This week I'm chatting about my home town. Why? Because it's bloody brilliant and this is the perfect time of year to visit. At the end you'll find a pick & choose 3-Day itinerary. Even if you take in just a few of the suggestions you're guaranteed to have an absolute blast.
Once seen never forgotten - Edinburgh truly is a city like no other. Over the centuries the great and good have waxed lyrical over the Scottish Capital. No surprise then that both the Medieval Old Town and Georgian New Town were designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1996.
In Prince Charles’ opinion it is ‘the most beautiful city in Britain’ while Christina Aguilera observed ‘the people here are brilliant’. They’re both right. Edinburgh has the intimate friendly feel of a small town matched with the credentials of a great European City. It is at once awe inspiring and comforting, a city that mirrors the increasing confidence of a proudly independent nation that many would say is on the cusp of breaking away from the United Kingdom. Certainly if Scotland’s wily First Minister Alex Salmond has his way this is not beyond the bounds of possibility.
Edinburgh is a place for the visitor to savour like a fine Single Malt Whisky. Contrasts and nuances greet you at every turn, from the spine-tingling magnificence of Edinburgh Castle dominating the skyline as it looms precipitously on its craggy perch to the radical modernism of the New Parliament building. Welcome to a city and people at once comfortable with and immensely proud of the past while striding boldly into the future.
Birbeck's Brilliant Days:
Balmoral Hotel – traditional hearty Scottish Breakfast - cross the North Bridge – Royal Mile – Edinburgh Castle – Camera Obscura - Lunch - Mary King’s Close – Museum of Childhood – Dunbar’s Close Garden – Bow Bar for ‘Malt o’ the week’ - Witchery Restaurant for the best in Scottish fine dining
New Town & Leith
Breakfast - Princess Street / Princess Street Gardens – Jenners Department Store – National Museum of Scotland – Lunch at Towers roof-top Restaurant – Visit to the Royal Yacht Britannia – Dinner at The Kitchin Restaurant – Drinks at the beautiful Café Royal Bar
Breakfast at Scotsman Hotel Brasserie - Holyrood Palace & Gardens - Arthur’s Seat & picnic lunch from Valvona & Crolla (season dependent) - Forth Road Bridge – Firth of Forth – Cramond village and coastline – The Shore Bar for food, drinks and live music
Hope this has whet the appetite for all Edinburgh has to offer. It's a stunning city, full of friendly folk and incredible things to do and see. Pay a visit - you won't regret it I promise.
I was born under a Wandering Star was my favourite song when I was three. Nothing's changed.