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What are the most famous landmarks in Edinburgh?

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Drummohr Camping and Glamping Site is an ideal choice for your next trip to Scotland’s capital city, Edinburgh. Edinburgh has been the capital of Scotland since 1437, when it replaced Scone in Perthshire. There are lots of famous Edinburgh landmarks but what are the most iconic places to see in Edinburgh? 

Edinburgh Castle

Of all the famous landmarks in Edinburgh, Edinburgh Castle is definitely the most famous.  Visible from throughout most of Edinburgh, it is one of the city’s most visited attractions and is home to the legendary Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo which takes place annually each Summer. Located at the end of the scenic Royal Mile, Edinburgh Castle sits atop a dormant volcano known as Castle Rock and is visible from Princes St Gardens which separate the old and the new towns of Edinburgh. It is known as one of the most besieged fortresses in Europe, facing down hostile forces an incredible 23 times.  

Following the Union of 1707, the Scottish Crown Jewels were locked in a chest in Edinburgh Castle until they were rediscovered by Sir Walter Scott in 1818. During World War II they were hidden in a chest.  

Edinburgh Castle is said to be haunted by the ghost of a lone piper. A gun has been fired from the battery since 1861 and was originally designed to help sailors keep time. Today it is fired daily at 1pm. 

Calton Hill 

To the North of Princes Street Garden Edinburgh are the monuments of Calton Hill. This Edinburgh attraction is a great place to soak up the incredible views and decide where to visit in Edinburgh. Calton Hill, sometimes mistakenly called Carlton Hill, is part of Edinburgh’s UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its Athenian acropolis was originally built in 1822 to replicate the Parthenon in Athens, but was never actually completed. It is sometimes called the Edinburgh Acropolis. Atop Calton Hill are also the historic monuments of Dugald Stewart Monument, the upside-down telescope that is Nelson’s Monument, Robert Burns Monument, and Political Martyrs’ Monument. The City Observatory and Dome have been recently restored to the Collective Art Gallery and contain a new exhibition space and restaurant.  

Scottish Parliament Building

Located at the opposite end of the Royal Mile from Edinburgh Castle, with views of Salisbury Crags and Arthurs Seat, is the steel, oak and granite Scottish Parliament building, another famous Edinburgh attraction. It is frequently and informally known as Holyrood, the name means Holy Cross (‘rood’ or ‘ruid’ is an old Scots word for cross.  

Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) held their first debate in the building in 2004. Designed by the Spanish architect Enric Miralles, who wanted a building that appeared to be ‘growing out of the ground, it’s construction was controversial, being late and over budget, but the building itself has won numerous architectural awards. The most distinctive feature of the MSP block are the unusual windows, each window has its own unique shape.  The shape of the windows is said to have been inspired by an outline of the Reverend Robert Walker skating on Duddingston Loch taken from Raeburn’s famous painting. Guided tours are available on non-sitting days including the debating chamber. 

Arthur’s Seat and Salisbury Crags 

There are many scenic places near Edinburgh and none so than Holyrood Park (or Queen’s Park after the reigning monarch), popular with Edinburgh residents wanting to enjoy the great outdoors and get some exercise. It is a lovely walk and a great place to watch the sun set. Edinburgh’s highest hill, at 251m high, Arthur’s Seat is another extinct volcano and offers panoramic views of the famous landmarks of Edinburgh. Nobody really knows how it got its name. According to legend it was named after King Arthur, but it is just as likely to be derived from the Gaelic term ‘Àrd-na-Said’, meaning ‘Height of Arrows’. 

Forth Bridges 

Visible from Arthur’s Seat and Salisbury Crags are the iconic Edinburgh landmarks of the three Forth bridges, located on the Firth of Forth, linking Lothian with Fife at Queensferry. The Forth three bridges are a scenic place to visit near Edinburgh.   

Inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the famous red arches of the Forth Bridge is one of the places to see in Edinburgh and spans the Firth of Forth at the site of what was once one of the busiest ferry crossings in Scotland. Construction started on this railway bridge in 1883 and it opened in 1890. It is 2.5km long. 6.5 million rivets were used to construct the Forth Bridge and around 200 trains a day use the bridge. It is estimated to need 240,000 litres of paint to paint the famous red steel. The term “be like painting the Forth Bridge” is used to describe a task that can never be completed, which was a reference to the fact that once the painters reached the end of the 2.5km span it was time to start at the beginning again. However, the use of a special paint means that the bridge should not need to be painted again for 25 years.  

The Forth Road Bridge was opened in 1964 by Her Majesty the Queen. At the time, this long span suspension bridge was the first bridge of its kind in the UK, the longest outside the USA, and the fourth longest in the world. With the approach viaducts it is 2.5km long.   

The Queensferry Crossing was opened in August 2017 and its 2.7km long span makes it the longest three-tower, cable-stayed bridge in the world. Over 23,000 miles of cabling were used on the bridge, which is almost the same distance as the circumference of the earth at the equator (24,874 miles). It was originally known as the Forth Replacement Crossing and was re-named the Queensferry Crossing in 2013 after a public vote.  

Getting a photo of the three Forth bridges on a sunny day is an iconic Edinburgh shot. 

Portobello Beach 

For another scenic place near Edinburgh, further along the shores of the Firth of Forth is Edinburgh’s seaside, otherwise known as Portobello Beach, with its seaside promenade of elegant Georgian and Victorian architecture and 2 miles of sandy beach. Portobello Swim Centre is a Victorian swimming pool, featuring an original Aerotone (jacuzzi) and Turkish baths. There was once an Art Deco lido, with the first wave-making machine in the UK where James Bond actor Sir Sean Connery worked as a lifeguard in the 1950’s, as well as a pier which was demolished in 1917. Portobello’s bustling high street, with quality independent restaurants and gift shops is a must-visit, as well as the market in Brighton Park on the first Saturday of every month, selling fresh local produce as well as crafts. Portobello is an Edinburgh attraction and a seaside resort that is great for visiting all year round.


Drummohr Camping and Glamping Site has a range of accommodation options from grass tent pitches through to holiday lodges with private outdoor hot tubs and with easy access to Scotland’s capital via bus or train it makes an ideal and relaxing choice for a city break.