Anyone who thinks of Edinburgh is likely to first associate it with the regular and fantastic festivals, which the city does a great job of organizing and hosting each year. For many people this is the only reason to visit the city, but there is a lot more to Edinburgh and many reasons to seek out one of the hotels Edinburgh contains, outside of festival times too.
Did you know Edinburgh has its own volcano? Well, it’s an extinct volcano, but that’s still pretty impressive. Called Arthur’s Seat and the highest of seven hills that you’ll find in Edinburgh, it would be a shame to visit and not ascend. There are even a variety of routes that cater to all levels of fitness and the views really are so worth the effort. Also worth a mention is “Our Dynamic Earth”, which gives you information about how this landmark came about. So, you can get some exercise and be educated all in the same day.
Edinburgh Castle can be seen from almost everywhere in town and a wander around here is a must. Another thing on Edinburgh’s “to do” list happens at 1 am. Unless you are used to it, are deaf, a very heavy sleeper or already up (it’s Edinburgh in festival season, right?), then be prepared for the field gun, which launches a shell every night excluding Sunday, Christmas Day and Good Friday. Originally a time signal for ships, you can, if you happen to be awake and have some ear plugs ready, take a seat at a memorial bench to “Tam the Gun”, (otherwise known as Staff Sergeant Thomas McKay MBE), who fired the weapon for 27 years.
Many of the hotels Edinburgh is home to have information on tourist attractions and the lovely historical buildings for which the city is famous. There are some great examples of modern architecture to marvel at as well. The site where the Netherbrow Centre once stood has been converted into the Scottish Storytelling Centre. The John Knox house, which was built in the 15th century, was also included in the facelift project, directed by Malcolm Fraser Architects. Another triumph of theirs is the Scottish Poetry Library, tucked down Crichton’s Close. This building won the architects the “Building of the Year” competition run by Channel 4 in 2000.
After dark, Edinburgh’s twisty, cobbled and winding streets take on an esoteric, spooky feel. It’s the perfect time to take a ghost tour around the secret spots and get your fill of chills. One of the more historically correct, is a tour that shows visitors around Mary King’s Close. This was sealed and closed down to the public for many years after being used as a quarantine area during an outbreak of plague in the 1600s to stop the spread of infection. This atmospheric place is many feet deep beneath the city’s modern thoroughfares and is a great snapshot of life at the time.
Amazingly a fully functioning police station, the Police Information Centre, is a museum for all things relating to Edinburgh policing. The museum includes possibly the most ghoulish exhibit – that of a business card holder fashioned from the cured human skin of the notorious corpse robber- William Burke. There are also some viscous looking weapons and some rather lovely ceremonial truncheons. Festivals, ghosts, history, volcanoes, castles and hotels Edinburgh has them all and more.
About The Author: This is a guest post written by Saul Malpass an aspiring blogger who enjoys writing and passing on his knowledge and enthusiasm for subjects through blogging. Saul has a degree in Journalism and blogs on behalf of www.lodging-world.com a company who specialize in hotels in Edinburgh.