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5 Attracting Sides To The History Of Edinburgh

1. Lay Siege To Edinburgh Castle

Okay, so if you’re interested in the history of Edinburgh, a trip to Edinburgh Castle is a given. This ancient fortress dominates Edinburgh’s skyline, beckoning visitors into its impregnable walls. The battle over this ancient castle is the battle of a nation. For centuries battles and sieges were fought over it, royalty lived and died within its walls and its ancient vaults and dungeons have housed countless prisoners during every great war in history. A national icon, the castle is Scotland’s biggest tourist attraction and a key part of the Edinburgh World Heritage Site.

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2. Conquer Calton Hill

Rich in history and beautiful architecture, a trip up Calton Hill is well worth a visit. Situated in the heart of Edinburgh, it offers some of the best views of the city. It forms part of the Edinburgh World Heritage Site and houses several iconic monuments including the National Monument, Nelson’s Monument and the City Observatory. The renowned hill is an important part of the history of Edinburgh, and today it is the headquarters of the Scottish Government. If you’re planning a visit to the Calton area, take a stroll along the south-western side to the Old Calton Burial and visit the tomb of philosopher David Hume. Or wander up one of the many streets around the hill and discover a piece of forgotten history.

Calton Hill with historic buildings on it in the picture

3. Haunt The Greyfriars Kirkyard

The history of Edinburgh would not be the same without the Greyfriars Kirkyard. It is a famous graveyard in Edinburgh’s famous Old Town. Burials have been taking place there since the 16th century, and some of Edinburgh’s most famous residents have found their final resting place in its tombs. Including, the ever-popular (hard to believe) Greyfriars Bobby – the faithful companion who visited his master’s grave for 14 years.

But its run-of-the mill, macabre happenings and famous hound is not what has earned it a reputation as one of the most haunted places in all of Edinburgh. It is also home to the infamous Covenanters Prison and McKenzie Poltergeist – the most well documented paranormal phenomenon in the world. Today the graveyard is open to the public and its long history only adds to its charming appeal. For those brave enough to enter its gates at night on a City of the Dead Tour, be warned, the tours have been plagued by unexplained occurrences from the beginning.


Greyfriars Kirkyard

Image title Greyfriars Kirkyard, Edinburgh by Andy Hay is licensed under CC BY 2.0

4. Uncover The Mystery Of Glimerton Cove

Glimerton Cove is a series of underground passages and cambers, handcrafted from sandstone. Throughout the history of Edinburgh, there have been many theories about the origins and purpose of the Cove. Some believe it was a drinking den for local gentry, some believe it was a Covenanters refuge and others believe it was an old smugglers lair. Like the myths around the Pyramids of Egypt, archaeological and historic research has failed to uncover the mystery of the Coves. What we do know for certain is that the Cove was the residence of a local blacksmith in the 18th century.

5. Write Home About The Scott Monument

The Scott Monument is a Victorian Gothic monument erected in honour of Scottish author, Sir Walter Scott. Its place in Princess Street Gardens has made it an iconic part of Edinburgh city scenery. As the largest monument to a writer in the world, it’s only a stone’s throw away from Waverly Station – which is named after Scott’s Waverly novels. The towering monument is over 200 feet tall and is open for tours throughout the year. Its spiralling staircases lead to a number of viewing platforms where you can enjoy beautiful views of the city centre.

There you have it. If you’re interested in the history of Edinburgh, make us your next destination. Situated at the foot of Calton Hill, discover a side of Edinburgh’s history you’d never imagine.

Scott monument in Edinburgh

Image title Scott Monument, Edinburgh by Christoph Strässler is licensed under CC BY SA 2.0

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