What To Do In Edinburgh Old Town?
Edinburgh’s Old Town has been around for hundreds of years. It is a maze of cobblestone streets and dark alleys watched over by a huge castle.
Edinburgh’s Old Town, named as such to differentiate it from the 18th-century Georgian New Town to the north, has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1995. If you walked around this historic center, you might think you had gone back in time. There are some obvious highlights, like the castle, but there are also some often-overlooked activities and sights that will give you an insider’s look at the old part of this beautiful city.
Stroll up and down the rocky steps of Edinburgh Castle
Dark, brooding and omnipresent, Edinburgh Castle looms over the city on its dramatic rocky crag. It holds the oldest crown jewels in Britain, which were worn by Mary, Queen of Scots, at her coronation. It also holds the Stone of Destiny, which was used to anoint Scottish kings and is still brought to London for royal coronations, and Mons Meg, a 15th-century cannon. The oldest building in Edinburgh, St. Margaret’s Chapel, was built in the 11th century and is part of the castle. Come here at lunchtime when the 1 o’clock gun is fired from the ramparts and soak up the gorgeous 360-degree views.
Get weird at Camera Obscura
This strange exhibition, which claims to be Edinburgh’s oldest tourist attraction, uses some very clever Victorian technology to create a gallery of optical illusions. A picture of the city is sent to a table without using any cameras or projectors. This is virtual reality in the style of the 1800s. From the rooftop, you can also see a big part of Edinburgh.
Walk around the Palace of Holyroodhouse.
Take a tour of the Palace of Holyroodhouse, where the Queen stays when she’s in town, to see how the other half live. The palatial rooms are filled with paintings, tapestries, and antiques that are worth a lot of money, and the gardens are beautiful and peaceful. Visit the rooms of Mary, Queen of Scots, where her husband stabbed her courtier Rizzio and then threw him down the stairs. During the summer, you can visit the nearby abbey’s beautiful ruins.
Take pictures on Victoria Street and the Grassmarket.
Victoria Street, with its steep curve of pastel-colored buildings, connects George IV Bridge to the Grassmarket and is popular with Instagram users. It is also said to be the inspiration for Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley. Browse the shops, which sell everything from home goods to hats and jewelry, and then head down to the pretty Grassmarket. The place used to be a market for horses and cattle, and there were often public executions there. But now, the only people making money here are the tourist touts.
Have a bespoke kilt made in your family tartan
Gordon Nicolson Kiltmakers in the Canongate can make you your own kilt if you want to get into the clan spirit. This traditional dressmaker cares a lot about the history and craft of making kilts, and he or she will make you a Highland costume from the best local materials. The people who work here can also help you find your family tartan, and they know what they are doing since they started the Edinburgh Kiltmakers’ Academy to teach the craft.
Start a pub crawl through Old Town.
Some of the best bars in Edinburgh are all in the Old Town. Put on your armor, eat a fish dinner, and get the little drams ready. Start the night at the Ensign Ewart, which is Edinburgh’s highest pub. A few steps away, The Bow Bar has the widest range of single malts in town. One of Edinburgh’s oldest pubs, the White Hart Inn in the Grassmarket, is said to have been a favorite of the notorious grave robbers Burke and Hare. Sandy Bell’s is the place to go for folk music. Check out the best traditional pubs in Edinburgh if you’re still thirsty.
At the Surgeons’ Hall Museums, you can learn about Edinburgh’s medical history.
To enjoy the interesting Surgeons’ Hall Museums, you’ll need to be in good shape. Some of the things on display are old surgical and dental tools, medical photos, and pickled and preserved body parts. A book made from the skin of the notorious grave robber William Burke is one of the most disturbing things on display.
Canongate Kirk is a beautiful place.
Near the end of the High Street is this beautiful church, or “kirk” as they are called here. It was built in 1688. It’s where the Queen goes to church when she’s in the city, and it’s also where her granddaughter Zara Phillips got married in 2011 to England rugby player Mike Tindall. It has a unique Dutch-style end gable, and many famous Edinburgh people are buried there, including the economist Adam Smith.
Tears were shed for Greyfriars Bobby.
Greyfriars Bobby, the loyal skye terrier who sat by his master’s grave for 14 years until his own death in 1872, has been remembered on film and in many books. His statue is on the corner of Candlemaker Row, and his grave is in the nearby Greyfriars Kirkyard, next to the grave of his master. Rub his nose to make him happy.
Explore the murky depths of the Real Mary King Close
Find out what life was like in Mary King Close 400 years ago by going back in time to the 17th century. After the Royal Exchange was built on top of it in the 1800s, the close was buried under the Royal Mile. Even though it has been used for hundreds of years, it is still in great shape. Costumed guides bring it back to life by telling gripping stories of murder, mystery, and intrigue. People also say that it has ghosts.
Topic: What To Do In Edinburgh Old Town?
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By: Travel Pixy
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