Edinburgh Factfile by maclaren1


									      HOLIDAY WHICH?


Whatever your budget, here are some great ideas on what to see and do in the city

      modern, lively city with a wealth        A New Town with row after row of             GETTING THERE

A     of history, Edinburgh has much to
      offer its visitors. Year after year,
tourists from around the world
                                             Georgian houses is separated from the
                                             Old Town, and its closes and stairways,
                                             by a grid of streets full of designer
                                                                                       Edinburgh Airport is situated about
                                                                                       25 minutes away from
                                                                                       the city centre by bus. There
descend on the Scottish capital.             shops and high street stores. Cafés,      are flights to Edinburgh from
Whether it’s to celebrate Hogmanay in        restaurants and bars to suit all tastes   regional airports all around
December, see a performance at the           are to be found wherever you look.        the UK. To find out more see
annual Festival in August or just to         And it’s all easily accessible on foot.   www.edinburghairport.com.
enjoy a city break, no one will go home      Edinburgh is a compact city with             There are two train stations
without promising to return.                 something for everyone.                   in Edinburgh – Waverley in the city
                                                                                       centre and Haymarket, just two
                                                                                       miles west from Waverley. ScotRail,
                                                                                       Great Northern Eastern Railway
                                                                                       (GNER) and Virgin trains all serve
                                                                                       Waverley. Haymarket is closest to
                                                                                       Murrayfield rugby stadium.

                                                                                           GOOD GUIDEBOOK
                                                                                       Edinburgh Directions, £6.99 (ISBN

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Edinburgh Castle                   Calton Hill                       The Royal Mile                      Museum of
www.historic-scotland.             With its odd collection of        The walk from the Castle            Childhood
gov.uk                             buildings, including              Esplanade down the Royal            This is our favourite museum
Perched on the basalt              something that resembles the      Mile towards Holyrood Palace        on The Royal Mile (and it’s
remains of an extinct volcano,     Parthenon, Calton Hill is often   is one of the most historical –     free). Take a nostalgic trip
Edinburgh Castle dominates         referred to as the ‘Athens of     and nicest – strolls in the city.   back in time and see
its city. It was here that Mary,   the North’, but that’s not the    Take time to explore the Old        collections of dolls, train
Queen of Scots, gave birth to      main reason to climb all the      Town with its fascinating           sets, teddy bears and more.
her only son, James IV of          way up. Stand at the top and      alleyways and tall tenement         Kids can have fun dressing
Scotland, and visiting her         just indulge in those views –     buildings, stop to admire the       up in Victorian and
apartments, as well as getting     the ones that appear on so        High Kirk of St Giles (if you       Edwardian clothes.
close to the Stone of Destiny      many postcards, of Princes        see people spitting on nearby
(the coronation seat of            Street, the Scott Monument        heart-shaped pavement
Scottish kings), will no doubt     and the castle in the distance.   bricks, they’re hoping
be highlights of your visit.       They’re magnificient.             for good luck!). If you
But it’s the breathtaking views                                      want to escape the
of the city and beyond that                                          crowds, pop in to
linger in your memory. Don’t                                         Dunbar’s Close,
forget your camera. Adult                                            a peaceful, shaded
admission £11.                                                       garden.

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The Stand                          Greyfriars                        Ghost and Ghouls                    The Scottish
Comedy Club                        Tolbooth and                      Tour                                Parliament
Tel 0131 558 7272                  Highland Kirk                     Tel 0131 225 5445                   Tel 0131 348 5000
www.thestand.co.uk                 Tel 0131 225 1900                 www.mercattours.com                 www.scottishparlia
The Edinburgh Fringe               www.greyfriarskirk.com            An entertaining cloaked             ment.uk
Festival in August is the          The dog lovers amongst us         guide will escort you around        At the Holyrood end of the
largest arts festival in the       may shed a tear when they         the Mercat Cross, City              Royal Mile, you will come
world. But don’t worry if you      hear the story of Bobby, a        Chamber and various closes          across a building that looks
visit at another time of year,     little Skye Terrier who sat       and wynds, telling vivid tales      like no other in Edinburgh
there are still laughs aplenty     vigil at his master’s grave for   of murder and torture.              – the Scottish Parliament
at the Stand Comedy Club.          14 years. Visit the Greyfriars    Audience participation is           building. People are divided
Spend Sunday lunchtime             Kirk, off Candlemaker Row,        expected! Then you’re taken         about whether or not they
watching two hours of              pop into the small room at        to the underground vaults,          like the design. Visit and
comedy for free – all you’ll       the back of the church and        beneath the city streets, with      make up your own mind.
need to fork out is a fiver for    watch the short video about       only a candle lighting your         Access to the building is free
pub food.                          how the dog became                way. This part is for the brave     – and on some days you can
                                   something of an Edinburgh         only! A family ticket costs         watch proceedings in the
                                          ‘celebrity’. Visit the     £22.                                Debating Chamber – but
                                          Museum of Edinburgh                                            you’ll learn much more on
                                           on the Royal Mile to                                          a guided hour-long tour.
                                           learn more.                                                   Cost £5, book in advance.

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Tigerlily                           Ramada                              The Knight                         The Point
Tel 0131 225 5005                   Mount Royal                         Residence                          Tel 0131 229 9929
www.tigerlilyedinburgh.co.uk        Tel 0131 225 7161                   Tel 0131 622 8120                  www.point-hotel.co.uk
This luxurious boutique             www.ramadajarvis.co.uk              www.theknightresidence.            Bedrooms here are modern,
hotel, located in a Georgian        Just turn up at this hotel and      co.uk                              minimalist and marvellous.
townhouse in the city’s             you’ll end up paying a nightly      A real home from home, the         Go online to their website
New Town, has won several           rate of around £195, but book       Knight Residence is good           and see for yourself. Located
awards for its interior designs,    online 21 days in advance and       value for families, or groups      in a building that used to
and the minute you walk             the price for a double or twin      of friends. Self-catering,         house the Co-op, The Point is
through the doors, you’ll           room could be more in the           serviced accommodation, the        within easy walking distance
understand why. Its quirky,         region of £68 – a bargain           longer you stay, the cheaper       of shops and sights – perfect
innovative dining room and          considering you are right in        it becomes, and all the main       for a city break.
bars attract fashion magazine       the city centre, just a short       sights are within easy walking     G Weekend rates for a
shoots and stylish Edinburgh        walk from Waverley train            distance. Each apartment has       standard double room at
locals, and for those guests        station. Rooms are clean and        a kitchen with dishwasher,         busy times of the year are
lucky enough to be staying          functional, with a modern           freezer and washing machine,       quoted as £155, but book
overnight, the 33 bedrooms          bathroom (the cheaper rooms         a dining area, lounge and          online in advance, be flexible
certainly have the wow factor.      don’t have much of a view).         bathroom. There’s even a           with dates and a double
G A Saturday night stay in a        G There are two Ramada              LCD TV, digital cable TV (with     room for one can be £67.
luxury double costs £175 and        hotels listed under Edinburgh       Sky Sports), a DVD and hi-fi
can be booked online at the         – when you make a booking,          system in the main living area
Tigerlily website. You can also     make sure you choose                – and a TV in every room!
find good accommodation             Mount Royal over Livingstone,       G Seven nights in a two-bed
deals at www.lastminute.com         the latter is 17 miles away.        apartment in April, for a family
and www.priceyourmeal.com.                                              of five, costs £910.

I Edinburgh may be           you’re feeling energetic   Rankin, then you             along West Bow and
a bustling city, but         and decide to ramble       may want to visit            pop in to Pinoccho,
there are plenty of          up the rugged 250          Rebus’s favourite pub,       a great toy shop, or
open green spaces            metre high Arthur’s        the Oxford Bar at            Anta, for some modern
too. In fact, right in       Seat, a volcano that’s     8 Young Street.              tartan goods.
the centre of the city,      been extinct for more
opposite one of the          than 350 million years.    I Pick up a free copy        I The Real Mary King’s
busiest shopping                                        of the Edinburgh Times       Close is a five-star
streets in Scotland,         I You can pick up          from the Tourist Office      visitor attraction which
you’ll find Princes          a free leaflet at the      – it’s a monthly lifestyle   takes you under the city
Street Gardens – the         Scottish Parliament        guide to what’s on           streets of the Old Town.
perfect place to sit in      and take yourself on       in the city. See also        A tour lasts 40-45 mins.
for a while and ponder       a self-guided tour of      www.edinburghtimes.          For more info see
over those purchases.        the outside of the         co.uk.                       www.realmarykings
                             buildings, learning                                     close.com.
I Make sure a walk           more about the design      I For fans of designer
around Holyrood Park         ideas and history of       shopping, make sure          I For more ideas
is also on your itinerary.   the controversial site.    you visit Multrees Walk      on where to eat in
Craggy hills, moorland                                  – Louis Vuitton, Calvin      Edinburgh, see The
and a loch could easily      I If you enjoy reading     Klein and Mulberry are       Which? Good Food
convince you you’re          about Rebus, the           all there, and it’s just     Guide 2008, priced
in the wild Scottish         Edinburgh Inspector        beside Harvey Nichols.       £16.99 (ISBN 978-1-
Highlands, especially if     created by author Ian      Or have a wander             84490-036-7).

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The Witchery                       Tower Restaurant,                 The Elephant                      Henderson’s
by the Castle                      The Museum of                     House                             Tel 0131 225 2131
Tel 0131 225 5613                  Scotland                          Tel 0131 220 5355
www.thewitchery.com                Tel 0131 225 3003                 www.elephant-house.co.uk
If you ever find yourself                                            Calling all Harry Potter fans!    ‘Eat better, live better’ is the
                                   www.tower-restaurant.com/                                           motto of this much-loved
mulling over the wine menu,        info2.html                        This old-fashioned tearoom,
not sure which bottle to                                             cluttered with around 600         Edinburgh institution, which
                                   You may not have a big                                              has been serving locals and
choose, be warned, there are       budget, but that doesn’t mean     elephants of all shapes and
134 pages to browse through                                          sizes, is the place where         tourists alike for the past
                                   you can’t dine in some of                                           40 years. All tastes and diets
here. Good house wines start       the city’s finest restaurants.    author JK Rowling penned her
at £16.95, or if you really want                                     first novel about Hogwarts,       (vegetarian, vegan and gluten-
                                   Many establishments have                                            free) are catered for – choose
to splash out and celebrate,       lunchtime and early evening       Muggles and magic – paper
then you might be tempted                                            and pencils sit in containers     from the Salad Table, Bistro or
                                   specials, offering excellent                                        Wine Bar. The latter regularly
by the bottle on offer at a        value for money. The Tower        on the window sills just incase
whopping £3250!                                                      you are inspired to write your    has live music.
                                   Restaurant at the Museum of
   Despite its name, there's       Scotland will serve a two-        own best-seller! During the
not a cauldron or pointy           course meal, between 5pm-         day, the Elephant House is
black hat in this 16th-century     6.30pm, for £12.95. Eat there     self-service, after 6pm there’s
building. There are, however,      after that time and you’d pay     table service and a choice of
two excellent atmospheric          £20-£34 for a similar meal.       main courses, such as chilli
dining rooms – the Witchery        Afterwards, visit the 7th-floor   con carne or chicken fajitas,
and the Secret Garden. A           roof terrace and watch the        for £5.25. Go online to the
three-course meal for two,         night fall over the castle.       website to get some top tips
with wine, costs around £110.                                        on how to make a great cup
Make a reservation.                                                  of tea or coffee.

                                                                                                                                          Thanks to Scottish Viewpoint

                                                                          This Holiday Which? factfile was compiled in December 2007

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