Thursday, 28 April 2016

48 hours in Edinburgh . . . Day One

VISITBRITAIN suggests a plan for your 48 hours in Scotland's capital … city of history, festivals, and haggis.


10am See things from a new perspective via Victorian technology
A fun and fascinating way to see the city, Edinburgh's oldest purpose-built visitor attraction the Camera Obscura has entertained and intrigued visitors for more than 150 years. With the aid of a mirror, daylight, and a giant periscope, live moving 360° images of Edinburgh are projected onto a viewing table inside this Victorian rooftop chamber.

11.30am Join the crowds for the One o'clock gun
The city's most popular and famous attraction, Edinburgh Castle, dominates the city skyline from the peak of an extinct volcano. This ancient stronghold has been home to royalty for hundreds of years. Among the treasures on display are Britain's oldest Crown Jewels and the sacred Stone of Destiny, used to inaugurate monarchs for centuries. Other highlights include the medieval Great Hall. Crowds gather at 1pm for the firing of the One o'clock gun (except Sundays), a tradition dating back to 1861.

1.30pm Quell your hunger with literary inspiration
A gourmet tea and coffee emporium, Elephant House is billed as the birthplace of Harry Potter; writer J K Rowling wrote much of her early novels here in the back room overlooking Edinburgh Castle. Authors Ian Rankin and Alexander McCall Smith have also frequented this café.

2.15pm Pause for a selfie with a famous former resident

Continuing on from here you'll pass two of the city's most iconic monuments. A small bronze statue opposite the National Museum of #Scotland, Greyfriars Bobby commemorates a famous local resident, a little Skye Terrier who faithfully guarded over his owner’s grave in nearby Greyfriars Churchyard for 14 years. The statue was unveiled in 1873. 

On a much grander scale is the Scott Monument, a tribute to author Sir Walter Scott. The largest monument to a writer in the world, it has dominated Princes Street since 1846. For views over #Edinburgh and the surrounding countryside, visitors can climb the 287 steps to the monument's top.

2.30pm Become a kilt-wearing style icon
The kilt is Scotland's signature fashion statement. There are many affordable souvenir shop versions, but serious shoppers will prefer 21st Century Kilts. Owner Howie Nicholsby is a kilt-clad style icon, and celebrities including Lenny Kravitz, Vin Diesel and Alan Cumming have been measured up for one of his bespoke kilts, which can be cut from all kinds of cloth. There's also a ready-to-wear range in traditional Harris Tweed or more edgy denim.

3pm Go on a Scottish and international shopping spree
Continue your shopping spree at Jenners. Founded in 1838, this department store sells everything from big brands to locally-crafted Scottish products. Now part of House of Fraser, it's sometimes known as ‘Harrods of the North'. Or there's deluxe London import Harvey Nichols - five floors of international luxury. With far reaching views over the city, its fourth floor bar, brasserie, and restaurant is a stylish destination for cocktails, afternoon tea or fine dining.

6pm Sample local ales and a ‘Greyfriars Bobby' hot dog
When specialist beer purveyor The Hanging Bat Beer Cafe opened in 2012 it was the first bar in Britain not to offer pints, believing that craft beer is best served in smaller measures. As well as beers from the Hanging Bat micro-brewery, Scottish choices include Fyne Ales IPA and Waulkmill Cider. There's also a BBQ menu with pulled pork, smoked ribs, and hot dogs including the ‘Chihuahua' with spicy jalapeño sauce, and ‘Greyfriars Bobby' with haggis and onions. The Potting Shed café, bar and kitchen is another suggestion for ales and fine pub food, or visit Timberyard for locally sourced food and artisan ale in an industrial-chic former warehouse.

7.30pm Enjoy a taste of the Fringe
Edinburgh's world-famous Fringe and International Festivals take place in August, but there are great performances to be enjoyed year round. Get a taste of the festival experience at one of Edinburgh's many theatres, including the Edinburgh Playhouse, Britain's largest working theatre with seating for 3,059 people. Other options include grand King's Theatre, concert venue Usher Hall, and Traverse Theatre, which showcases new writing.

10pm Burn the night oil on Edinburgh's bar and club scene
End your evening with drinks in one of the many bars in the vicinity of Grassmarket, a historic market place in Edinburgh's Old Town. Or head to the Jolly Botanist - this gin bar and restaurant with Victorian style interior was voted Best New Pub 2015. Or make it a late night by continuing onto Cabaret Voltaire, an atmospheric basement venue hosting live music and club nights.

Go Holiday news :

Picture Credit: Scotland 2013 - 59</a> via <a href="">photopin, Massed Highland Band at Embro Highland Games</a> via <a href=", Bobby's Statue</a> via <a href="">photopin

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