Edinburgh

Our Edinburgh series offers all the knowledge you need on Scotland’s capital city, whether you are planning a trip or just curious to know more. Hear the stories of murder and intrigue from history, meet everyone from Mary Queen of Scots to Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Discover the city’s best-known authors, her enlightenment thinkers, her rogues and criminals. We’ll be visiting all the city’s top sights and explaining what you need to know to understand their history and significance. In short, here is all the research you would do yourself if only you had the time!

There’s a podcast for each episode and we are adding more written information to each post as fast as we can.  So, let’s go. We think that might be ‘Tiugainn’ in Scots Gaelic.

EDINBURGH : HISTORY & CULTURE

Castle front Edinburgh

Episode 1: Introduction to Edinburgh

Last Updated on May 4, 2024 by Marian Jones Fàilte gu Dùn Èideann! Welcome to Edinburgh. This introduction to Edinburgh brings you information to help you get your bearings and pick up the basic facts … Read more
Edinburgh Castle01

Episode 2: Edinburgh Castle – The Heart of the City

Last Updated on May 16, 2023 by Ctybr67k If you want to capture the Scottish capital in one image, it has to be a picture of Edinburgh Castle. It’s the city’s star attraction, looming over … Read more
Edinburgh Palace of Holyrood House copyright Visit Scotland

Episode 3: The Palace of Holyroodhouse

Last Updated on February 8, 2024 by Marian Jones The Palace of Holyroodhouse, at the opposite end of the Royal Mile from the Castle is another site full of intrigue and history, or as its … Read more
Edinburgh Piper

Episode 4: The Royal Mile

Last Updated on January 3, 2024 by Marian Jones The Royal Mile, is the collective name for 4 different streets which stretch in a line from the Castle Esplanade down to the gates of the … Read more
Edinburgh Close

Episode 5: Auld Reekie – The Old Town

Last Updated on October 9, 2023 by Ctybr67k Edinburgh is a city of two halves, the Old Town and the New Town. In this post, we visit the Old Town, or ‘Auld Reekie’ as the … Read more
Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh ©Visitscotland

Episode 6: Enlightenment in the New Town of Edinburgh

Last Updated on October 7, 2023 by Ctybr67k Visit Edinburgh’s New Town, built in the 18th century, and you’re in the seat of the Enlightenment, in the elegant streets and squares to which the wealthy … Read more
Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh

Episode 7: The Two Scottish Parliaments

Last Updated on February 8, 2024 by Marian Jones Did you know there are two Scottish parliaments? Well, parliament buildings really. The highlight of this episode is a visit to the Scottish Parliament, Holyrood. But … Read more
Palace of Holyrood House, Edinburgh Copyright Visit Scotland

Episode 8: best Edinburgh parks and walks

Last Updated on May 1, 2024 by Marian Jones This post covers the best Edinburgh parks and walks, taking in both the city centre and the surrounding hills. There are ideas for walks in the … Read more
James VI and I is born

Episode 9: Edinburgh’s History Museums

Last Updated on April 10, 2023 by Ctybr67k This is our round-up of Edinburgh’s history museums. We point you towards lots of goodies; the original National Covenant document, (4000 signatures opposing Charles I and his … Read more
Leith Shore Copyright Visit Scotland

Episode 10: Leith And The Royal Yacht Britannia

Last Updated on December 22, 2023 by Marian Jones A short bus ride from Edinburgh city centre will take you to Leith, the city’s port, and an excellent idea for a day, or half-day visit. … Read more
Edinburgh Writers Museum Copyright Visit Scotland

Episode 11: Edinburgh Literature and Writers

Last Updated on February 26, 2024 by Marian Jones Edinburgh was the first city to be designated a UNESCO City of Literature and whole books have been written about its writers and their legacy. The … Read more
Edinburgh

Episode 12: More Edinburgh Writers

Last Updated on February 21, 2024 by Marian Jones Here’s J K Rowling on Edinburgh Writers: ‘It’s impossible to live in Edinburgh without sensing its literary heritage everywhere’. We covered 3 of the best-known in … Read more
Greyfriar's Bobby Copyright Visit Scotland

Episode 13: Edinburgh’s Witches, Cemeteries and Ghosts

Last Updated on February 23, 2024 by Marian Jones This is not a post for the faint-hearted! We have collected together a host of Edinburgh’s stories on witches, grave-robbers, spectres and apparitions. Is it the … Read more
Emilie Sande, Edinburgh

Episode 14: Edinburgh Art and Artists

Last Updated on April 21, 2024 by Marian Jones This post on Edinburgh art takes you on a tour of Edinburgh’s galleries and gives you a chance to get to know some of Scotland’s best-known … Read more
Langoustines

Episode 15: The Culinary Delights of Edinburgh

Last Updated on May 2, 2024 by Marian Jones This post on the culinary delights of Edinburgh is a chance to dream of wonderful Scottish produce (think highland beef, Scottish salmon, raspberries), to unravel some … Read more
Writers Poets Pub1200

Episode 16: Edinburgh Anthology

Last Updated on May 13, 2024 by Marian Jones This post is an Edinburgh anthology, focussing on both poetry and prose, showing the city through the eyes of travellers, poets and novelists who captured its … Read more

MORE READING ABOUT EDINBURGH

Useful websites for tourists
Forever Edinburgh
All About Edinburgh 
Visit Scotland
Edinburgh International Festival 
Edinburgh Fringe Festival 

4 useful guidebooks
Lonely Planet Pocket Edinburgh
Pocket Rough Guide to Edinburgh
Only in Edinburgh A Guide to Unique Locations, Hidden Corners and Unusual Objects by Duncan J D Smith
Edinburgh on Foot A Pocket Walking Guide by Richard Hallewell

4 useful history books
A History of Edinburgh by Christopher McNab
Edinburgh, A History of the City by Michael Fry
Edinburgh Curiosities by James U Thomson
Horrible Histories Edinburgh by Terry Deary

2 Anthologies
Edinburgh, A Traveller’s Reader by David Daiches
Book Lover’s Edinburgh A Guide and Companion by Allan Foster

6 novels set in Edinburgh
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark
The Naming of the Dead by Ian Rankin (plus all his other novels!)
44 Scotland Street by Alexander McCall Smith (plus over a dozen novels in the series)
The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O’Farrell
One Day by David Nicholls
Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh

Miscellaneous
Selected Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson Edited by Ernest Mehew
Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson
Johnson and Boswell in Scotland Edited by Pat Rogers
Scottish Art by Murdo Macdonald

PODCASTS TO GET YOU STARTED