Whenever the sun comes out in Edinburgh, there are plenty of nice outdoor spaces in which to enjoy the decent weather. You can try climbing up Arthurs Seat, wandering around the Botanic Gardens, or do as Mr Bug and I did a few days ago and stroll along the Water of Leith, Edinburgh’s very own river.
When it’s the weekend and it’s sunny and you’re feeling the lazy Sunday vibes, a visit to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art is a must. Unlike its sisters the National Portrait Gallery and the The Scottish National Gallery, it is a little further out of town, but it’s definitely worth the trip.
Like many folks who grew up in or around Edinburgh, the National Museum of Scotland has a special place in my heart. My earliest memories of the museum are of me running around the various galleries with my Dad, and feeling as pleased as punch when he let me buy some rocks from the gift shop.
I might be a bit older now, but I still love wandering around the museum whenever I have a free day and treating myself to the odd trinket or two!
If you find the hustle and bustle of the city getting all a bit too much, you can always retreat to one of Edinburgh’s most popular public parks: Princes Street Gardens. Marking the division between Old and New Town, this large and luscious green space is a haven for locals, a must-see for visitors and a hub for some of the city’s most exciting concerts and events.
Whenever there is a glimmer of sunshine in Edinburgh, all the locals make a beeline for Portobello (aka Porty), our very own two mile stretch of golden sand. The area used to be a popular seaside holiday destination, and there is still reflections of that golden era on the promenade today, with an eclectic selection amusements, fish and chips, ice cream and retro sweet shops.
As you pass St Giles Cathedral, you may notice an unassuming brick mosaic of in the shape of a heart on the pavement. This is the Heart of Midlothian, and is easily missed if you aren’t looking for it. However, it’s rarely missed by the locals, who normally feel compelled to spit a huge gob of phlegm in it every time they pass. Why do they do this? Where does this icky tradition come from? And should you do it too?
Right in the very heart of the city, you’ll find one of Scotland’s largest and finest collections of art in the Scottish National Gallery. A complex of three different buildings seamlessly interconnected, this wide collection consists of ever-changing exhibitions in the Royal Academy, and permanent works from the great names of European art like Monet, Raphael, Titian and Rembrandt.
You can’t walk down the Royal Mile without spotting the formidable silhouette of St Giles Cathedral, which sits grandly near the Castle end of the High Street. With its beautiful architecture and breathtaking interior, it’s a great place to explore both inside and out, regardless of your religion.
Ideally located at the back of Waverley Station you’ll find The Fruitmarket Gallery, which is a small hub that includes a cafe, bookshop and an exhibition space which showcases the best work by artists from Scotland and beyond.
A visit to Edinburgh simply isn’t complete without learning about the bittersweet tale of Greyfriars Bobby. Anyone who’s ever lived in Edinburgh can tell you the story of the city’s most loyal dog, and you can visit his memorial just across the road from the National Museum of Scotland.