Unusual Things to do in Edinburgh
Friday, 05 February 2016 18:10
Edinburgh has an extensive year-round calendar of special events and activities, so you'll always be assured of plenty of choice when it comes to deciding how to spend your time in the city.
You also won't have any trouble finding the city's major attractions, like Edinburgh Castle or the Palace of Holyroodhouse (located at opposite ends of the Royal Mile), but here are some top tips for less familiar or more unusual ways to experience Edinburgh...
Mary King's Close, just off the Royal Mile, may give you an atmospheric subterranean insight into life in the medieval city, but for a more authentic, and mysterious, underground attraction take a short drive or bus ride from the city centre. Seek out Gilmerton Cove, a network of underground tunnels chiselled from the solid rock. No one is entirely sure how the tunnels were created, or when, or by whom - local legends talk of witches using the tunnels for their secret meetings, as well as an underground drinking den in the days when alcohol was heavily controlled. Hard hats are provided but take a torch to explore the tunnels at your leisure, following a short guided tour to help you uncover some of the highlights of this truly spooky local mystery.
Climb a Volcano (or three)
Edinburgh's landscape was shaped in part by volcanic activity, and there are three extinct volcanoes which make up the local geography. The rock under Edinburgh Castle is a volcanic plug, estimated to be about 500 million years old, and Arthur's Seat (at the bottom of the Royal Mile) and Calton Hill (at the east end of Princes Street) date from a similar period. Climb each of the volcanoes and enjoy panoramic views over the city and surrounding areas - especially when the weather is good...
Escape From Edinburgh
There has been a recent rise in 'escape room' attractions, in which you are given a limited amount of time to solve a series of fiendish puzzles to escape from a locked room. Check out Edinburgh's award-winning Can You Escape? on Holyrood Road. They have a number of puzzle rooms available, including Operation Deadlock where you can pit your wits against those of your family in a race against time to complete the conundrums!
Look to the Skies
Public interest in astonomy has never been higher, and Edinburgh's Royal Observatory hosts regular evening stargazing events to help you explore the skies above us. Check out the man in the moon or scan the skies for signs of little green men as you find out more about our solar system at these fun and informative events, held in the historic observatory building on Blackford Hill.
Make Some Furry Friends
We're a nation of animal lovers, so it's probably only appropriate that Edinburgh has Scotland's first cat cafe, where you can spend time having fun with felines along with enjoying a paw-fect cup of coffee. Maison de Moggy is located near the Grassmarket in the Old Town, and their coven of kitties are waiting for you to stop by and stroke them!
Whatever your interests, Edinburgh has something to amuse, entertain, surprise and enthrall you. For more suggestions for ways to occupy your time in the city, all my private tours comes with a personalised information service featuring advice, ideas and recommendations to help you plan your visit.
Check out www.edinburghexpert.com for more information and to start planning your trip!
A passionate and knowledgeable ambassador for Edinburgh, Gareth Davies is from www.edinburghexpert.com where visitors can go to experience the city through the eyes of a local, visit places off the beaten track and meet his co-guide Monty! (a French bulldog puppy).