Explore Edinburgh’s past with these historic sites

By Kingfisher Visitor Guides

Edinburgh is steeped in history making it the ideal place to walk around and explore. The city was once named the 'Athens of the North' as it gained the reputation of being the centre of economics, philosophy and medicine during the 1700s.

Edinburgh has grown in a layered fashion, presenting itself with many different styles of architecture, so get your walking shoes on as there are many historic sites to explore in this compact city.

Greyfriars Kirkyard
Greyfriars Kirkyard lies in the heart of the Old Town in Edinburgh

This is the spot where Greyfriars Bobby guarded his owner for 14 years after death

Greyfriars Kirk is a 16th-century church which can be found in Edinburgh‘s historic Old Town. It is surrounded by a churchyard (Greyfriars Kirkyard) where one of its most famous residents is Bobby, a Skye terrier who refused to leave its owner’s grave and was cared for by the locals until he died. A statue immortalises him just outside the churchyard entrance. Greyfriars also has a darker side. The churchyard is the site of ‘Covenanter’s prison’, a place where ill-fated soldiers who were on the losing side of the Battle of Bothwell Bridge were executed.

Scott Monument
The Scott Monument is located in the heart of Edinburgh on Princes Street

Standing proudly in Princes Street Gardens, the Scott Monument is one of the most iconic Edinburgh landmarks

The Scott Monument is one of Edinburgh’s most popular historic monuments and it honours Sir Walter Scott, a world-famous writer. Within the spire is the writer himself along with his dog, Maida, accompanied by 64 carvings of characters from his novels. If you take the 287-step climb to the top of the monument, you will be greeted with stunning views of the city from various viewing platforms.

St Mary’s Cathedral
St Mary's Cathedral with its Paolozzi window in Edinburgh

Admire the Paolozzi window at St Mary’s Cathedral

St Mary’s Cathedral is a neo-Gothic building that is magnificent to view and explore. As it’s an Episcopal church, it has a Bishop who is responsible for the Edinburgh Diocese. There are many interesting things inside the cathedral such as the Paolozzi window, a remarkable painting called The Presence and The Rood Cross. St. Mary’s Cathedral choir have a renowned reputation and there are daily choral services to hear them in action.

The rich heritage of Edinburgh is really outstanding and with so much to see and explore you are guaranteed never to have a dull moment.

Climb the Scott Monument for great views of Edinburgh

Read more about Edinburgh

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Image credits: ©Jaroslav Moravcik/stock.adobe.com; Michael D Beckwith/Unsplash; Shutterstock.com

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