New Year’s Eve, or Auld Year’s Night as you may hear locals call it, is one of the biggest celebrations of the year in Scotland, a bigger deal for many people than even Christmas! Christmas was actually banned in Scotland for about 400 years, because of the Protestant Reformation, so people would get their holiday at winter solstice, or New Year, instead, leading to its increase in popularity.Read more
Edinburgh is a city awash with museums and art galleries, covering all sorts of topics – whether it be toys in the Museum of Childhood, or famous Scottish authors and poets in the Writers’ Museum. Here are what we consider to be the really unmissable ones.Read more
Scots is a language closely linked to English but, while it is mostly intelligible to English speakers, it is distinct enough to have whole dictionaries devoted to it. It also has a long literary tradition, it’s most famous writer being Scottish national poet Robbie Burns. One of the reasons people continue to write and speak in Scots to this day is that it is an incredibly rich language, with many wonderful and fun words that, once you hear, you won’t be able to live without. Here are 14 of our favourites.Read more
Brainy Scots: Edinburgh and Science
by Tomas Sanders - April 13th, 2017
The annual Edinburgh Science Festival is running till the 16th April, with a jam-packed schedule of everything from theatre performances to workshops to exhibitions. It was the world’s first public science festival when it began, but Edinburgh’s connections to science go back way further. Some of the greatest and most influential minds in science have walked these streets. Here are just some of our favourites.
James Clerk Maxwell
James Clerk Maxwell is not as famous as some of the other people on this list but he remains one of the most important physicists to have ever lived. Einstein, in fact, admired him so much that he kept a photo of him in his office. Maxwell wrote his first scientific paper at the age of 14, he was the first to prove that Saturn’s rings were composed of pieces of rocks rather than a liquid or single solid ...Read more
As the world’s first UNESCO City of Literature, Edinburgh tends to be associated more with books than movies. However, it pops up fairly often on film as well. Seize the opportunity during your stay to recreate scenes of critically acclaimed and hugely popular films from a wide range of genres.
1. ‘Trainspotting’ – Princes Street
Possibly the most iconic British film of the last thirty years, ‘Trainspotting’, starring Ewan McGregor as a heroin junkie, gives a less than flattering portrayal of its Edinburgh setting. Its opening scene features two of its main characters being chased down Princes Street after stealing from newsagents, while McGregor’s voiceover gives the ‘Choose Life’ speech that has since been printed on countless mugs, posters and t-shirts. A must to recreate – although definitely don’t try to steal anything just to try to increase the authenticity of your photo...Read more
Haggis is the undisputed national dish of Scotland. It is not just popular in its own right but also closely tied to other central parts of Scottish culture. On Burns Night (the annual celebration of our most famous poet, Robert Burns) Scots will, almost without exception, tuck into a ‘Burns Supper’ – a meal of haggis, neeps (turnips) and tatties (potatoes). Burns is so strongly connected to haggis because one of his most famous poems, from where the quote in the title comes, is essentially a love letter to the food, and many Scots are just as passionate about it as Burns.
Most people from outside Scotland are not entirely sure what a haggis actually is. Scots will occasionally attempt to pull a good-natured prank on visitors by trying to convince them that a Haggis is actually...Read more
There is no drink more synonymous with Scotland than whisky. The word is originally from Scottish Gaelic – uisge-beatha which literally means ‘water of life.’ That gives you an idea of how seriously we take this stuff in Scotland.
As you can imagine there are lots of great places to drink whisky in the capital, but it can be a little intimidating to get started due to the massive variety of whiskies in Scotland. Here then is a couple of tips to get you started.
1. Know your regions
Scottish whisky varies dramatically across the country, and with nearly a hundred distinct distilleries you might well find that you love some whiskies and can barely swallow others...Read more
There really isn’t a bad time to visit Edinburgh – the city is gorgeous year round, and there’s always something interesting to do. However, if you are planning a visit in the year ahead, these are five particularly great times to visit Scotland’s capital.
1. Valentine’s Day – 14th February
Edinburgh might not seem as obvious a choice as a city of lovers as say Paris or Rome, but it has some serious romantic pedigree having hosted many famous fictional couples, from Outlander’s Jamie and Claire to One Day’s Emma and Dexter.
The city is filled with great places to go on a romantic stroll from the Old Town to the Botanical Gardens or you could wander up Calton Hill to watch the sunset over the city...Read more