EDINBURGH. Early morning visitors arrive at the gates of Edinburgh Castle, one of Scotland’s premier visitor sites.
Discover Scotland in Edinburgh
Scotland’s political, cultural, and historical capital
Discover Scotland in Home At First’s Edinburgh: Occupying a dramatic natural setting since prehistoric times, Edinburgh is both an ancient and historic royal city and a vibrant, culturally experimental, modern city. Home to the Scottish Parliament, the Queen’s residence at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the massive, imposing Castle atop Castle Hill, a curious cluster of mixed monuments on Calton Hill, and the venerable, often grand northern architecture of the adjoining Old Town and New Town combined as a recognized World Heritage Site. Overlooking all of Edinburgh is its own unique demi-mountain in Holyrood Park, complete with the near-vertical basaltic prisms of the Salisbury Crags, three mini lochs, and crowned with Arthur’s Seat.
This fractured landscape has been inhabited since long before western writing. Its hills offer defensive protection. Its proximity to the North Sea sheltered Firth of Forth promised transportation and fishing, and an invitation to Vikings, who recognized a fjord when they found one. But the Vikings were only some of Edinburgh’s invaders. The Romans were here, although they retreated behind Hadrian’s Wall to England. The English came and were repulsed a number of times, with the consequence of Edinburgh becoming more a British city than strictly Scottish. It is this tension that has provided Edinburgh its greatest triumphs, calamities, intrigues, shames, and individual achievements. It is no surprise that you can discover Scotland in Edinburgh, the center of Scottish culture, history, and politics.
A list of prominent individual achievers born, resident, or associated with Edinburgh ranks with any similar list from world cities far larger. Consider this severely culled listing: Tony Blair (popular UK Prime Minister), Alexander Graham Bell (inventor who ranks with Edison), David Hume (pillar philosopher), Adam Smith (pillar economist), Mary Queen of Scots (Queen), John Knox (theologian, Presbyterianism founder), Charles Darwin (evolutionary theory), Robert Louis Stevenson (novelist of Treasure Island and Kidnapped), Sir Walter Scott (novelist & poet and writer of the Waverley novels after which Edinburgh’s Waverley Railway Station is named), J. K. Rowling (Harry Potter novels), Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes novels), Thomas Carlyle (philosopher and writer), Sir James Matthew Barrie (author: Peter Pan), Sir Henry Raeburn (portraitist), Sean Connery (the real James Bond), and James Craig (homegrown architect designer of Edinburgh New Town).
For Edinburgh — and for Scotland — the historical tension with England continues. Should Scotland stand independent, free to leave the United Kingdom, free to join the European Union, free of the U.K. Parliament’s imposition of taxes, regulations, and restrictions? Or, should Scotland — irrevocably part of the island of Britain — be an intrinsic part of the United Kingdom, a full partner, come hell or Brexit? Or — and this is the current (2021) trend — should Scotland reside in a national purgatory, neither fully British fish, nor independent Scottish fowl, with major say over internal Scotland matters, but subject to Parliament in London for all matters not wholly Scottish? Scotland’s place — in Britain, in Europe, in the world — will to some extent be decided in Brussels and in Westminster, but, increasingly, building like seismic rumblings, within the venerable, Craigleith sandstone walls of Old and New Edinburgh. Come to the Scottish capital — discover Scotland in Edinburgh.
HOW IT WORKS—
Home At First’s Edinburgh: Independent Travel
with Quality Vacation Apartments.
Explore Edinburgh, Scotland, from your own vacation cottage apartment in the historic heart of the city. Home At First has vacation apartments in the center of Edinburgh, in Old Town and New Town, all walking-close to Castle Hill, the Royal Mile, Waverley Station, and Princes Street. On foot and using the city’s trams and buses you explore Edinburgh. With your ScotRail or BritRail Pass you travel by train from nearby Waverley Station to destinations in Scotland or in northern England, following day-trip suggestions found in our exclusive Scotland Activity Guide.
Sample Edinburgh City Apartments
Shown and described below are two popular Edinburgh City Apartments enjoyed by Home At First guests. They are shown here as samples of different sizes and capacities, and to illustrate the standard of quality that comes with all apartments regardless of design, size, style, and location. While the range of apartments to choose from is extensive, the standard of quality and service is the same regardless of apartment or location.
Home At First’s Edinburgh — The Lodgings
What are Home At First’s Edinburgh lodgings like? Each is unique. They come in all sizes, shapes, and styles. Some are modern. Some are traditional. Some have several bedrooms and baths; others may have a single bedroom and bathroom. Flat-screen TVs are ubiquitous — expect multiple TVs in larger apartments. A few apartments have terraces or balconies. A few others have furnished patios or gardens. All are secure private quarters with private bathrooms, and must meet certain standards of quality and equipment: