Top historical sites to explore in Edinburgh

Friday, 20 April 2012 9:58 AM

Full of glorious landscapes and amazing attractions, Scotland is a fantastic place for a short break. If you're planning to stay in a castle to rent in Scotland, choose one near Edinburgh to discover the capital city's fascinating array of historical sites.

Indeed, Edinburgh is well known for its heritage and is home to some awe-inspiring buildings and monuments that have great stories behind them. Plan to spend a day or two here and you can discover the most famous of them, which includes:

Edinburgh Castle

There is no place more appropriate to visit during a stay in a self-catering castle than Edinburgh Castle, which is among the most celebrated in the country. Perched high on its own chunk of volcanic rock, this wonderful building has a long history - and the site itself has been used as a city stronghold for thousands of years!

Guided tours are included with your admission price but you can, of course, explore independently, or purchase an audio guide if you are still keen to get some additional information about the rooms and artefacts you see. The Royal Palace, the Crown Room and the Great Hall are among the highlights, but it is also worth listening out for the One o'clock Gun - if you are visiting at lunchtime - which has been fired almost daily since 1861.

St Mary's Cathedral

Designed by Sir Gilbert Scott, a Victorian Gothic architect, St Mary's Cathedral is renowned for being Scotland's largest ecclesiastical building. Indeed, it is hard to miss its three huge spires when wandering around the city - but there is more to the cathedral than its impressive exterior.

Head inside and you can see some impressive sights, including one of the nation's grandest organs - which dates back to the late 19th century - and The Presence by Alfred Borthwick, painted here in 1910.

St Giles' Cathedral

Sitting on the Royal Mile, St Giles' Cathedral is the historic city church of Edinburgh. This imposing building is famous for its crown spire, and the original cathedral dates back to the 1120s. However, there is little of this left and most of what you see today was constructed in the 15th century.

Other attractions

This is just a handful of the historical sites you can see in the city while standing in holiday homes in Scotland. It is well worth seeking out some of its monuments, such as the statue dedicated to Greyfriar's Bobby - the little dog who famously sat at his master's grave for 14 years - as well as its many galleries and museums.

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