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Hidden Paths and Gothic Architecture: A Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Travelers Today       By    Katherine Hewitt

Updated: Jan 27, 2015 10:59 AM EST

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Scotland is filed with mystery and intrigue.  Whether this feeling comes from literature or purely from the nature, is another topic.  The capital city of Edinburgh is an old town filled with nooks and crannies to search.   There are monuments, castles, churches, art, and outdoor sceneries for all people. 

First, visit Edinburgh Castle, the home of the past Scottish monarchy.  The location, at top of a rocky hill is ideal for protection and eerie mystery.  The oldest surviving building in the city is within the castle walls- the St. Margret's Church from 1130.   It is here that the famous one o'clock cannon goes off everyday at one.  There are many exhibits to see like the Scottish Crown Jewels, the Great Hall, and war memorials.

From the Fourth Estuary there is a narrow pathway that stretches from the mainland out to Cramond Island, out in the bay.  Before walking out you might want to check for when low tide is.  It is easier to cross there at low tide, though the path is still somewhat visible at high tide.  There is a small, pretty village on the island with pubs and cafes to sit at and enjoy the day and garden pathways to walk through. 

To participate in the literature culture in Scotland, climb up Scott Monument.  It was built in the 1840s to commemorate Sir Walter Scott, a great Scottish writer.  The monument is a 200 feet, 4 story Gothic arch with 287 steps that resembles steeples of Melrose Abby and Roslin Chapel.  Construction began on Scott's birthday and was inaugurated six years later on the same date.   Want more literary history.  Take a Literary Pub Walking Tour.

View Scottish paintings and artist at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.  The building itself is an old gothic building built specifically for the gallery in the 1880s.  The collection housed here began with the private collection of Earl of Buchan.  The gallery continues to update the collection to included modern Scotts as well.

For the best views of Edinburgh and a great way to end your trip hike up Arthur's Seat, an extinct volcano.  Past hikers remark that is a very doable walk as long as you have sensible shoes.  The ascent up includes walking by little pools and lochs gravel pathways, and stone steps.   From the top you can sit back and relax and take in all of Scotland you have just toured.              

See Now: The U.S. had the highest number of Most Wanted properties, dominating the Hotels.com Loved By Guests Awards 2018

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scotland, edinburgh, Edinburgh Castle, Cramond Island, Scott Monument, Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Arthur's Seat
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