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This is the place to search for places and things of interest to visit in Britain, by name, location, type, keyword – or just have a browse. It is a growing directory – 700+ entries as of October 2019. Most entries have links for further information.
Edinburgh Festival Fringe is one of several festivals held in the City, and the largest. It is an open access event that takes place every August alongside the Edinburgh International Festival and includes comedy, theatre, cabaret, children's shows, circus - pretty much anything - and ANYONE can take part. Edinburgh Festival Fringe began in 1947 when eight groups arrived in Edinburgh hoping to perform at the newly formed Edinburgh International Festival but were refused entry. They went ahead and performed on the fringe of the Festival anyway. The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is now the largest arts festival in the world.
Beyond the Fringe (as it were), Edinburgh is immensly buzzy during this festival, with street performers on almost every corner.
St Giles' Cathedral is the City Church or High Kirk of Edinburgh and the mother church of Presbyterianism. It was founded c1124, though little, if anything, of that building remains visible. Probably its most recognisable feature is its crown spire, a landmark on the Royal Mile between the Palace of Holyrood and Edinburgh Castle. Particular features include:
the Chapel of the Order of the Thistle - Scotland's chivalric company of knights, appointed by the Monarch;
a 6 foot tall statue of John Knox, leading Protestant reformer and probably St Giles' most famous minister (who was also buried in the churchyard);
a Copy of the National Covenant;
beautiful stained glass windows;
and at least 66 green men...bet you can't spot them all.
The Edinburgh International Festival is one of several festivals that take place in the City. Beginning in 1947, it aims to offer the best in the performing arts - theatre, music, opera, dance, film etc - from around the world, as well as talks and workshops.
Perched on castle rock above the old town, Edinburgh Castle is one of Scotland's iconic images and a must-see if you're visiting the city. Your problem will be time - the place is huge and there is a lot to see and take in. The castle was at the centre of the wars with the English and, as well as being a fortress has been a prison, Royal Palace and garrison. It was the birthplace of James VI who, as James I of England, became the first monarch of both countries in 1603.
Castle Rock was used in the Iron Age, but there is no evidence of a stronghold until the 7th century. The oldest building there now (and in Edinburgh) is the 12th century chapel dedicated to St Margaret, built by her son, David I, in his mother's memory. The Castle also includes several museums - for example the National War Museum and various regimental museums. Not to be missed - the Honours (Crown Jewels) of Scotland.
Ruined castle built by the Barons of Rosslyn between the 13th and 17th centuries, just a short distance from the famous Rosslyn Chapel and allegedly haunted. The Castle was besieged at least twice and ultimately destroyed by one of Cromwell's armies in 1650. It is not open to the public as a visitor attraction, but it is available to rent as a holiday home. Click on the Landmark Trust's website link below.
NB The castle can be viewed externally whilst visiting Rosslyn Chapel or via Roslin Glen.
Memorial to the Battle of Roslin, erected in 1994. The battle was fought on 24th February 1303 between the Scots and English during the Wars of Scottish Independence. It was a Scottish victory, but it does not figure in many history books and few people have even heard of it. Some accounts of the battle suggest that a divided force of 30,000 English troops was picked off in 3 separate engagements by a rapidly assembled Scottish army of 8,000 fighting on terrain they knew. However, evidence is lacking and the above story may be a myth; the battle could have been a skirmish, or series of skirmishes.
Rosslyn Chapel was founded by Sir William St Clair in 1446 and is still owned by the Sinclair family. It is famously ornate, packed full of wonderful carvings; yet it is a fraction of the enormous church that Sir William proposed to construct but never finished. Rosslyn is a magnet for mystics, conspiracy theorists, fans of Dan Brown's 'Da Vinci Code' and, of course, lovers of history and beautiful buildings.
Impressive ruins of the fortress of the Red Douglases, built in the 14th century. Besieged by James IV and V, it ultimately fell to Oliver Cromwell's forces under General Monck in 1651, and was destroyed. It is an unusual castle; situated on a headland, it has a single curtain wall blocking off the entire site, with defence on the remaining three sides relying on the sheer cliffs and the surrounding sea. Tantallon offers great views of the Bass Rock - and a grim pit prison. Ugh!