Insight Guides: Pocket Scotland - Insight Guides (2016)
A PERFECT DAY IN EDINBURGH
The ideal place to start a day of culture is at the Scottish Café inside the Scottish National Gallery, on Princes Street. Set yourself up with a traditional breakfast before a look around the gallery.
Follow the Mound, crossing Princes Street Gardens towards the Old Town and climb the steep steps up to the castle. It’s worth getting to the castle early to avoid the crowds. From here there are great views across the New Town below.
Walk back down Castle Hill, passing attractions such as the Scotch Whisky Experience, Camera Obscura and Gladstone’s Land, along the way. Take time to explore the vennels and wynds as you go.
Off George V Bridge, visit Victoria Street with its specialist shops, and continue on into the Grassmarket for lots of lunch options. Retrace your steps and continue to High Street, where St Giles Cathedral dominates.
Continue down the Royal Mile, where you will find notable attractions including the Museum of Childhood, John Knox House, the Museum of Edinburgh and Canongate Tolbooth. Near the end of the road, the Scottish Parliament Building looms into view and at the foot of the Royal Mile stands the Palace of Holyroodhouse.
It is worth taking time to see the fine collection of royal artefacts (if the royal family are not in residence); alternatively, if weather allows, explore the huge expanse of Holyrood Park behind.
Walk back up the Royal Mile. Just past the Scottish Parliament building is Clarinda’s Tearoom, a great pit stop to indulge in tea and home-baked treats.
After freshening up at your hotel, head to the New Town - in and around George Street, good places to eat are endless. If Italian cooking is your preference, try the ever-popular Gusto or Contini. For a special occasion, Number One boasts a Michelin star.
On the town
You couldn’t be in a better spot to finish the night in a chic bar or nightclub. On George Street, pop into the Opal Lounge for cocktails and then move onto Lulu, a trendy club located beneath the Tigerlilly hotel; or perhaps sip a Foxtrot Fizz or Red Rum at Bramble in nearby Queen Street.