Monday, November 28, 2011

Edinburgh - Top 10 Attractions

!±8± Edinburgh - Top 10 Attractions

The first and most obvious attraction is Edinburgh Castle - you could easily spend half a day here. As well as the castle itself there's the Scottish Crown Jewels (along with the Stone of Destiny), Mons Meg (a huge bombard cannon), the Prisons of War Exhibition, the Scottish National War Memorial, the National War Museum of Scotland, the Royal Scots Regimental Museum and the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards Regimental Museum.

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, founded in 1670, is the 2nd oldest botanic garden in the UK. It's both a scientific institution and a tourist attraction.

Though originally located within Edinburgh, the gardens were moved out of the city in Leith to be away from the pollution. The Temperate Palm House, built in 1858, found here is the tallest such building in the UK. Nearly 34,000 plants are grown at the Botanics in Edinburgh or its three smaller offshoots located in other parts of Scotland.

The Saint Giles' Cathedral, though technically it's not a cathedral as it doesn't have a Bishop, is a major landmark in the city of Edinburgh. Easily found between Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace, this church is the largest Church of Presbyterianism and contains the Chapel of the Order of the Thistle. Its crown tower is quite distinctive and the cathedral is easily spotted from other vantage points in the city.

The Scotch Whisky Heritage Centre - remember Scotch Whisky is spelled without an 'e'! This is an excellent place to visit for all fans of this distinctive whisky.

A trip to the centre can lead to a tour where you'll learn all about the making of whisky, the difference between the various types such as single malt, etc, the people who made whisky the worldwide success it is today. And there's also a free drink included in the entrance price.

Edinburgh Zoo is located on Corstorphine Hill and offers nice views over the city, but that isn't why you would visit here. This is Edinburgh's 2nd most popular attraction after Edinburgh Castle. The animals you can expect to find here include rhinos, jaguars, koalas, lions, tigers, a polar bear, and many more. In addition there's much scientific work done including research on behaviour, conservation and captive breeding programmes.

The Museum of Childhood was opened in 1955 by town councillor Patrick Murray and is thought to be the first of its kind in the world. In addition to learning about how children were raised, dressed and educated in the first half of the last century, there's also a huge collection of toys, including dolls, teddy bears, train sets and tricycles from all over the world.

The National Library of Scotland is the legal deposit library for Scotland and is home to about 7 million books, 13 million printed items and over 1.6 million maps! These are housed in a number of buildings in the city centre. The most significant items of this vast collection include the original manuscript of Charles Darwin's Origin of Species, the Gutenberg Bible, the First Folio of Shakespeare and a few significant others.

The Palace of Holyroodhouse (aka Holyrood Palace) was originally founded as a monastery by David I of Scotland in the 12th century. The Abbey still exists as a ruin to this day.

Since the 15th century, there has been a palace on the site, used as an official residence of the Kings and Queens of Scotland. Today it is used by Queen Elizabeth II as a summer residence. While there you can check out the Royal Apartments and see the various styles of decoration as it has changed over time; and you can visit the Queens Gallery, which displays choice works of art from the royal collection.

Arthur's Seat is located just outside the city of Edinburgh. This is the tallest peak in a range of hills found within Holyrood Park. Due to its name there are many who believe the hill has some connection with King Arthur but there is no evidence of this.

The hill is an easy ramble so if you'd like a quick walk in the Scottish countryside you won't get better than this. When you're visiting the hill be sure to check out the Salisbury Crags, these cliffs are 46 metres tall and are popular with Rock Climbers.

Edinburgh Festivals are also kind of like a tourist attraction and draw huge crowds. Festivals include Edinburgh International Festival, the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the Edinburgh Hogmanay, the Edinburgh International Book Festival, the Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival, the Edinburgh International Film Festival, the Edinburgh Mela, the Edinburgh International Science Festival and the Imaginate Festival.

Edinburgh - Top 10 Attractions

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