Things to do - Edinburgh Lothian And Falkirk

Impressive, historic, cultural and elegant, Edinburgh is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe that boasts both a medieval old town and a new town with stunning Georgian architecture. The Old Town and the New Town have been designated a UNESCO world heritage site since 1999.

Standing high upon Castle Rock is Edinburgh Castle. This historic fortress is one of the most visited attractions in Scotland and is open all year round. You can buy a whole day ticket and take one of the guided tours or choose your own route around this fascinating edifice which dates back to the 11th century. There are performances by costumed guides like the Rebels and Redcoats which is a spectacle all about the Jacobite War. The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is performed annually and is a display of marching and music like no other.

Edinburgh has many superior hotels as well as plenty of bed and breakfast establishments so you will be able to find somewhere to suit your needs. This is a city that is ideal for either an extended holiday or for short breaks. The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is a huge draw for lovers of comedy, literature and all the arts. Whatever time of year you choose to visit you will find many places of interest suitable for all the family.

The famous Edinburgh Zoo, which is located on Corstorphine Hill, is second in popularity only to the castle. As well as providing a chance to view the wonderful array of animals and birds, the zoo helps with breeding endangered species and is the only zoo in Britain where you can see giant pandas and koalas. Children love to see the daily penguin parade and for those over 3 and up to the age of 15 the entry fee is reduced.

More of an adult experience are the City of The Dead Tours with underground vaults and haunted graveyards to visit. Why not go on Halloween night and make this an extra spooky trip? The graveyard tours last for around an hour and twenty minutes as do the underground city of the dead expeditions. Named as Britain's best ghost walk, this is one of the most popular attractions in the city.

Many visitors to Edinburgh stay in self catering accommodation and there is plenty of choice both in the city and around the outskirts. There is a huge variety of restaurants and cafes for eating out and if you want to bring your dog you will find a good choice of pet friendly establishments in this amiable Scottish city.

In order to make the most of your stay why not go on an Edinburgh Guided Tour with Stuart and Richard. You can choose to go in a group or take a private tour and learn all about the history, culture and beautiful architecture that goes towards making Edinburgh so unique. Tours last for around three hours and take place at 10.00 am and 2.00 pm daily for groups or you can book a private tour for half a day or all day. On group tours children under the age of 11 go free.

Staying in Edinburgh gives you the opportunity to see more than the city and Noost Scottish Tours can take you on a trip around Rob Roy country to see Stirling Castle, one of the most impressive fortresses in Scotland. Or, take a trip to the rugged North West coast with spectacular views across to the Isle of Skye. A private driver guided tour is a luxury you deserve when you holiday in Scotland.

A guaranteed highlight of a stay in the city is a private tour through Edinburgh Expert Walking Tours. An experienced and friendly local guide is available to take you on one of the four fixed routes or you can organise a bespoke tour that takes you to areas of your own special interest. Ranked as one of the top ten tours in Edinburgh and an amazing experience, a private tour with Gareth can last for 2 hours or take up the whole day. The choice is entirely yours. Through the Royal Mile in the Medieval Old Town to the beautiful Georgian architecture of the New Town, these fact based history tours really make Edinburgh come alive. There are no gimmicks or costumes but plenty of facts presented in an fascinating and interesting way. For an authentic taste of Edinburgh it is hard to beat these unique walking tours.

One sight not to be missed are The Kelpies. Soaring up to thirty metres high, these horse head sculptures were completed in 2013 by the artist Andy Scott and they form a gateway to the Forth and Clyde canal. Based on mythological creatures that were said to haunt rivers and streams, the Kelpies are a monument to the horse powered industry that helped to shape Scotland's industrial heritage. Take a family photo or a selfie with these stunning works of art and then go to the visitors centre where you can buy a souvenir to remind you of the grandeur of the magnificent sculptures.

One of the most unusual and unique places to visit in Edinburgh is Victoria Regalia. If you like history and design this is an amazing shop situated close to the castle and on top of the Royal Mile. You can buy beautifully designed tie slides, masonic novelties or a hip flask which you can use to carry around some traditional Scottish whisky.

This is a city with so much history and culture that in the 18th century Scottish Enlightenment it was called the 'Athens of The North'. Whether this is your first trip or you are a regular visitor there is always something new to discover in Edinburgh.