Opinion · Travel

Edinburgh: A home away from home

Just one of the beautiful views to be seen in Edinburgh
Just one of the beautiful views to be seen in Edinburgh

So as most of you know I was in Edinburgh for the weekend and boy was I impressed.

It is a beautiful city with so much to do. We were staying in a prime location on the Royal Mile close to the castle and many other attractions. Watch this space for follow up posts on everything that we got up to over there but for know sit back and relax while reading a brief history of this wonderful country.

Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, situated on the southern shore of the Firth of Forth. With a population of over 400,000 it is a friendly and welcoming place that truly captured my heart.

The town was originally formed on the ridge descending from the Castle Rock but the modern city is often said to be built on seven hills.

From its prehistoric roots as a hillfort, following periods of Celtic and Germanic influence, Edinburgh became part of the Kingdom of Scotland during the 10th century. With burgh charters granted by David I and Robert the Bruce, Edinburgh grew through the Middle Ages as Scotland’s biggest merchant town.

By the time of the European Renaissance and the reign of James IV it was well established as Scotland’s capital. The 16th century Scottish Reformation and 18th century Scottish Enlightenment were formative periods in the history of the city, with Edinburgh playing a central role in both. While political power shifted to London following the Treaty of Union in 1707, with devolution in 1997 the city has seen the return of a Scottish parliament.

Edinburgh has a high proportion of independent schools, one college and four universities. The University of Edinburgh is the biggest university in Scotland and ranked 21st in the world. These institutions help provide a highly educated population and a dynamic economy. Edinburgh has the UK’s strongest economy outside London and was named European Best Large City of the Future for Foreign Direct Investment by fDi Magazine in 2012/13.

Each August the city hosts the biggest annual international arts festival in the world. This includes the Edinburgh International FestivalEdinburgh Festival Fringe and the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Other festivals are held throughout the year, such as the Science FestivalFilm Festival and Jazz and Blues Festival. Other annual events include the Hogmanay street party and Beltane.

Edinburgh is the world’s first UNESCO City of Literature and the city’s Old Town and New Town are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Edinburgh regularly polls as one of the best locations to live nationally, having won more than 12 UK Best City Awards in 8 years.

Attracting over one million overseas visitors a year, Edinburgh is the second most popular tourist destination in the UK after London and was voted European Destination of the Year at the World Travel Awards 2012.

These are not the only reasons why I fell in love with Edinburgh but you will have to stay tuned to find out how to have fun in one of the    most historical cities in the UK.

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