Day 1 in Edinburgh
Make your way to Edinburgh Castle!
Actually, Edinburgh consists of two main parts: the Old Town, dominated by a castle on a high basalt rock, and the New Town, a masterpiece of the 18th century town planning. It is to mention that both Old and New Towns are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
In Edinburgh, you can see more castles than in “Games of Thrones”. So, we will start our trip from one of them – the Edinburgh Castle. This historic fortress dominates the skyline of the city from its position on the Castle Rock. As one of the most important strongholds in the Kingdom of Scotland, the Castle was involved in many historical conflicts, including the Wars of Scottish Independence and the Jacobite Rising, being named one of the most attacked in the world. This is Scotland’s most famous landmark and one of Britain’s most visited tourist attractions.
The Edinburgh Castle represents a complex formed of some places to visit. One of them is the Scottish National War Memorial, which commemorates the Scottish soldiers and their allies who died in wars. The memorial is found in the heart of the castle and incorporates many monuments. Interesting military information you can find out by exploring also the Scottish United Services Museum and analyzing the Mons Meg, the famous cannon manufactured in Belgium called in a 17th century document as “the great iron murderer”.
The oldest building in the castle, as well as in Edinburgh, is the small St. Margaret’s Chapel. The construction was built as a private chapel for the royal family and it survived in all Scottish conflicts that unfolded till now. The chapel is still used for religious ceremonies, such as weddings. The Crown Room is a room in the Royal Palace, situated in the same Edinburgh Castle, that has to be certainly visited. It contains the Scottish emblems: the crown, the scepter, and the sword that were some time ago the symbols of the Scottish monarch. In the same hall, the Stone of Scone throne is located, where the monarchs were sitting for being crowned.
Besides rich history, the Edinburgh Castle offers unmatched views across Scotland’s capital city. As well, if you want to save time, consider purchasing an entrance ticket online in advance, so you can spend more time touring the castle instead of waiting in the long line.
In the evening, take a walk on the Princes Street – one of the most important arteries in central Edinburgh and its main trade street. Brands like Debenhams, Topman, Topshop have their headquarters set here. On the place where a marsh was aforetime, now a garden full of flowers and cherry trees is spreading – the Princes Street Gardens. While wandering the streets, you will notice that the area is situated in geometrical symmetry, uncommon thing for Great Britain. This thing exists due to the architect James Craig.