Edinburgh Castle

While large enough to offer full-fledged festivals, attractions and history, Edinburgh is still small enough to retain a laid-back atmosphere. Spend at least a day or two here exploring the old world charm, or festive atmosphere. The city of Edinburgh is a gem in your Scottish destination.

The Royal Mile, Edinburgh

Edinburgh is split into two sections, Old Town and New Town. The older section of Old Town was built during the medieval period. Featuring castles and cathedrals, the main roads form The Royal Mile, which runs from Edinburgh Castle, down to Holyrood Abbey. At the top of Castle Rock sits Edinburgh Castle, one of the oldest in the country. The castle dominates the Edinburgh landscape high above the rest of the town. Once a royal palace, today the castle is largely a tourist attraction featuring the royal apartments, St. Margaret’s Chapel, Queen Anne Building, and the Scottish War Museum. Following the Royal Mile from the castle, you will find The Hub, a gothic venue used for concerts and cafés. Along the way, visit St. Giles Cathedral for its impressive arched ceilings and magnificent stained glass windows featuring Scottish Saints. The Palace of Holyroodhouse stands at the bottom of the Royal Mile, which is also open to visitors, unless Queen Elizabeth II is in residence.

New Town sits across from Old Town, bordered by Princes Street Gardens and Princes Street. Princes Street, closed to most traffic other than public transit, has no buildings on its south side, giving pedestrians a panoramic view of Old Town. Several high-end Scottish brands dot Princes Street making it an impressive place to shop. Located at Number One Princes Street sits The Balmoral Hotel, boasting spectacular views of Edinburgh Castle. Ask a Luxe Travel advisor about staying here, and the concierge will arrange for your own tartan design to ship to your home.

Edinburgh Military Tattoo Festival

The ultimate in celebrations takes place during the Edinburgh Festival, which is actually a series of 12 separate festivals running from late July to early September. During this time, find arts, theatre, film, music, and military events. The original Edinburgh International Festival takes place in mid-August, and brings in superlative international performances in opera, classical music, and dance. Start this festival at The Hub, at the top of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile. The Edinburgh Art Festival showcases old and new art from around the world. While presented in galleries throughout the city, the Pavilion in St. Andrews Square is the heart of this festival running the entire month of August. The Edinburgh Festival Fringe has something for everyone. Comedy, burlesque, music, puppetry, it is the world’s largest arts festival. Be sure to download the Fringe App on your phone to discover everything to see and do, maybe finding a few hidden gems. Perhaps the most unique of all the festivals is Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. The Tattoo takes place on the Esplanade of Edinburgh Castle and features pipers and dancers from around the world. This is your chance to chance to hear the music and splendor most often associated with Scotland. Hogmanay is one festival that does not take place in the summer, as it is considered the world’s best New Year’s party. This street party celebrates music, theatre, and dance and culminates with an amazing fireworks display.

If golf is your game of choice, journey to The Old Course at St. Andrews, located on the peninsula about an hour north of Edinburgh. Considered the birthplace of the game, Monks at St. Andrews invented the game roughly 600 years ago. Back in Edinburgh; try Brunstfield Links if you are a beginner golfer or Siverknowes for a more challenging course. Either way, golfing in Scotland is more than a national pastime, so make your tee time reservations early.

For other sporting events in Edinburgh, check out one of the two professional football teams, otherwise known as soccer to Americans. Edinburgh is also home to the Scottish National Rugby team as well as the professional Edinburgh Rugby. See for yourself why this full contact sport is more brutal than American football.

Rosslyn Chapel near Edinburgh Scotland

A short drive out of the city takes you to Rosslyn Chapel. Now best known as an important setting in The DaVinci Code, Rosslyn Chapel dates back hundreds of years. See for yourself if the depictions in the novel or movie are true. Did Henry Sinclair travel to the New World 50 years before Columbus? Is the chapel home to the Holy Grail? Were the Knights Templar connected with Rosslyn, even though they dissolved 150 years prior? A visit to Rosslyn Chapel is certainly an architectural wonder to be seen. However, you may leave with more questions than answers.

Whether you come for the festivals or the history, Edinburgh is sure to charm you with its friendly atmosphere, temperate weather, and verdant landscape. Contact the Luxe Travel team at 1-866-365-8747 or concierge@luxetravel.com.