When you are considering a holiday or a weekend away, you may not have thought that Scotland has more to offer than the south of France or a weekend in Amsterdam. However, for around the same price or even cheaper, you can enjoy a city that is steeped in history and right on the doorstep of some of the most impressive scenery to be had in the UK. After you’ve checked into hotels in Edinburgh you can stretch your legs and hit the shops, take in the scenery or enjoy the nightlife. Edinburgh is a metropolitan city that can easily rival London or anywhere else in the world.
The history of Edinburgh starts with the increase in the city’s commercial centre. The town grew from a small inner centre known as Old Town to a thriving city with the development of its university in 1583 and the Bank of Scotland in 1695. Before the end of the 18th century, Edinburgh had a population of 35,000 which has risen over time to the current standing of nearly half a million.
This history has led to the development of a city that is rich with historical and modern buildings. From this, it has become a mecca for tourists who hope to see both the new and old architecture jostling for space among its winding streets.
Finding somewhere to stay is probably the first thing a visitor to Edinburgh will have to think about. Luckily Edinburgh hotels are probably some of the most special in the country. Whether you are interested in a five star townhouse in the central part of the city or a super modern boutique hotel, you have an almost endless array of choices. Of course even those who are on a budget are catered for as finding a cheap hotel is little more than a mouse click away.
One of the newest hotels in Edinburgh is the Missoni. The design and fashion house has put together probably one of the best modern boutique hotels around. The white walls contrast with the swatches of colour, and best of all you get to wear Missoni bathrobes and eat off Missoni plates. You won’t want to leave your hotel.
From your accommodation you will be able to enjoy most of what Edinburgh has to offer without having to travel too far. For those who are hoping for a historical holiday, Edinburgh is one of the best cities in the UK to visit.
Edinburgh Castle is in the centre of the city and is recorded as being the first meeting place of the Scottish Parliament in 1140. It was also the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots’ only child. Those who visit can enjoy the Great Hall and the siege gun Mons Meg which fired stones that weighed an incredible 150kg. The views from the castle are said to be the best in the city.
For those who enjoy a bit of art and culture while they are away, the National Museum of Scotland cannot be missed. Set in a stunning modern building, the museum houses exhibits which tell the story of Scotland and its people. It is also a venue for the famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The Victorian buildings that make up part of the museum have been under renovation and are set to be a worthy addition when complete.
Of course, Edinburgh is well known for its nightlife. If you enjoy concerts of the quieter variety you might like to visit the imposing Usher Hall. This round squat building was built in 1910 and has the required grandeur for artists such as those who perform at the Edinburgh International Festival.
If music and drinking is more your thing, then one of the many clubs and pubs situated around the city will be perfect. Many are situated in the basements and vaults of the older buildings. There is nothing like the ambience of a high ceilinged Victorian or Georgian building when it comes to live music. Try the Jam House or The Liquid Room for some of the best nights out.
While your hotel may offer a great restaurant that can rival those in the hotels in London, the numbers of places to eat in Edinburgh will leave your head spinning. All tastes are catered for from vegetarian to Asian, but it is probably the surroundings which make some of these restaurants so well known. The Café Royal is a perfect example of a Victorian pub which has historical appeal and upmarket luxury. Situated at the end of an alleyway, the 1862 building is the perfect combination of pub and restaurant.
If you are visiting Edinburgh for one of its festivals then you will not be disappointed. While it is best known for the August festivals such as the Fringe, the military tattoo, the book festival and the jazz and blues festival; other events are held throughout the year, including the Edinburgh Hogmanay festival for New Year. Of course, finding a cheap hotel during the festival season may be a struggle, so it is essential to book early.
If you decide to travel beyond the boundaries of the city, then Scotland has plenty to offer those of you with an intrepid bent. Some of the best beaches in Scotland are just a stone’s throw away, including those on Crammond Island. It is possible to walk to it during low tide, but be sure to get back before the tide comes in or a chilly night could be store for you. It is possible to catch buses from the centre of Edinburgh out to these beaches and then you can enjoy long walks or even hire a bike for a day’s exploring.
Edinburgh has much more to offer than a cold wind and some ancient castles. It is a vibrant and exciting city where there is always something going on. The last thing you want to do is to be stuck in one of the many Edinburgh hotels wondering what to do. Simply walking the streets of the Scottish capital will inspire you to do more than any other city could.