Visit Edinburgh and the Lothians

Dancer at the Edinburgh Military TattooWelcome to the home page of Edinburgh and the Lothians. Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland. It is a city steeped in history that embraces the days of old with the days of new. Edinburgh boasts the largest New Year street party in the world, and without doubt is the host, as can be seen in the Photograph to the left, to the finest Military Tattoo in the world. Photograph is by kind permission of Midlothian Camera Club. Each year artist from the entire world performs at this exotic venue held on the splendid setting of the esplanade of Edinburgh Castle.

This show is normally sold out two years prior to each performance. The Military Tattoo runs in tandem with the fringe and the official Edinburgh International Festival in August each year. Edinburgh is a University City and boasts a medical training department that is as good as you will get any where in the world. It has also been a garrison town for as long as the United Kingdom has had a British Army, and before. I started the web site because of the shocking state of the tourist advertisement in relation to selling Scotland as a tourist attraction. It seemed to me to be all about Heathrow and photographs of Big Ben and London Bobbies.

Most tourist web sites seem to say every thing about nothing and waste your valuable time trying to get you to book you into the nearest hotel, rather than an attempt to explain what any given area has to offer. Edinburgh has far more to offer than printed. But it never seems to me to be put on the map. I am sure like me that having trawled through 650 pages of bed and breakfast and hotel addresses, and still not found what you are looking for. You give up. I have set out to address this problem. You will not find any annoying pop ups. Neither will you find any advertising. There is a email link on every page that I hope you will use, email me if you found a problem. The feed back I get will allow me to improve the web site as problems and hiccups are pointed out. All you have to do is browse through the pages using the navigation bars on the left. On the Places to Visit Page you will see a different navigation bar on the left. The items below the Newsletter, give a direct link to the website of the places you might like to visit, such as the Museum of flight. Organise your holiday in Edinburgh from the comfort of your own home and when you get here Welcome to Edinburgh.

Forth BridgeEdinburgh International Airport is sited to the west of the city. It takes around 20 minutes from the airport to the city centre. Edinburgh is situated on the south bank of the River Forth. It has two cruise terminals. One being at the Port of Leith, the other being at Rosyth. Rosyth of course is in Fife, but is connected by rail and road by the Forth Road the Queensferry Crossing and the Forth Rail Bridge. All these bridges are civil engineering feats that are a tourist attraction in their own right. A photograph of the Forth Rail Bridge can be seen on the left. Both those bidges were built a century apart. Because of concerns regarding safety. The Forth road bridge has to work on reduced capacity, because of safety reasons. As a result the Queensferry Crosssing was built.

Queensferry Crossing over River ForthThe Queensferry crossing has been completed and it is a engineering marvel. It was opened by HM the Queen and is now the main crossing for vehicular traffic across the Forth. The photograph taken the day before it was opened can be seen on the left The Royal Yacht Britannia is now permanently moored at the Port of Leith and attracts thousand of visitors each year. Edinburgh's main rail link is the Waverley Station. Train links to all major cities can be accessed from here and it is bang right in the city centre on the east end of Princes Street. Just over the road is the bus station and similar links can be accessed here. In short it is dead easy to get to Edinburgh from anywhere in the world.

For some strange reason the worlds most prolific authors have been born in Edinburgh. To name but a few, Sir Walter Scott, along with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Not to mention J.K Rowling of Harry Potter fame, along with Robert Louis Stevenson who was born in Edinburgh on the 13th November 1850. Who can forget Kidnapped, Treasure Island and Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde? Add to that the Rebus by Ian Rankin and the James Bond novels which are based in Edinburgh or from an Edinburgh connection. A photograph of the Scott Monument is shown on the left, a tribute to the man himself. On the political side Scotland is one of the constituent countries of the United Kingdom. It has its own parliament that deals with devolved matters. That parliament building was designed by the Spanish architect Enrica Miralles. As a building it has been controversial, but inside it is absolutely beautiful. At present the position of Scotland's First Minister is held by Humza Yousaf of the Scottish National Party since 29 March 2023, following the resignation of Nicola Sturgeon. Yousaf was elected as the nominee by the Scottish Parliament on 28 March 2023, and formally appointed by The King on 29 March 2023. The Prime Minister is the Right Hon MP Rishi Sunak.

Army band playing at the Palace of Holyrood houseIn its own right Edinburgh is a financial city. It is the 2nd largest financial city in the UK, and 4th by equity assets in Europe. The fourth largest bank in the world is the Royal Bank of Scotland. The Headquarters of this bank are literally on the entrance to the airport. Some of the United Kingdoms best insurance companies are Scottish based like Scottish Widows. The financial world is a major employer in and around the City of Edinburgh. However with the recent world wide credit crunch it certainly seems a lot in the financial world is about to change. The new town of Edinburgh is the largest conservation area in Europe. The lovely buildings in this part of the city are protected by law. The Georgian look and feel of the architecture is unique amongst major cities. The old town is steeped in history; Edinburgh has had a bloody and violent past. A walk down the Royal Mile between the Castle and the Palace of Holyrood House, the Kings residence in Scotland, a thousand years of history is spanned. The photograph on the left shows the Band of the Scottish Division playing for His Majesty during his stay at the Palace. Edinburgh has a very distinct sky line mainly due to building on high ground, like that of Calton Hill.

Painting of Mary Queen of ScotsEdinburgh is surrounded by three counties. They are the County of Midlothian, the County of East Lothian and the County of West Lothian. In concert all three of those counties have shared in one way or another the history of Edinburgh. Geographically the area covers South Central Scotland. All those counties have county towns. For instance the town of Dalkeith situated just to the south of Edinburgh was once a stopping point for the stage coach as it made its way to London. Dalkeith has been a Burgh since 1401 under James Douglas the Earl of Morton. The lands later were passed to the Duke of Buccleugh and who is reputed to be one of the richest men in the United Kingdom. Not only are the county towns steeped in history. Even small villages like Roslin are historic in their own right. It was made famous by the film the Di Vinci Code It is also the birth place of Dolly the sheep. Right on Dolly's door step, a massive English Army was defeated and routed at the battle of Roslin Glen. The army, amongst others was led by Henry St Claire, the owner of Roslin Chapel. In West Lothian. Linlithgow is the county town, an ancient Royal Burgh. Mary Queen of Scots was born in Linlithgow Palace on 8th December1542. Six days later she became Queen on the death of her father. The painting of her is on the left.

Air display by the Red ArrowsMany of the original houses in Linlithgow were built by the Knights of the Order of St John commonly known as the Knights Templar. Their preceptory was at nearby Torphican. The county town of East Lothian is Haddington. It is thought to be the birth place of John Knox the key figure of the Scottish Reformation. A Royal Burgh since 1139. It was described by a local newspaper in 1840 not as a county town' but the 'Metropolis' of East Lothian, misfortunes aplenty, faults, none. Make what you will of that. The photograph on the left shows the display team of the RAF, the Red Arrows during a display at East Fortune. The home of the Museum of Flight, which houses a Concorde. Nearby on the airfield you can book a flight on a microflight aircraft. Indeed it is also a training school that will teach you to fly and obtain a Private Pilots licence for that type of aircraft.  Weight restrictions apply.

The Saltire one of thje Scottish flagsThe idea of this site is about Scotland in general and Edinburgh and the Lothian’s in particular. The photograph on the left is the St Andrews Cross, also known as the Saltire, the National flag of Scotland. As a visitor to this part of the world by taking a brief tour of this site on the parts that interest you, hopefully all, you will feel like a local, know the history, what you want to do and how to get there. Thus saving valuable holiday time. For instance if you like ski-ing just click on the ski-ing navigation button and heh presto...of to the details of where you can ski. These list of course can go and on, and will be added to. I have done all the research and created the link. All you have to do is read what is said on this web site. If you require more information just follow the link related to the subject. Read as much or as little as necessary to suit your need. At the end of the day there will enough information for you to get of to a flying start on your visit or well earned holiday.

Rampant lionThe flag to the left is Scotlands other flag... the Lion Rampant... There are navigation buttons on the side of each page. Each button has a heading showing the subject. I have found that when I go any where, I am all over the place just trying to find a simple thing like a cinema, or what sport is nearby. The buttons are in distinct sections. The buttons have been reasonably sized to accommodate those with lesser vision. Navigation is at the top and botom of the pages. What is not covered here at the moment is accomodation. Both the City of Edinburgh and the Counties of the Lothians are awash with places to stay. Ranging from from the 5 star grandeur of the Balmoral Hotel to the humble B and B. Large groups, for instance those at conferences etc can be accommodated by the University of Edinburgh at Pollock Halls. Or by the Heriot Watt University who have a large campus at Currie. Your holiday in Edinburgh and the Lothians starts here. There are links to places and people that have not been linked on this page but are linked elsewhere on this web site. Off you go and browse, plan and most important come to Edinburgh.