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Six Things To Do When You Visit Edinburgh
You could say that we are slightly biased, but Edinburgh is without doubt one of the world’s greatest cities.
Most people know Edinburgh for its’ beautiful setting, with Edinburgh Castle sitting dramatically perched on the rock above Princess Street Gardens and Princess Street, and whilst you can of course buy our excellent tartan, textile and cashmere products in view of Edinburgh Castle in our Princess Street store, we have suggested a few other things that you might like to do if you visit Edinburgh.
1 Visit the National Museum of Scotland
The National Museum of Scotland has undergone major refurbishment in recent years. It’s eclectic mix of exhibits spotlight the history of the world and everything in it, natural and man-made. Hundreds of objects make up the impressive ‘Window on the World’ installation in the Grand Gallery.
(Free Entry and guided tours)
2 Take a Look at Greyfriars Kirk and Graveyard
In the heart of Edinburgh Old Town, Greyfriars Kirk was the first reformed church in Scotland and is most famously known for the story of Greyfriar’s Bobby, about the faithful little Skye Terrier that stayed by the grave of his master, John Gray, for 14 years after he was buried in Greyfriars Graveyard in 1872. Bobby’s statue is at the top of Candlemaker’s Row, opposite the gates of Greyfriars, he is the only dog ever to be given the freedom of the City and his collar can still be seen in the Museum of Edinburgh.
3 Take a stroll down Victoria Street
Victoria Street has an attractive mix of architecture, quirky shops, pubs and restaurants as well as a vibrant atmosphere. One of the prettiest streets in Edinburgh’s Old Town., It’s brightly coloured buildings curve from George IV Bridge down to the Grassmarket. The eclectic mix of individual shops mean that you can browse vintage books in The Old Town Bookshop, try some artisan cheese from Scotland’s finest cheesemonger I J Mellis, or snack on daily spit-roasted pork at Oink before tasting a spot of single malt whisky in the Bow Bar.
4 Go to The Scottish Parliament Building
Designed by the late Catalonian architect Enric Miralles, the Scottish Parliament is an award-winning building that sits at the bottom of The Royal Mile opposite Holyrood Palace. It is considered by some as a controversial building due to its’ ultra modern looks and the fact that it went seriously over budget during construction but it is truly unique and an architectural triumph. There is a permanent exhibition, free guided tours and you can book tickets to attend committee meetings and debates, or you could maybe just have a coffee and play spot the politician in the Parliament Café.
5 Immerse Yourself In Art
The National Galleries of Scotland, comprising the Scottish National Gallery, the Portrait Gallery, and the Gallery of Modern Art, are a treasure trove of fine art masterpieces.
a The National Gallery of Scotland houses an impressive collection paintings by Raphael, El Greco, Velázquez, Rubens, Van Gogh, Monet, Cézanne and Degas, as well as a comprehensive collection of Scottish art featuring all the major names, including Ramsay, Raeburn, Wilkie and McTaggart.
b The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art is a must-see venue for modern and contemporary art. It has a fantastic sculpture park, many works by Edinburgh born artist Sir Eduardo Paolozzi including a recreation of his studio, as well as works by Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Magritte, Duchamp and Dalí.
c The Scottish National Portrait Gallery is housed in one of Edinburgh’s most remarkable buildings, a recently refurbished red sandstone neo-gothic palace, It is where you will come face to face with Scotland past and present, with portraits of great Scots including Bonnie Prince Charlie, Flora McDonald, Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott and Hugh MacDiarmid.
A Gallery Bus Starting at the Scottish National Gallery runs in a circular route to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.
6 Visit in August During The Festival
Throughout August Edinburgh is all about arts, entertainment and culture, when the Edinburgh International Festival, Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Edinburgh Book Festival overlap to create the biggest arts festival in the world. Thousands of shows in hundreds of venues cater for all tastes. The city is buzzing during the festival with street performers, buskers and food vendors on every street. The Festival finale fireworks display with around 100,000 fireworks should also not to be missed.
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