical architecture mixed with nature (tons of green).
PHOTO: Edinburgh Castle (Phill Feltham)
Old Town—where Tim and I stayed mostly—is medieval architecture with many Reformation-era buildings. New Town has more of a neoclassical look. From the city streets, we could see many of the mountain summits that surrounded the city. On one of the summits stands Edinburgh Castle, a historic fortress that dominates the city’s skyline. Tim and I spent the morning touring this breathtaking site.
THE ROYAL MILE
Tim and I walked the Royal Mile, a succession of streets that make up Edinburgh’s Old Town. The Royal Mile is a popular area where shops, restaurants, and other merchants sell their wares to enthusiastic wanderers such as myself. I’m not a souvenir junkie, but I paid a little extra money to buy a quilt. Sorry wanderers, no fashion portraits were taken.
During our travels, Tim and I stopped by at the Elephant House. On the outside window, we read the sign advertising this little café’s claim to fame: “The birthplace of Harry Potter.” This café is where renowned English author JK Rowling wrote “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”—her first book. Inside, we checked our emails (they offer Internet usage), ate some food, and took some pictures.
The Royal Mile made touring Edinburgh very convenient. If you’re planning a walking tour, start at Edinburgh Castle—which Tim and I did—and make your way down to Holyrood Abbey, a ruined Augustinian Abbey. Unfortunately, we just missed this in favor of the adjacent Palace of the Holyroodhouse (Queen Elizabeth’s Scotland residence). The palace was closed for unknown reasons, so Tim and I decided to explore Holyrood Park, home of Arthur’s Seat.
Another summit on Edinburgh’s varied terrain is the hilly Arthur’s Seat, which was formed by an extinct volcano. The largest hill in Holyrood Park runs 251 meters above the city. It’s a popular walk for travellers wanting a panoramic view of Edinburgh. Tim and I did the hike up Arthur’s Seat. We expected to get a fantastic workout–which we did–but we were also fortunate enough to get some great pics, too.
During our entire week in the United Kingdom, I took more pictures of Edinburgh than any site we visited in London—and that includes the stunning classics: Canterbury and Windsor Castle. My only regret is that I wish we spent more than just one day in the Edinburgh. Ah, well, there’s always next time. iT!
Phill Feltham is the Publisher of The Weekly Wanderer. He’s been an avid traveler for more than 10 years exploring countries in Europe, Asia, and North America.