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Things to do in Edinburgh

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Royal Mile
Edinburgh's Royal Mile is the heart of Scotland's historic capital. A short walk away is the Grassmarket, an area steeped in the city's colourful history. The Royal Mile runs through the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town, connecting the magnificent Edinburgh Castle, perched high on a base of volcanic rock, with the splendorous Palace of Holyroodhouse, resting in the shadow of Arthur's Seat. The Mile is overlooked by impressive, towering tenements, between which cobbled closes and narrow stairways interlock to create a secret underground world. Peppered with superb attractions such as The Real Mary King’s Close or the Scottish Storytelling Centre, historical sites including St Giles' Cathedral and some of the best eating and drinking spots in the city, the Royal Mile offers much to see and do. For a glimpse of recent history, be sure to visit the ultra-modern Scottish Parliament, a striking building boasting a cutting-edge design. https://www.visitscotland.com/info/towns-villages/royal-mile-and-grassmarket-p918401
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Edinburgh Zoo
The wildest visitor attraction in Scotland. Edinburgh Zoo is home to over 1,000 rare and beautiful animals from around the world and home to the UK's only giant pandas and koalas. RZSS Edinburgh Zoo is packed with fun and un-zoo-sual things to do. Why not watch zoo's famous penguin parade and visit the world’s only Knighted penguin, Sir Nils Olav. Or spend your day learning about brilliant birds, mischievous meerkats, super strong sun bears and more with daily keeper talks! Get closer than ever to monkeys, lemurs, wallabies and pelicans in a walkthrough habitats or at a daily animal-handling sessions. Watch a Sumatran tiger walk right over your head in Tiger Tracks, an amazing glass viewing tunnel. And if you prefer smaller critters, you’ll enjoy Wee Beasties where you can find reptiles, amphibians and insects. Edinburgh Zoo is unlike any other visitor attraction in Scotland. As part of RZSS, one of Scotland’s leading conservation charities, the Park acts as a gateway to our wider work, both here in Scotland and in over 20 countries around the world. https://www.visitscotland.com/info/see-do/edinburgh-zoo-p292751
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Lauriston Castle
With its calm, tranquil atmosphere, and stunning views across the Firth of Forth, Lauriston is the perfect place to escape from the bustle of the city centre. Enjoy a woodland walk, a visit to award-winning Japanese garden, or step back in time and experience what life was like in an Edinburgh middle-class home at the beginning of the 20th century. https://www.edinburghmuseums.org.uk/venue/lauriston-castle
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Museum of Edinburgh
Discover Edinburgh’s fascinating history through the Museum of Edinburgh’s wide and varied collections. In exploring the Museum’s maze of 16th-century buildings, you will see iconic items, beautiful objects and learn fascinating facts and gruesome tales. This free museum is easy to locate on the historic Royal Mile, with our companion Museum The People’s Story directly across the road. With a wide range of stories and objects, this museum has something for young and old, locals and visitors. In addition to the permanent collections, there is a regular programme of special exhibitions hosted at the museum. https://www.edinburghmuseums.org.uk/venue/museum-edinburgh
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Scott Monument
Standing proudly in Princes Street Gardens, the Scott Monument is one of the most iconic Edinburgh landmarks, a must-visit for tourists and locals alike. Dedicated to Sir Walter Scott, it is one of the largest monuments to a writer anywhere in the world. Sitting proudly at the base of the monument is Sir Walter himself, carved in Carrara marble by Sir John Steel. This monumental statue, fashioned from a single piece of marble weighing 30 tons, took the sculptor six years to complete. It features Scott and his beloved hound Maida. Join one of the tour guides to find out who Sir Walter Scott was, why such an impressive monument was in his honour and enjoy the breathtaking views of Edinburgh from the third-floor viewing platform - a truly unforgettable experience! https://www.edinburghmuseums.org.uk/venue/scott-monument
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Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle is one of the most exciting historic sites in Western Europe, Set in the heart of Scotland's dynamic capital city it is sure to capture your imagination. The scenery will take your breath away. https://www.edinburghcastle.gov.uk/visit
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National Museum of Scotland
Our diverse collections will take you on a journey of discovery through the history of Scotland and around the world, taking in the wonders of nature, art, design and fashion and science and technology – all under one roof. https://www.nms.ac.uk/national-museum-of-scotland/
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Craigmillar Castle
The castle of Craigmillar is one of the most perfectly preserved castles in Scotland. Even today, the castle retains the character of a medieval stronghold. Building began in the early 15th century, and over the next 250 years the castle became a comfortable residence surrounded by fine gardens and pastureland. The castles history is not only closely involved with the city of Edinburgh, but plays an important part in the story of Mary Queen of Scots who fled to Craigmillar Castle following the murder of Rizzio. It was in the castle where the plot was hatched to murder Marys husband, Lord Darnley. https://www.visitscotland.com/info/see-do/craigmillar-castle-p245831
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Holyrood Park
Holyrood Park is a short walk from Edinburgh’s Royal Mile in the heart of the city. It is a 640 acre Royal Park adjacent to Holyrood Palace. The parks highest point is Arthurs Seat, an ancient volcano, and sits 251m above sea level giving excellent view of the city; it is also the site of a large and well preserved fort. This is one of four hill forts dating from around 2000 years ago. With its diverse range of flora and geology it is also site of Special Scientific Interest. https://www.visitscotland.com/info/see-do/holyrood-park-and-arthurs-seat-p914341?cat=cgparksgardens&prodtypes=acti,attr,reta,tour&loc=Edinburgh&locplace=4161&locprox=0&areaproxdist=50
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National Monument of Scotland
The National Monument of Scotland, on Calton Hill in Edinburgh, is Scotland’s national memorial to the Scottish soldiers and sailors who died fighting in the Napoleonic War. http://www.eyeonedinburgh.net/monuments/calton-hill/national-monument-scotland/
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Surgeons
If you are fascinated by the wonders of the human body, this museum is a must-visit. Owned by The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, Surgeons' Hall Museums consist of the Wohl Pathology Museum, the History of Surgery Museum and The Dental Collection. The museums reopened in 2015 after an extensive refurbishment, making the collections more engaging and accessible than ever before. https://museum.rcsed.ac.uk/
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Dynamic Earth
A visit to Dynamic Earth is like nothing else on Earth. It's a chance to experience the primeval forces of nature as they shaped our planet, to journey through space and time and even go on a 4DVENTURE around the world. You'll be embarking on the interactive adventure of a lifetime - the lifetime of our planet. http://www.dynamicearth.co.uk/visit/what-is-dynamic-earth