Things To See & Do
Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland and displays its heritage to fine effect along the fabulous Royal Mile. There are wonderful views of the Firth of Forth from the Castle at one end and more to explore at Holyrood Palace and the new Scottish Parliament at the other. Beyond this you’ll find peace and tranquillity in Holyrood Park and Arthur’s Seat, whose easily attained summit affords superb panoramic views of the city.
We’d also recommend a guided walking-tour which wends its way along the Royal Mile revealing the secrets of Edinburgh’s cultural, criminal and political past, venturing into oft-ignored closes, wynds and atmospheric courtyards. A short walk from the Royal Mile is Greyfriars Kirkyard; with its famous former and current residents, it’s a wonderfully atmospheric spot to rest and contemplate.
In Glasgow, head to Bellahouston Park for a morning at ‘House for an Art Lover’ which is a great way to enjoy the architecture which Charles Rennie Mackintosh made famous. 2018 is in fact the 150th anniversary of the birth of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, an occasion that will be marked by events across Glasgow, including a special exhibition of the Glasgow designer, architect and artist’s life and work at Kelvingrove Art Gallery.
The People’s Palace and Winter Gardens are also a must-see. The iconic museum and glasshouse offer an insight in to the city’s social history through a wealth of artefacts, prints and photographs – you’ll even find Billy Connolly’s Banana Boots on display. The Lighthouse Gallery in Mitchell Lane offers a rooftop view and an interpretation of the city’s architectural history – the mainly Victorian city has often been used as a film set for 19th Century New York.
Wander over for a little shopping at the renowned Princes Square and meander through the beautifully restored Argyll Arcade, full of jewellers, whilst you are there. If it all gets rather overwhelming, pop in to Gin71, one of our favourite bars, to sample one – or two – of their 71 different gins from around the world.
Travelling To & Around
Both cities are easily accessible by train from England, including a sleeper service, or via flights from destinations near and far.
Glasgow makes a great starting or finishing point for trips to the west coast islands, including the Inner and Outer Hebrides, while Edinburgh combines well with trips to the Highlands and Northern Isles of Orkney and Shetland.
The cities are fewer than 50 miles apart, linked by regular trains and buses.
Both cities are quite compact for walking around, though there are a few challenging hills. Glasgow has a circular subway system, dubbed the Clockwork Orange, given the colour of the trains and miniature-scale. It provides a good link between the city centre and West End. Taxis are reasonably affordable for short hops in both cities.