Official Guide to Edinburgh
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Top 7 reasons why you should visit Edinburgh when you retire

19 September 2016

This week, the team at British Seniors share with us the reasons why you should visit Edinburgh in your golden years...

If you’re in need of some inspiration of what to do after retirement, why not consider visiting one of the most beautiful cities in Scotland? Edinburgh has so much to offer, from internationally renowned tourist attractions to quirky local gems.

Still need some convincing? Here are 7 reasons why you should visit Edinburgh when you retire:

1.  Stunning Architecture and Attractions

One of the most striking aspects of the city is its dramatic blend of medieval style structure in the Old Town and unique Georgian style architecture in the New Town.  One of the most stunning landmarks of architecture is of course the number one tourist attraction, Edinburgh Castle. Overlooking the city, the historic castle is one of Scotland’s most iconic landmarks. When visiting the castle, be sure to go on a tour with one of the castle’s ambassadors to learn more about the castle’s history, and visit the Scotland’s Crown Jewels and the Stone of Destiny.

The Royal Mile, which connects Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace, is arguably Edinburgh’s busiest and most interesting thoroughfare. Littered with shops, restaurants and pubs, there is always somewhere to go and something to do when you visit the Royal Mile. (Source:

2. Whisky Tasting

The Scottish absolutely love their whisky. A staple in their culture, naturally you can find the best of Scotland's national drink here. The Scotch Whisky Experience is a popular tourist attraction at the top of the Royal Mile beside the castle, where you can embark on tours that will lift the lid on 'the water of life'. Depending on your chosen admission package, you can even treat yourself to a tasting after the tour to try some of their finest selections.

3. Shopping

Edinburgh has a variety of both classic and unique stores across the city. From luxury brands to independent boutiques, you’ll be able to find an excuse to treat yourself to a little shopping spree.

Some unique brands and stores can be found in both the West End and the Grassmarket, where you'll also uncover some of Edinburgh’s best designer boutiques and independent shops. Along the Grassmarket, you can also find some traditional pubs and restaurants which serve some of Scotland’s favourite meals and drinks. Meanwhile The High Street, located on the Royal Mile, offers some tourists favourites with traditional kilts and prints, gift shops, as well as some quirky stores.

4. Scottish Culture and Tradition

Scottish tradition is certainly a distinct culture, and one that's instantly recogniseable as you step off the train at Waverley (if you listen carefully, you'll be able to hear the kilted bagpiper who plays at the corner of Princes Street and the station).

A favourite tradition among tourists and locals alike is the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, a fantastic spectacle of dancing, music and fireworks that is held on the Edinburgh Castle Esplanade every August - an absolute must for anyone who is visiting the city during the summer festival season. 

5. The Festivals

During the month of August the city becomes a hotbed of festivals, with the Edinburgh International Festival, The Edinburgh Art Festival, The Edinburgh International Book Festival and the Edinburgh Mela coming to the city throughout the month.The biggest festival in terms of performances and audience numbers, The Edinburgh Festival Fringe, attracts new and upcoming artists of all forms of arts from across the country, making the city one of the most exciting places to be in the world. 

However, the festivals aren't just for August, with a jam-packed calendar of events throughout the year. Every weekend you'll find farmers markets in Castle Terrace, Stockbridge, Grassmarket and Leith, and other festivals such as the Edinburgh International Science Festival, the Scottish Storytelling festival and perhaps one of the most iconic New Year's celebrations on the planet - Edinburgh's Hogmanay. 

6. Museums and Galleries

Edinburgh has a rich and varied history, one which has shaped its culture today. To learn more about the epic history of Scotland and Edinburgh, you can visit some of the top quality museums and galleries in the city.

The National Museum of Scotland can be found on Chambers Street and has some fascinating displays covering Scottish history, world culture, science, art, fashion and much more. The National Gallery of Scotland and the Royal Scottish Academy complex on Princes Street boasts some of the most stunning paintings through the Georgian and Victorian period, many of which were created by notable Scottish artists.

7. The Views

The two best places to see some of the breath-taking panoramas of Edinburgh is on the Edinburgh Castle Esplanade and Arthurs’ Seat. The walk up Arthur’s Seat is a surprisingly easy hike, even for those who don’t do it often.

The easiest way to walk up is by the east side, from Dunsapie Loch. If you’re looking for more of a challenge (and are wearing the appropriate shoes) you can try and hike up the steeper climb over on the west side of the hill. The sight on top of the extinct volcano is a spectacle to be seen, and worth the short puff up to the top. Be sure to walk through Holyrood Park as well, and take in some of the beautiful views along Queen's Drive. 

For more ideas on places to visit after retirement, take a look at British Senior’s Top 30 places to visit when you retire. 

This content has been sponsored by British Seniors. 

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