Visit Edinburgh and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh. “This is pure theatre!” exclaimed a well-known dramatic critic when he saw Edinburgh for the first time. He was right; the capital of Scotland is highly dramatic in appearance. Take but one instance from its most celebrated thoroughfare. If you walk along Princes Street on a fine day and look up at the silhouette of the 1,000-year-old Castle on its rock and the Old Town stretched against the southern sky, it is as if you were looking at a drop-curtain on the stage.
This is not the only theatrical effect Edinburgh produces. Built upon hills, and with greater hills behind it, it has at its feet the sea in the shape of the Firth of Forth — and, as if this were not enough, it has within its boundaries, and in a royal park near the centre, a great rocky hill, Arthur's Seat, which in some eyes might pass for a mountain. From the highest point at the heart of Edinburgh, you can see half over southern Scotland and into the Highland hills. Everywhere in its streets you may come upon a corner from which you will catch unexpected glimpses of sea or hills or remote countryside. It is a superb natural city site for building; and, on the whole, man has done well by it.
The best thing he has done is to seize the advantage of the hills descending to the sea, to keep a sense of space and vista while displaying, again in theatrical form, high contrast.
That contrast is nowhere better discovered than in the fact of the Old and New Towns lying almost side by side. The Old Town sloping down from the Rock crowned by the Castle is on an eminence; is crowded, historic; and is a romantic jumble of buildings from past centuries going back to medieval times. The New Town is spacious, gracious, and ordered. It lies upon the slopes to the sea. It is, in contrast with the city on the hill, pure classicism. Built at the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th, it is the finest example of neo-Georgian town-planning left in the world. Its juxtaposition to, and complementary contrast with, the romantic and antique Old Town is unique.
The Old Town huddled upon its sloping rock was, until 200 years ago, all that Edinburgh consisted of. Until just before half way through the last century, the Old and the New Town together comprised all the Edinburgh that concerned anyone. It would, perhaps, be too much to say that it contains all the Edinburgh that the modern visitor need concern himself with, but it is nearly true. In Victorian times Edinburgh spread vastly and, in character with the city, spaciously. In our own age it has, alas! spread less spaciously, even more vastly. But the old Edinburgh of our great (or great-great) grandfather's day, the Old and the New Town, remains the essence of Edinburgh. If you have investigated it thoroughly, you will have absorbed the real capital of Scotland.
The capital! Other towns, in particular Perth, have claimed prior place, and with some justification, as Scotland's capital city. But now, despite the fact that Edinburgh is not the largest city in Scotland, it is indubitably the capital, and has been so for over 500 years. Without official statement, Edinburgh became the capital when James II, having taken a fancy to the place, held his parliament there upon attaining his majority in the 1450s. The name “Edinburgh” is of doubtful origin. Probably it came from Edwin's burgh, Edwin being a king of Northumbria who, in A.D. 617, held the fortress that is now the Castle, and encouraged a small cluster of houses outside its gates and on the Rock.
Nearby towns: Balerno, Bonnyrigg, Broxburn, Currie, Dalkeith, Livingston, Loanhead, Musselburgh, Penicuik, Prestonpans, Queensferry
Nearby villages: Aberdour, Auchendinny, Bilston, Colinton, Corstorphine, Craigmillar, Cramond, Cramond Bridge, Dalgety Bay, Dalmahoy, Dalmeny, Dalry, Danderhall, East Pilton, Easthouses, Gilmerton, Gogar, Gorebridge, Gorgie, Gowkshill, Granton, Hillend, Juniper Green, Kirknewton, Lasswade, Leith, Liberton, Mayfield, Millerhill, Milton Bridge, Newbattle, Newtongrange, Portobello, Ratho, Rosewell, Roslin, Seafield, Sighthill, Slateford, St. Davids, Turnhouse, Uphall, Wallyford, West Pilton, Whitecraig
Have you decided to visit Edinburgh or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a Edinburgh bed and breakfast (a Edinburgh B&B or Edinburgh b and b)
- a Edinburgh guesthouse
- a Edinburgh hotel (or motel)
- a Edinburgh self-catering establishment, or
- other Edinburgh accommodation