ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

15 Cool Facts about Edinburgh | Places of Interest

Updated on April 8, 2014

Edinburgh is the historical capital of Scotland, lies along the south shore of the Firth of Forth in southeastern Scotland. It is one of the four largest Scottish cities -second only to Glasgow in size- and, like the other three, it has county status as a "county of city." It is also a royal burgh, a district, and the administrative center of the Lothian region. Edinburgh is about 40 miles (65 km) east of Glasgow and 344 miles (553 km) northwest of London. The life of the city is dominated by the professions. Edinburgh is the seat of the Scottish supreme courts and headquarters of the Church of Scotland. It has long been famous as a scholastic and medical center.

Here are 15 interesting and cool facts about Edinburgh, mostly about its places of interest.


1. Leith is Edinburgh's seaport on the Firth of Forth. From this point the land rises irregularly to the top of Castle Rock, which is 445 feet (125 meters) above sea level. Beyond lie the nearer slopes of the Pentland Hills.

2. The "old town" section of Edinburgh occupies the top and sides of a natural ridge, dropping gradually to the east between Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace. North, across a deep ravine is the "new town" based on Princes Street.

3. The picturesque old town gives an impression of a medieval city because of its narrow passageways, which are known as "pends" and "closes," its many-storied dwellings called "lands," and its quaint stairs, turrets, and crow-stepped gables.


4. The new town, built like the older one of locally quarried stone, is in many respects the finest example of 18th-century town planning in the world. Except for prestige buildings, most new construction since 1918 has been of brick -particularly the suburban housing.

5. Much the most ancient and conspicuous building in Edinburgh is the castle, of which the oldest part is St. Margaret's Chapel, a tiny Romanesque church dating probably from early in the 12th century. David II's tower, a massive defensive work, was built in the 14th century.

6. Other castle buildings in Edinburgh include the banqueting hall, with its magnificent hammerbeam roof, and the private apartments occupied in the 16th century by the Scottish royal family. These include the room in which Mary, Queen of Scots in 1566 was delivered of her son, James VI of Scotland, who became also King James I of England. Opposite the banqueting hall is the Scottish National War Memorial commemorating Scotland's part in World Wars I and II.

7. The broad street leading from the castle eastward to Holyrood Palace is known at the castle end as Lawnmarket; then it becomes High Street and, approaching the palace, Canongate. Nearly a mile long, this link between castle and palace is popularly called the Royal Mile.


8. Holyrood Abbey, near Holyrood Palace, was founded by David I in 1128, although its ruined church dates mainly from the 13th century. Holyrood Palace includes a 16th-century tower where Mary, Queen of Scots lived. Charles II added to this tower a century later and thus created a massive quadrangle.

9. The medieval timbered houses of the burghers in the High Street and Canongate have disappeared, but thanks partly to recent refurbishing, much of the 16th- and 17th-century character of the old town remains.

10. John Knox's House (about 1550) and Gladstone's Land (16th century, rebuilt 1620–1634) are perhaps the best-known dwellings. St. Giles Cathedral, the original parish church, is easily recognized by its 15th-century openwork lantern tower.

11. The finest individual building in the new town is certainly the General Register House designed by Robert Adam in 1772 to be the public record office of Scotland. Perhaps the most notable of the numerous buildings erected since 1945 are those housing the University of Edinburgh around George Square.


12. Charlotte Square, planned by Adam in 1791, is the most admired and least altered of many squares and crescents. Much the most extensive park is the Queen's Park, which stretches from Holyrood across the 823-foot (250-meter) summit of the hill called Arthur's Seat to Duddingston, where there is a bird sanctuary. In the center of the town the whole area between Princes Street, which is open to the south, and the castle is occupied by public gardens.

13. In East Princes Street Gardens is the handsome memorial to Scotland's great novelist and poet Sir Walter Scott. The Scott Monument, erected in the early 1840s, has a graceful 200-foot (60-meter) Gothic spire above a statue of Scott and his dog Maida.

14. Separating the East and West Princes Street Gardens is the Mound, formed from excavations for the new town, providing a connection between the old town and the new. At the north end of this street are two art galleries, the gallery of the Royal Scottish Academy and the National Gallery. The latter has a distinguished collection of paintings of the Dutch, French, British, and Italian schools.

15. The Edinburgh Zoo, where animals are housed as far as possible in natural conditions, covers a large area. The Botanic Gardens, with newly rebuilt hothouses and a famous arboretum and rock garden, lie to the north of the new town.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)