Edinburgh & Midlothian
Scotland's elegant capital city, with its castle, Palace of Holyrood, Royal Mile, Scott Monument and famous Princes Street needs little introduction. Midlothian is perhaps most famous recently for the Rosslyn Chapel of Da Vinci Code fame.
Edinburgh & Midlothian Self Catering Cottages
The City with Something for Everyone
The centre of Edinburgh city contains two distinct areas - the medieval Old Town with its tall, narrow tenements leading up to the castle and the Georgian New Town below, laid out in a grid format. Between the two lies Princes Street Gardens. The city has an abundance of historical and other attractions and visitors will have no difficulty in finding things to do and see during a week's visit.
Edinburgh is extremely busy during the Edinburgh International Festival in August and early September which features theatre, dance, opera and classical music. The more informal Edinburgh Fringe Festival, International Film Festival and Book Festivals are held at the same time and attract a huge number of visitors to the city, with ad hoc street performances in Princes Street and the Old Town. Accommodation can be very hard to find during the festivals, so if you are planning on a stay at one of our properties during that time, you need to book well in advance.
Due to its prominent position, occupying a commanding position overlooking the city, there has been a fort or castle on the volcanic Castle Rock since the Dark Ages. The oldest section of the current Edinburgh Castle is the 12th century St. Margaret's Chapel.
The castle has many interesting features, such as: the 15th century canon Mons Meg; a 16th century Portcullis Gate; the National War Museum of Scotland; the Royal Palace where Mary Queen of Scots gave birth to James VI of Scotland; the 16th century Scottish crown jewels last displayed at the Scottish coronation of Charles II in 1651; the Stone of Destiny; and the castle vaults housing the former prisons. Be prepared for the daily firing of the World War II 'one o'clock gun' from Mill's Mount Battery! The esplanade in front of the castle is the site of the international Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
Midlothian is a mixture of rolling hills (the Pentlands, offering varied walks with great views) and former coal mining settlements, such as Newtongrange, the locus of the Scottish Mining Museum. Midlothian, however, is perhaps best known for Rosslyn Chapel in Roslin, centre of the controversy about the location of the Holy Grail (as of the Da Vinci Code fame) but a beautiful church in its own right.
It has a lovely setting above Roslin Glen and, quite apart from its latest claim to fame it is a place full of tantalising secrets with its Templar and Masonic connections. One of these is the carved pillar depicting what is identical to American sweetcorn and cactus. This has led to speculation that, as the chapel dates from 1446, the Templars may have visited the New World up to 200 years before Columbus 'discovered' it. The Apprentice Pillar, with its legend of jealousy and murder, is another fascinating feature.
Other attractions in Midlothian are the Dalkeith Country Park, an area of semi-natural woodland where you may see deer, foxes and many smaller mammals and birds. It also features a number of rather grandiose, but now derelict, follies. More exotic wildlife can be found at the Butterfly and Insect World on the A7 just south of the Edinburgh bypass. Here you can stroll through the 'rainforest' with beautiful butterflies fluttering around you and also see scorpions, tarantulas and other exotic insects at a safe distance!