Touring Edinburgh while your cruise ship docks at South Queensferry or Newhaven

In my last post I described some options to visit the Home of Golf, St Andrews and other parts of Fife, more precisely East Neuk’s fishing villages.

Today I would like to invite you to explore options in and around Edinburgh.

I often begin at Calton Hill, especially if it is a sunny day. From here you get a manificient overview of the old town, which was built on a vulcanic ridge. The castle on top and the Royal Mile leading all the way down to Holyrood Palace and the new Parliament. To your left you will see the other vulcabic ridge called King Arthur’s which in opposition to the Royal Mile only contains one building, a ruin of a chapel.

Alledgedly , King James V’s wife, Mary De Guise, loved to hunt he grounds of Holyrood Palace so building on the area behind the Palace and King Arthur’s Seat was prohibited.

My next stop would be the castle, which can be visited and displays the Scottish Crown Jewels. Close to it you haave the Whisky Experience, which does tours, stock a good variety of Scotch and offer a nice lunch at the Amber Restaurant . If you like some fine dining in stunning surroundings try the Witchery.

Across the street you will find Camera Obscura for a laugh. A little further down the Royal Mile you are invited to visit Gladstones Land, which depicts the exact living conditions of medieval people in the town.

Meandering down you have various options of nice pubs, such as the Duncan Brodies Tavern or the Jolly Judge. Close by is also the Writer’s Museum, which a fabulous stop too.

You could also side track to Victoria Street and Grassmarket.

In the courtyard of the city chambers you can enjoy famous people’s finger prints, such a J.K. Rowlings.

J.K. Rowlings finger prints at the city chamber

Not much further and you come across St Giles Cathedral, which is well worth a visit and you should take a look at the Thistle Chapel which, in its current form, was commissioned by James VII (of Scotland and II of England). It is the greatest honour to be part of the order of the Thistle. Scottish as it may evne the angels play the bagpipes here.

The Museum of Edinburgh and of the childhood are great places to learn more about this fantastic city and you will also get to see the Toll House and John Knox’ House.

If you love the American Series Outlander you can turn briefly right to view Jamie’s printer shop.

Before reaching Holyrood Palace you will bypass the New Parliament. Edinburgh has three of those, one built in 1936 at the bottom of Calton Hill, close to it and old school which was converted in 1975 for a referendum in the same year.

Holyrood Palace is rich in history especially surrounding Mary Queen of Scots, who spent some time here and had to endure her Italian secretary being murderd while being pregnant with James the VI (and I of England). The boodstains can still be viewed or so they say.

Form here you could decide to take a hike up King Arthur’s Seat or alternatively make your way over to New Town, which was built to relive the overcrowding of the old town. In 1766 a competition was held 26 year James Craigs’ proposals won. A loch was drained bridges were built and the New Town honoured the two kingdoms, Scotland with the Thistle Street and England with the Rose Street. Rose Street is full of lovely restaurant ans a pedestrian zone. If you enjoy Ian Rainkin’s Inspector Rebus novells you might want to frequent the Oxford Bar and see if you could meet the author there.

As you can see Edinburgh has millions things to offer. A little further away I would mention the Britannia (the Royal’s mode of transport), Leith Distillery, Roslyn Chapel and if you are into Outlander Gosford House, Craigmillar Castle, Glencorse Auld Kirk and Midhope Castle (Lallybroch).

Cruise shiop arriving at Newhaven

If you like my suggestions why get a tour curated exactly to your wishes:

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