Cobbled lanes and castles are just the tip of Edinburgh’s charms. The folk at Handpicked Hotels recommend you visit the Scottish capital at least twice thrice…

The capital city of Scotland, Edinburgh, is one of the most captivating cities in the world.  It has bustling shopping streets and several old cobbled lanes seconds apart, making it no wonder the place is a World Heritage Site.

Steeped in history, tradition and spectacular architecture, Edinburgh isn’t somewhere you visit once. You return to discover, learn and enjoy more and more of this place. A great time to visit, of course, is August during ‘the Festival’.  Film, art, music, politics and books all have their own events and the following week The Fringe is held where actors, actresses, comedians and performers of all kinds flock to the city to perform where, for some, it’s a make or break opportunity.

Wherever you are in this glorious city you can, for the most part, see the castle. Its buildings date from the 12th Century right through to the 21st Century. It is certainly worth a trip up to, to wander round its lofty expanse and if you’re there around lunchtime (1pm to be exact) a field gun erupts with a burst of shellfire, frightening the life out of those who were not expecting it, you’ve been warned!

When in Scotland, eat and drinks as the Scots do. So, although you may be nursing a hangover trying to keep up with them, you can do so with a Scottish breakfast. Scottish breakfast is very similar to its English counterpart with the addition of potato scones and a few other regional variations depending on where you get it from. You sometimes get fried haggis too. Which isn’t for everyone obviously, seeing that it’s a bunch of offal boiled up in a bladder, but I love it!

For evening eating you could try Dubh Prais, a restaurant serving traditional Scottish food, situated on the High Street, that comes highly recommended from tourists and locals alike; make a reservation and enjoy chowder, haggis and venison steak in the small but perfectly formed surroundings.

Hotels in Edinburgh can range from the elaborate and exquisite to the ‘just what you need but nothing more’. The Hotel Ceilidh-Donia comes well recommended and is fairly priced. It isn’t as central as others but can be easily found either in a taxi or local transport.  The Norton House Hotel in Edinburgh is gorgeous and just far enough outside Edinburgh that you can enjoy the peaceful walks and luxury. And it’s close enough to pop into the city centre at a moment’s notice.

If luxury is your style and money isn’t an issue then The Prestonfield might be more your thing. It has a fabulous reputation as a sumptuous and luxurious 5-star grand-house turned hotel and you can guarantee you will not be disappointed.

Wherever you stay in Edinburgh, make sure you are well rested to enjoy all the city has to offer, least of all its fabulous shopping, from Harvey Nichols and Jenners to small independent boutiques, there is something for everyone.

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