This city is a photographer’s dream. Whether it be capturing the excitement of the summer festivals or finding that perfect vantage point to see the sunset – there are plenty of beautiful places around this gorgeous city. So if you plan to be in Edinburgh this summer, here are the 10 most beautiful places to visit.
1. Edinburgh Castle
I know what you’re thinking. Edinburgh Castle, isn’t that a bit obvious? But really? Have you seen it? Its beauty smacks you right in the face as you stroll along Princes Street. Proudly positioned above the city’s vibrant city gardens, its iconic presence is what captivates the hearts of most locals and visitors alike. Get the best views looking up from the Grassmarket or from just outside Waverly Station. The views from the castle aren’t bad either now that you mention it…
2. Water of Leith Walkway
Up and coming Leith is a somewhat underrated area of the city and in the past decade it has become an attractive and trendy neighbourhood. Its many quirky pubs and restaurants such as Nobles and Kings Wark make it worth a visit. The Water of Leith Walkway is a popular cycling and walking route and the many colourful boats and tree-lined walkways make it feel as though you’ve left the city. The walk takes you through some of the prettiest areas of Edinburgh such as Stockbridge and Dean Village.
3. Calton Hill
Boasting gorgeous views, Calton Hill’s central location makes it a popular spot for those wishing to take in the entire city in all its beauty. On top of the hill you’ll find the Nelson Monument and the National Monument, an unfinished acropolis that is better known under its local nickname ‘Edinburgh’s disgrace.’ It may be seen as a failure in architectural endeavours but it is still a popular place to get some fantastic photos.
4 . The Meadows
If you aren’t enticed by the smell of barbecue smoke wafting through the air, then maybe you’ll be attracted by the chilled atmosphere of this huge green space. A favourite spot for Edinburgh University students, this is the place to be on a sunny day in Edinburgh.
5. The Royal Mile
Edinburgh’s famous Royal Mile stretches between the castle and the Scottish parliament. The street is situated in the Old Town and is lined with stone tenement buildings with cobbled closes in between. It’s a bustling area with plenty going on that’s main attraction is St Giles Cathedral, a wonderfully gothic church with an impressive crown spire.
6. Holyrood Park
This park is popular for a Sunday afternoon walk, to blow away the cobwebs and enjoy some of Edinburgh’s best sights. From the formidable Arthurs Seat (a dormant volcano) and the jagged Salisbury Crags to Holyrood Abbey (a ruined abbey from 1128) and Holyrood Palace (the Queen’s Edinburgh crash-pad) there’s plenty to explore.
Hidden behind Arthur’s Seat you’ll find the quaint, former village of Duddingston where you can get great views of its loch and wildlife reserve. This area is also home to the oldest pub in Scotland, The Sheep Heid Inn that dates back to 1360. Its many knick-knacks and comfy armchairs make this homey pub a great spot to relax after taking in the surrounding views. It also has a vintage skittle alley and pretty courtyard for visitors to enjoy.
8. Victoria Street and Grassmarket
This winding, downhill street with brightly coloured buildings is lovely to wander down and peer into its quirky shops and cafes. It leads you down to the Grassmarket that has several great pubs and restaurants.
Take a look back into history and visit Cramond beach, that can be enjoyed in either good weather or bad. Most prominent on the beach are the WW2 fortifications (that were constructed as a submarine defence) that, when the weather is misty, dramatically rise from the fog. At low tide there is a path that stretches all the way to an island – although if you decide to visit, you’d better be careful with your timing, it’s not uncommon for tourists to be stranded once the tide comes back in! You can also see the remains of a Roman settlement that will certainly be of interest to any budding historians.
10. Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art
Once you’ve finished wandering around the fantastic exhibitions in Edinburgh’s Modern Art Gallery, make sure you visit the surroundings of one of Edinburgh’s most underrated attractions. It’s a beautiful Neo-classical building that sits in the middle of a wonderfully unique structured-garden that has been created to look like waves, clouds and geological formations.
Fancy seeing a bit more of Scotland….
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