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Visit Edinburgh for a Summer Vacation

Updated on April 25, 2012

Edinburgh Scotland's Royal Capital

For anyone visiting the United Kingdom, a visit to Edinburgh, Scotland's capital City is a must. Built on the rocky heart of a long extinct volcano Edinburgh has a spectacular and rugged setting. Much of the architecture dates back to Georgian and Medieval times, with over 4500 listed buildings in the city centre. Edinburgh is a compact city, an ideal size for exploring on foot.

Edinburgh is one of most beautiful cities in Europe with its cobbled streets and intriguing history. A visit to Edinburgh in summer is particularly rewarding, as Edinburgh is a rare and authentic destination which makes the most of the short summer months. Edinburgh vacation on a budget?

Edinburgh Festival

For the whole month of August, Edinburgh becomes home to the world's largest arts festival. During the four weeks there are over 2000 shows in 250 venues throughout the city.

The Edinburgh International Festival runs alongside many other festivals, including the Edinburgh Fringe which was established as an alternative festival but by now is the biggest of the many that run simultaneously, including:

  • International Film Festival
  • Edinburgh Military Tattoo
  • Jazz and Blues Festival
  • International Book Festival
  • Edinburgh Art Festival
  • Edinburgh Television Festival
  • Festival of Politics

These are to name but a few. Theatres, church and community halls all over the city are commandeered by thousands of performers. The cobbled streets of Edinburgh's Royal Mile in the Old town provide a focus of as the the performers jostle for position as dancers, artists acrobats, musicians and magicians entertain the crowds. The atmosphere is carnival like,very cosmopolitan and a truly memorable way to spend a summer afternoon. The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is one of the highlights of the Festival, set on Edinburgh Castle Esplanade, a feast of  evening entertainment is played out, with massed bagpipers, fireworks, marching bands and dancing from Scotland with  performers from around the globe.


Arthur's Seat

At the bottom of the Royal Mile, sits Holyrood Palace, the official residence on Queen Elizabeth II.

The palace is surrounded by Holyrood park, a wild piece of highland landscape in the centre of the city. Holyrood park is a royal park, once the private hunting grounds of the Royal Huntsmen, providing game for the kitchens. Arthur's Seat dominates the park, a hill rising to 832 feet, the highest point in Edinburgh. The views from the top are breathtaking, the whole of the city mapped out below, and views to Edinburgh Castle , the Forth Bridges and the sea beyond. Like the rocky outcrop that Edinburgh Castle is built upon, Arthur's Seat is a remnant of a volcano which raged 350 million years ago. It was here that James Hutton, naturalist and father of modern geology, did much of his investigations in the 18th Century. There are three lochs within Holyrood park, which provide breeding grounds for birds, near St Margarets loch rises the ruins of St Anthony's chapel which was built in the 15th Century.

Pandas At Edinburgh Zoo

Pandas at Edinburgh

Edinburgh is now home to two Giant Pandas, Sweetie and Sunshine who have taken up residence at Edinburgh Zoo. Zoo staff are hopeful that the pair will mate and produce offspring, despite early unsuccessful attempts.

THe Scott Monument
THe Scott Monument | Source

Sheep Heid's Inn Scotland's Oldest Pub

If you leave Holyrood park by the eastern gate you find yourself in the tiny Duddingston village, home of the Sheep's Heid Inn, the oldest pub in Scotland, established in 1360. Used by Mary Queen of Scots and her retainers this traditional watering point still upholds traditional values. An ancient and curious pub, a superb spot to sample some of Scotland's traditional cuisine, including haggis.

Princes Street Gardens

The two main thoroughfares in Edinburgh are The Royal Mile to the South, in the Old town, and Princes Street in the New Town. Running parallell to each other they are bisected by Princes Street Gardens, a beautiful open public park park lying at the foot of Edinburgh Castle. The gardens lie in a depression caused by glaciation, and originally was a loch or lake, it was drained and the park created. During the witch trials in the 16th Century over 300 suspected witches were drowned in the loch.

Now home the magnificent buildings, the Royal Scottish Academy and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery the park is an ideal place to rest or have a picnic after a hard afternoon of sightseeing. Princes Street Gardens also houses The Scott Monument; a Victorian Gothic Spire, built in 1840 as a memorial to Sir Walter Scott. The tower is over 200 feet high, and is open to the public who want to brave the 287 steps to be rewarded by spectacular views over the city.

Weather in Edinburgh

Because of Edinburgh's proximity to the sea, temperatures are moderate, average daytime temperatures are around 19 degrees in summer, with occasional highs up to 30 degrees. Evenings are cool, 14 degrees in summer will mean a jacket. Rain is usual throughout the whole year so come prepared. Edinburgh does benefit from long daylight hours, sunset is close to 11pm at the height of summer, so plenty time to explore!

Edinburgh City


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    • Indian Chef profile image

      Indian Chef 4 years ago from New Delhi India

      Silver fish

      Edinburgh looks a cool place to visit.. if i ever went to Britain I would surely go there.. very beautiful pictures. Voting it up

    • freecampingaussie profile image

      freecampingaussie 5 years ago from Southern Spain

      Have been to Scotland but not to Edinburgh - it is on the list for next year so I have saved this hub in favourites . I was born in Wales !

    • Silver Fish profile image

      Silver Fish 5 years ago from Edinburgh Scotland

      Lino2- you will find a warm welcome in Edinburgh( Capital City of Scotland)

    • Lin02 profile image

      Lin02 5 years ago from India

      Lovely Pics of the castles. It is in Ireland I think or England. But wold love to visit there.

    • profile image

      Golden Field 5 years ago

      wow, love the photos! So pretty, i will have to go there so time or another.


      PS could you please take a look at my hubs? Thanks so much!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Indian Chef profile image

      Indian Chef 5 years ago from New Delhi India

      Silver fish this is very nice hub and very beautiful pics. Loved it

    • profile image

      laurenw4 6 years ago

      Wow, this makes me want to visit, plus the pictures are beautiful! Some day I will have the money to travel =] Great article!

    • medor profile image

      medor 6 years ago from Michigan, USA

      I love Edinburgh... visited it so many times... as a tourist in the 70's and as a military dependent in the mid 80's... love love love it... i have great memories of the Royal Mile, Edinburgh Tatoo, the castle, the wonderful Zoo... an on and on... so glad you wrote this hub, brings back great memories of travel and my daughter as a young child living on Loch Eck and taking the ferry to the train and on to Edinburgh... smile smile.

    • suziecat7 profile image

      suziecat7 6 years ago from Asheville, NC

      Great Hub. Makes me want to pack my bags and go now.

    • cardelean profile image

      cardelean 6 years ago from Michigan

      Edinburgh has never really been on my radar of places to visit but after those breathtaking photos and your intriguing hub, it is now on my list. Thanks for all of the wonderful information and congrats on your nomination.

    • nakmeister profile image

      nakmeister 6 years ago from Lancaster, UK

      A great hub on a great city. Like the photo. I've visited Edinburgh several times but not come across Duddingston or the Sheep Heid Inn. Next time I go I will definitely have to take a look.

    • Silver Fish profile image

      Silver Fish 6 years ago from Edinburgh Scotland

      Thank very much Aiden

    • Aiden Roberts profile image

      Aiden Roberts 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Great hub about a lovely place.

      I spent a lot of time in and around Edingburgh with a job a while back but never really got to see it due to work. I made a point of stopping and staying last year when I was on my way to find Nessy, I had a great time and it really is beautiful.

      Voted for you in hubnuggets, good luck.

    • Silver Fish profile image

      Silver Fish 6 years ago from Edinburgh Scotland

      Thanks so much.

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 6 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      The photo is so! Congratulations on your Hubnuggets nomination! Come join the Hubnuggets fun and mystery by clicking on this link!

    • Silver Fish profile image

      Silver Fish 6 years ago from Edinburgh Scotland

      Thanks so much.

    • elayne001 profile image

      Elayne 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains

      I visited Edinburgh two years ago and I am itching to return again. Thanks for an informative and entertaining hub. Congratulations on your nomination also and good luck.

    • Silver Fish profile image

      Silver Fish 6 years ago from Edinburgh Scotland

      Thanks for your comments- I'll look into that reference!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 6 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Excellent Hub - voted Up and rated. The top photo reminds me somewhat of the castle and other sites in "The Cries of Vampira" set in Scotland by author/actor/producer Sean H. Robertson.

    • Silver Fish profile image

      Silver Fish 7 years ago from Edinburgh Scotland

      Thanks for stopping by.

    • Silver Fish profile image

      Silver Fish 7 years ago from Edinburgh Scotland

      Thanks for stopping by.

    • Silver Fish profile image

      Silver Fish 7 years ago from Edinburgh Scotland

      Thanks for your comments, indeed the geology of edinburgh and surrounding area is very interesting, most of the rock was formed during the carboniferous period, 300 million years ago, when Edinburgh was a swampy volcanically active area lying near the equator.

      There are many aspects of Edinburgh that are interesting, and judging by your comments others seem to be interested too!

      Thanks for the ideas!

    • jantamaya profile image

      Maria Janta-Cooper 7 years ago from UK

      Dear Silver Fish. This is a great hub! I didn't know that Edinburgh sits on an ex-volcano. 'Explosive'-interesting. Duddingston - tiny village - must be an exciting place too. Pity, I've never been there. What do you think to write a hub about the best B&Bs or restaurants around Edinburgh???