- Sunshine on Leith
Don’t listen to clichés about Scottish weather. With less rainfall than Rome, Frankfurt or New York, your chances of enjoying a crisp, clear day in Scotland’s capital city are good.
- Half Hangit Maggie
Edinburgh even has ghost stories without ghosts! Maggie Dickson was executed for concealing the death of her child in 1724. But on the way to be buried she sat straight up in her casket and it was decided that being already officially dead, she couldn’t be hanged again. She went free and lived for another 30 years. A pub bearing her name can be found in the Grassmarket.
- Spit on the Heart
Outside St. Giles Cathedral is the Heart of Midlothian, which marks the spot of an old public execution site. Local folklore says that to spit on the heart brings good luck.
- Crowded House
The wonder of Edinburgh’s festivals is well known. But did you realise that the city’s population doubles over the month of August to over 1 million?
- Name that city
As well as ‘Athens of the North’, Edinburgh has earned itself a few other nicknames over the years. The most famous is ‘Auld Reekie’, which translated from Scots means ‘Old Smoky’, a reference to the dense chimney smoke caused by industrialisation and closely built houses. Now, the air is fresh and clear and an abundance of parks means Edinburgh is surprisingly lush. Visit the secret city-centre oasis Dunbar’s Close, hidden just off of the Royal Mile.
- Biscuit brainchilds
Dolly the Sheep, chequebooks, even the rules of golf – Edinburgh is a hotbed of invention. A lesser known – but no less loved – discovery that the city can also lay claim to is the humble digestive biscuit, created by bakers McVitie and Price in 1892.
- Say cheese
A recent survey found Edinburgh Castle is Scotland’s most popular spot for a selfie. Ranked in the top 40 of world wide selfie hot spots, Edinburgh Castle was just behind the likes of the Eiffel Tower, Sydney Opera House and Empire State Building.
- Write here
As the first UNESCO City of Literature, there’s many a story to tell, none better than the fact that JK Rowling both started and finished the Harry Potter series in Edinburgh. The final lines were penned in room 552 of the Balmoral Hotel.
- Site for sore eyes
When walking through the city, from New Town to Old, take a look at the city’s stunning architecture. All of Edinburgh’s city centre is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
- Cultural hub
Home to over sixty galleries and six major performing art theatres – the jewel in the crown being the Edinburgh Playhouse Theatre. The UK’s largest theatre it’s played host to many world’s most successful musicals and some legendary bands and artists, including Bob Dylan, The Who and Johnny Cash.