Your Comprehensive Guide To Days Out In Edinburgh
Stockpile your knitwear because we’re going to Edinburgh! When you visit this beautiful, cultural city, it’ll be hard not to fall in love. But it’s a big place, so if you’re going to stay for the weekend, you better have a thorough itinerary.
This has to be the first port of call for bookworms. Or West Port, to be exact. This area is full of historical taverns, which have been frequented by famous authors such as William Wordsworth, Robert Burns, and Walter Scott. So it’s no wonder that West Port is full of second-hand bookshops, including arguably the best, Edinburgh Books. No matter what your tastes run to, Edinburgh Books is bound to have it, so get between the bookshelves and immerse yourself in text.
Fashion trends change, but vintage is forever. Herman Brown provides all kinds of 20th century outfits that are neatly presented in all their glory. This isn’t your standard jumble sale retro shop, full of fashion horrors, we promise. Pop in and sartorially move your way through the 1950’s, all the way to the grungy 90’s.
The Scottish National Gallery
If you want art on your exciting day out, Edinburgh has it in spades. One gallery we’d particularly recommend, however, is the big guy – The Scottish National Gallery. Not only will you be able to view Titian’s ‘Venus Anadyomene,’ but there’s also Canova’s ‘Three Graces,’ Sargent’s ‘Lady Agnew of Lochnaw,’ and Botticelli’s ‘The Virgin Adoring the Sleeping Christ Child.’ Spend an hour or two of quiet contemplation, away from the hectic city.
Surgeon’s Hall Museums
Crime writers adore this place. Some of the many gory sights on show include a pocketbook made from the skin of William Burke (of the famous ‘Burke and Hare’ murderers, who took the lives of 16 victims and sold their bodies to the city’s school of anatomy for dissection). Other artefacts include gangrenous fingers, dried hearts, and cancerous lungs. Not for those with a weak stomach.
At the centre of Holyrood Park is Arthur’s Seat, an extinct volcano that is fairly easy to walk up and admire the views of Edinburgh city. Even the castle rock of Edinburgh castle was created by this ancient volcanic system. At the very summit are the remains of a prehistoric hill fort that is thought to belong to the Celtic tribe of Votadini.
In 1836, five boys found a set of mini coffins full of tiny wooden figures in one of Arthur’s Seat’s caves, while they were hunting rabbits. Of course, many believed this was to do with witchcraft, but later it has been suggested that these small coffins could pertain to the murders committed by Burke and Hare in 1828 (we talked about that earlier).
Because there’s so much history in this park, there are frequent archaeological tours. Best of all, the park is free to enter, so you enjoy a nice walk at your leisure.