The cruise port of Leith is becoming more and more popular with cruise lines and passengers as the vibrant city of Edinburgh is just a short bus or taxi ride away. Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital city, is beautiful and has an exciting and interesting history that visitors to the city always enjoy learning about.
It is overlooked by the imposing Edinburgh Castle which sits atop an extinct volcano and can be seen from most spots in the city. If you are a fan of history, or are travelling with children, then Edinburgh Castle is an attraction you should not miss.
The steep road that leads up towards Edinburgh castle is appropriately titled The Royal Mile (which at 1.1 miles is actually a Scots mile!). The Royal Mile has a large number of small streets, called closes, which lead off of it and have an abundance of stories attached to them.
There are many rumours that say that after a breakout of the plague in some of these closes in the 1600s, the streets were bricked up and the people with the plague left inside to die. As a result there are many ghosts said to be wandering the underground streets!
Next to The Royal Mile is an area called The Grassmarket where visitors to Edinburgh will find an abundance of boutique shops and quirky cafés. The area is full of independent retailers so it’s the perfect spot to get a real flavour of the city, rather than visiting shops and cafes owned by the same international brands that can be found all over the world.
At the heart of the city lies Princes Street and Gardens. The beautifully maintained gardens are a lovely spot to walk through and relax in during a sunny day in the city in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle. Princes Street itself is lined with shops if you’re looking for presents for yourself, or gifts for friends and family at home.
If you enjoy walking, or would just like to burn off some of the extra calories you’ve no doubt indulged on during your cruise holiday, then a walk up Arthur’s Seat could be perfect. It’s an easy, comfortable walk that affords you some spectacular views of the city on the way up the hillside, and from the summit.
Even on a hillside you can still experience some of the history which makes Edinburgh so charming and exciting. The remains of St. Anthony’s Chapel, which dates all the way back to the 15th century can be found on the hill and make for some great photographs.
If you’re travelling with children, or are just young at heart, then I definitely recommend a visit to Camera Obscura on The Royal Mile. It has interactive exhibits and the view from the camera over the city is wonderful.
Edinburgh is a city which has something to all its visitors. From its charm and history to the chic shops, bars and restaurants, there’s something to please everyone.