Edinburgh, the beautiful capital was built among craggy peaks and became Scotland’s capital in the 11th century. From princes street climb the mound towards the castle towering above the capital. Along the way visit the National Gallery. Its outstanding permanent collection includes paintings by Rembrandt and Van Gogh, and seasonal exhibitions make return visits worthwhile.

View a panorama of Edinburgh’s fine buildings and surrounding countryside from the heights of Edinburgh Castle. This is the best known of the country’s castles and there’s plenty to see including historic Scotland’s acclaimed Honors of the Kingdom Exhibition. The famous Military Tattoo is staged there every August.

Three hundred years ago Daniel Defoe described the Royal Mile as perhaps the largest, longest and finest street for buildings and number of inhabitants, not in Britain only, but in the world.

The Royal Mile Castlehill, Lawnmarket, High Street, and Canongate leads eastwards from the castle towards the Palace of Hollrood House. Mary Queen of Scots and later Bonnie Prince Charlie both held court there, and today the palace is the Queen’s official residence in Scotland.