In the summer of 2013, My mother, sister, and aunt and I went to Edinburgh, Scotland to visit my mom's family. We spent three weeks exploring Scotland and the English countryside and beyond. We spent the majority of our trip in Edinburgh. There were so many incredible sights - unlike anything we have over here in the states. It was truly as if we had stepped into anther world. I've always wanted to make a return trip since that summer and fortunately I'll be able to do just that after I graduate and leave on my planned tour of Europe.
1. Calton Hill
This spot is located near the center of Edinburgh and boasts some spectacular scenery as well as view of the downtown area. This was one of the first places my uncle took us after we landed. The hillside is full of ancient monuments and structures. I remember wandering around Calton and enjoying all the incredible views. Calton is a historic area as well. Just down the street from the hill are the headquarters of the Scottish Government!
2. Arthur's Seat
The second sight on this list is one of the highest points in Scotland. It is the main peak of the hills in Scotland, people come every day to climb to the top. We did this hike a couple days after we arrived in Scotland and it was one long hike but so worth it. Arthur's Seat overlooks Edinborough and the view is amazing. This landmark is also rumored to be named for the mythical King Arthur and his knights.
3. Greyfriars Kirkyard
The Greyfriar's cemetery is an iconic staple of downtown Edinburgh. It's located at the edge of old Edinburgh. This was probably one of the most memorable places on our trip. We first went when shopping and exploring the old town. The second time was a bit more colorful. We returned to the 16th century cemetery on a ghost tour my family insisted on going on. Let me just say, if you think the ghost tours we have in the states are scary, Europe is on a whole different level. Greyfriars harbors some pretty horrifying tales.
4. The Elephant House
The Elephant House is a must see for every coffee lover and Harry Potter fan. This coffee and tea shop is located in old Edinburgh. This is where J.K. Rowling wrote Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. People come from all over the world for a cup of coffee and to etch their favorite line from the series onto the bathroom walls - seriously, they're covered.
5. Edinburgh Castle
My last pick is Edinburgh Castle. It's located in the center of town. The castle is one of the most incredible things i've ever seen. It's almost fully intact - thanks to careful preservation. It's also the home of the crown jewels of Scotland, which you can actually view inside it's many halls. From the dungeons to the balconies, this is probably the most iconic sight in all of Edinburgh.