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Top 10 Tips for Your Stay in Edinburgh

No one knows Edinburgh quite like the locals do, so take it from us, we’ve got the best tips for making the most of your stay in the capital.

 

Go high for the best views

Whilst the view of Edinburgh from the castle is great, a view with the castle in it is even better.  For the more energetic among you, a climb up Arthur’s Seat in Holyrood Park will undoubtedly give you spectacular views.  Alternatively a climb up Calton Hill will give you brilliant views of the castle along Princes Street.  If you’re not feeling quite so energetic then make your way to the National Museum of Scotland on Chambers Street and head to the rooftop garden where you can almost reach out and touch the castle!

 

Breathe in the fresh air in one of the many city centre parks and gardens

Edinburgh is the UK’s greenest city so make the most of the wonderful parks on offer.  Not to be missed are the Princes Street Gardens.  Sitting in the old moat of the castle, the gardens offer an escape from busy Princes Street as well as a spectacular view of the castle.  The gardens even feature their own bear!

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Watch out for the One O’Clock Gun

Keep your wits about you if you’re anywhere near the castle at 1pm Monday to Saturday.  In a tradition spanning over 150 years, a canon is fired to mark 1pm, frightening many unsuspecting tourists.  Originally fired to alert docked ships in Leith and on the Firth of Forth of the time, it’s now just a lovely attraction to the castle.

 

Planning in advance is key

To make the most of your time in the city, our best advice is to plan ahead.  If checking off the top tourist attractions is your priority then buying a Royal Edinburgh ticket in advance is a must.  Included in the ticket is entry to the Edinburgh Castle, The Royal Yacht Britannia, Palace of Holyrood House and Edinburgh Bus Tours.  We can sort one out for you, just let our team know and we’ll have the tickets ready for you on arrival.

 

Be prepared for glorious sunshine, thunderous rain and then more sunshine …

Scotland is typically known for its weather, not exactly the warmest of places but it is known for surprising its residents with all seasons in one day.  So be prepared and follow our advice: bring your rain jacket or buy yourself a poncho!

 

Go off the beaten track

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Some of the best places and sights in Edinburgh are further away from the hustle and bustle of Princes Street and the old town.  We’d recommend a walk along the Water of Leith, where you can take photos of Dean Village, then wander along to Stockbridge Market for lunch, or continue further down to Leith for a fantastic selection of award-winning restaurants including The Kitchin.

 

Get your bearings and map it out

Edinburgh is a very pedestrian friendly city but it can be easy to get lost.  Make yourself familiar with where your apartment is and the bus routes nearby so that you will always find your way home.  All out apartments have maps available for guests so make sure to take one with you when you go exploring.

 

Jump on a Lothian bus

Edinburgh has a fantastic bus network spanning the city so definitely make use of them when exploring the capital.  It’s just £1.70 for an adult flat fayre and £4 for a day ticket which gives you unlimited access all day.  Keep in mind that the buses don’t give change, and if you’re staying for longer it might be worthwhile downloading the app (the minimum top up for the app is £10).  Check out timetables and routes here

 

Do as the locals do and eat brunch

There is no shortage of delightful places to have brunch in the city, take advantage of Southpour, next door to our Southside apartments and receive 20% off when you show your apartment key or a Destination Edinburgh Apartments business card.

 

Stay with Destination Edinburgh Apartments

If you weren’t convinced already, then get booked in with us to explore Edinburgh, see the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo and stay in our sister apartments with Destination Edinburgh Apartments in either our Rodney Street, Southside or York Place apartments.  All are self-catering apartments, they give you the freedom to make your stay your own.  Our Rodney Street apartments come with a free parking space and the views from our York Place apartments are not to be missed.  AND if you book directly with us then you’ll receive a free gift!  We look forward to welcoming you soon.

 

Brighten up those Dark Winter Nights in St. Andrew’s Square

Running from 5th February – 28th March 2016, The KEYFRAMES located within St. Andrew Square will be sure to brighten up those dark winter nights. The Lighting show is on every evening from Sunset till approximately Midnight. It is comprised of numerous “stick men” which illuminate in tune with music. They can be seen dancing and even climbing trees – great for families. For more info on this event please see this article from Edinburgh Council.

If you are coming to Edinburgh over this period we strongly recommend you visit St. Andrews at night to experience this event at least once.

York Place Apartments: Perfect accommodation for a wedding

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If you’re planning to have your wedding in Edinburgh, our York Place Apartments provide a brilliant central location to explore the city. Also, the high ceilings and wide rooms give enough space for pre-wedding preparations and socialising. If you are interested in booking an apartment with us for your wedding or on behalf of someone else please let us know. We can add the finishing touches to make your stay that bit special.

Are you a true Scotsman?

At buyakilt.com you’ll find a range of good quality traditional Scottish attire at affordable prices. So why not get into the Scottish Spirit and purchase one today and make your stay in Edinburgh that bit more authentic.

http://buyakilt.com/

 

Hogmanay in Edinburgh, Scotland

A round-up of the biggest New Years Eve celebrations in the World

The Hogmanay festival is a Scottish tradition famous throughout the world. It is when Scots joyously come together to celebrate the previous year and the new, upcoming year. Unlike many parts of the world the celebration is not solely a party for one evening on the 31st December instead the festivities last for days.

Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, is famous for holding the best Hogmanay celebrations in Scotland. Edinburgh hosts the biggest New Year’s Eve party in the world with its Hogmanay Street Party, shutting down the city centre so that thousands of people from all over the world can listen to top musicians, join together in a ceilidh dance, watch the most spectacular of fireworks displays and sing the world’s biggest rendition of Auld Lang Syne.

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The Edinburgh Hogmanay festival actually begins on the 30th December with a torchlight process starting at George IV Bridge and proceeding up to Carlton Hill to watch another magnificent firework display. With many celebrations happening on New Year’s Eve during the day, a real highlight is the Candlelit Concert in St Giles Cathedral, a must-do event.

To shift those hangovers in the morning of January 1st hundreds of people gather in South Queensferry to take part in the Loony Dook which involves diving into the River Forth, in the shadow of the famous Forth Rail Bridge, in a skimpy outfit to raise money for charity, proving that Scots are perhaps the barmiest nation of all.

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This year we totally sold out all our Hogmanay packages, so book early to avoid disappointment. Book from January 5th 2015, to reserve your 2015/16 Hogmanay packages with Glory Days and Destination Edinburgh.

 

 

For further information and other Scottish Hogmanay destination ideas look at:

http://www.visitscotland.com/holidays/seasonal-breaks/hogmanay-breaks

 

New dedicated Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo website

“We are proud to be an Official Travel Trade partner for the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo and over 10,000 clients have been with us to this wonderful event and breathtaking City! Always a sell-out event, book your package now to avoid disappointment!”

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Glory Days Ltd have just launched our new dedicated Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo Travel Packages website.

Upcoming Edinburgh Events

There is so much to see and do in Edinburgh just now, it’s jam packed with exciting events! Here are just a few lined up for April:

Until Sunday 20th = Mammoths of the Ice Age at the national Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street

Monday 21st – Saturday 26th = Fame the Musical playing at the Edinburgh Playhouse

Sunday 27th = Royal Scottish National Orchestra’s Chamber Series 13:14 – Baroque Fireworks at Dovecot Studios, Infirmary Street

Until April 27th = Field of light at St Andrews Square, beautiful light based work by British artist Bruce Munro

This is just the start of an action packed summer in Edinburgh.  Lighter nights, longer days, time to enjoy a trip to Edinburgh!

 

20 York Place Edinburgh “House History”

Did you know the history behind our Luxury York Place Apartments?  They lie at the heart of a unique and magnificent World Heritage Site – Edinburgh, a site recognized by UNESCO as having outstanding universal value.  Number 20 York Place is listed by Historic Scotland as a category A building, and who describe it as:

‘Part of the Edinburgh New Town A Group, one of the most important and best preserved examples of urban planning in Britain’

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Until 1811 the house was numbered as 10 York Place, North Side.  In 1811, when it was decided to begin the practice of applying odd and even numbers to the opposite sides of streets, the house became renumbered as 20.  As one of the largest three storey classical houses in the block (with 4 bays of windows), the property became, in its early decades, the Edinburgh townhouse of several wealthy landowing families with country estates in other parts of Scotland.

Some of the residents include:

  • 1801 – James Christie of Durie Esq, a landowner and a coal mine owner
  • 1811 – James Johnstone of Alva, whom inherited his fortune from his father, John Johnstone, a successful member of the East India Company in Bengal.
  • 1815 – Sir Alexander Muir, 1st Baronet of Delvine whose estates were in Perthshire
  • 1825 – George Mercer of Gorthy Esq, another Perthshire landowner.  Mercer was a former trader and agent of the East India Company in Calcutta.
  • Mid 1830’s – The Christie family briefly take up residence again when Charles Maitland Christie Durie is recorded as being in residence
  • Late 1830’s – Sir James Montgomery, 2nd Baronet of Stanhope took up residence.  Sir James was a member of parliament for Peebleshire and served as Lord Advocate in the second ministry of Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger.
  • 1840’s – 1850’s – John Burn Murdoch Esq, an advocate in the Scottish Courts

 

In 1858 the house ceases to be a private residence, and for the next three decades the house operates a a private school known as Hunter’s School of English.  The school was headed by John M Hunter, teacher of English, who lived nearby at 25 Albany Street

In 1889, the Governors of the George Heriot’s Trust converted the premises into offices for the trust.The original 1890 and 1905 plans of the Trust’s adaptations of the interior to offices are held today by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland

George Heriot’s School was founded as a result of a bequest from George Heriot, jeweller and goldsmith to King James VI.  After the accession in 1603 of James to the English throne, Heriot moved to London, where he resided as Jeweller and Goldsmith at the Court of St James.  Heriot died childless and bequeathed £23,625 for the purpose of founding in his native city a hospital for the upbringing and education of poor fatherless children who were the sons of Edinburgh ‘freeman’.

In the late 1930’s the trust continued at number 20 but sub-let some of the offices to the offices to the Scottish Travel Association, which was renamed in the 1950’s as the Scottish Tourist Board

Did you know as well that a little East of York Place, at 11 Picardy Place was the birthplace of Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle, the writer of the Sherlock Holmes detective stories.

Facts researched by Edinburgh World Heritage.