Edinburgh: Even The Rain Can’t Dampen Its Beauty
We visited Edinburgh, the charming capital of Scotland during the winter. And to our misery, it rained every day during our visit. But, in spite of all the rain and chilly winter breeze, one thing I can say about Edinburgh is that even the rain can’t dampen its beauty.
Why this title? So here is the thing - we visited Edinburgh, the charming capital of Scotland during the winter. And to our misery, it rained every day during our visit. But, in spite of all the rain and chilly winter breeze, one thing I can say about Edinburgh is that even the rain can’t dampen its beauty.
Visiting Scotland in winters with a toddler doesn’t sound like a great idea. But not only we survived but also enjoyed this trip thoroughly. I visited Edinburgh with my family just before lockdown. It was not planned but was rather a trip out of necessity. In fact, we were there to apply for a Schengen VISA for our Europe trip (which we had to cancel because of the coronavirus outbreak) because we couldn’t get an appropriate appointment in the London VFS centre. Sometimes unplanned trips are more fun than planned ones. I must say that our three-day excursion in rainy and chilly weather was rather amazing.
Edinburgh is the capital and the second-most populous city in Scotland. Though it is best known for its summer festivals and Hogmanay parties, this city has a lot to offer at any time of the year. The Capital’s charm is clearly visible in wide streets and Georgian mansions of the New Town and Gothic buildings and cobbled streets of the old town. The Scottish capital is also a centre of culture and the arts. It is also considered the best place to visit, work, live and study in the world.
Top places to visit
Steeped in culture and history, and teeming with a range of stunning architecture, Edinburgh is also popular as one of the UK’s most beautiful cities. It offers everyone to enjoy and admire its beauty with an organic mixture of architecture ranging from gothic to the Ultra-modern.
Here are the top places to visit in Edinburgh:
1. Edinburgh Castle
Perched atop a dormant volcano this castle is the hybrid of architectural styles, visual delights, and the perfect place to understand the core of Scottish history. It is the most visited place in Edinburgh.
2. The Royal Mile
The Royal Mile runs through the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town, connecting the magnificent Edinburgh Castle, perched high on a base of volcanic rock, with the splendorous Palace of Holyroodhouse, resting in the shadow of Arthur’s Seat. If you simply walk straight down the Royal Mile without stopping it would probably take you around 15 to 20 minutes to reach from one end to the other end. It is a really interesting walk where you can witness Scottish culture in many forms, shops with Scottish souvenirs, Scottish bagpipers, and people showing off their unconventional pets.
3. Climb to Arthur’s Seat and the Salisbury Crags
At 820 feet, Arthur’s Seat is the highest point in the 640-acre Holyrood Park. You can enjoy the spectacular views of the whole city from the top. Salisbury Crags is a series of 151-foot cliffs, adjacent to Arthur’s seat.
4. National Museum of Scotland
If you want to explore the diversity of the natural world, world cultures, science and technology, art, design and fashion, and Scottish history, all under one roof then this is the place to go.
5. Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
The Palm House at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
Founded in 1670, the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) is the second oldest such garden in Britain. It’s also one of the largest and boasts an impressive 13,200 different plant species.
6. Camera Obscura & World of Illusions
Camera Obscura and the Word of Illusions is one of the popular places and fun attractions in Edinburgh. I found this place best for kids to enjoy if you are looking for an indoor attraction.
7. St. Giles Cathedral
Also known as the High Kirk of Edinburgh, St. Giles Cathedral is Edinburgh’s principal church. It’s also one of the city’s most popular places to visit, attracting million visitors each year.
8. Calton Hill and the Scottish National Monument
This is a place that provides a panoramic view of the city, with Princes Street, the castle, and the Old Town silhouetted against Arthur’s Seat.
9. Dynamic Earth: Edinburgh’s Science Centre
Located at the foot of Arthur’s Seat near Holyrood Park, this unique science centre is housed in an ultra-modern tent-like structure and is particularly fun for kids. It is a multi-media presentation that takes visitors on a 500-million-year journey through the Earth’s history. Using hi-tech gadgetry and superb special effects, its displays realistically portray natural events such as volcanoes, tropical rainstorms, and glaciation.
10. Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (Modern One)
This gallery, also known as Modern One, is another must-visit place for art enthusiasts. This is the place where you’ll find paintings by Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso; surrealistic works by Rene Magritte, Joan Miró, and Max Ernst; and contemporary paintings by Bruce McLean, Callum Innes, and Gwen Hardie. The gallery is also well-known for its impressive collection of sculptures.
Luckily I got a golden chance to visit Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland, just before the coronavirus lockdown. Although the chill and rain made the excursion a little bit uncomfortable, on a positive note this Scottish winter weather just added a flavour of adventure to our visit.
We visited Edinburgh Castle on our first day of the trip. Ironically, the poor weather helped us to get tickets quickly otherwise people generally have to wait in a long queue to get them if they haven’t booked them online. It wasn’t much crowded that day thanks again to the cold weather. We also enjoyed walking the Royal mile while capturing a glimpse of Scottish culture.
On our second day, we visited the Royal Botanical Garden. Generally, winter is not a very good season to visit a garden in England. But Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh has a lot to offer in any season. The glasshouse itself contains some of the oldest and exotic plants. We took a fascinating walk of the glasshouse while appreciating and taking pictures of these exotic plants and flowers which have been sourced from all over the world.
The Rock Garden in Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
The Rock Garden in Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
On the last day of our trip, we visited the National Museum in the morning and spent the whole day inside the museum. Another popular attraction, the Camera Obscura remains open for visitors until 9:00 pm. Keeping this in mind, we planned to visit the Camera Obscura on our last day of the trip and especially in the evening. It is a five-floor building of crazy optical illusions. We visited this place just two hours before boarding our return bus to London.
Visiting The National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh
My travel tips to visit Edinburgh
- The city hosts a series of festivals that run between the end of July and early September each year. My best advice is that avoid visiting Edinburgh during the festival if you’re not attending it.
- Avoid souvenir shops on the Royal Mile if you are on a budget trip.
- Always pack warm clothes, raincoat as Scotland’s weather is rather unpredictable.
- If you are planning your trip from London then train is the best option as it takes you to the heart of the city.
Home of antiquated and romantic castles, starkly beautiful landscapes, incredible old buildings, and structures, Scotland never disappoints its visitors resulting in finding itself on the bucket list of numerous travellers. Edinburgh is no exception, this city is full of visual delights which you can easily see during day time, in the night with glittering lights everywhere, the beauty of this city gets enhanced manifolds.