A Historic Tour of Edinburgh: As Told by Instagram

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Some of the best moments of a holiday are reliving it through your snaps, especially when you visit a particularly Instagrammable destination. During a recent trip to Edinburgh, our hearts were captured by the colourful yet moody vistas, taking us back hundreds of years to when the old town wasn’t so old at all. But we couldn’t just leave it there… we wanted to find out more about this beguiling city, so, we decided to go back thousands of years to where it all began. Why don’t you join us?

Arthur’s Seat

Surely one of the oldest spots in Edinburgh, Arthur’s Seat is believed to get its name from King Arthur himself, although other historians dispute this, with some suggesting that the Gaelic words ‘Àrd-thir Suidhe’, meaning place on high ground, eventually became ‘Arthur’s Seat’. But this mass of rock goes back even further than the times of the Knights at the Round Table. The peak was actually formed by an extinct volcano in the Carboniferous period, around 350 million years ago before dinosaurs even existed. Now that’s old!


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Edinburgh Castle

Fast forward a few years and the beginnings of Edinburgh’s Old Town are being built, with the castle forming the focal point of the city. Shaped yet again by the extinct volcano, Castle Hill is thought to have been occupied since the second century AD, but only in the 12th century was a castle built by David I. The castle has seen its fair share of conflict, with English and Scottish monarchies fighting to rule over Edinburgh. In 1571, the castle saw one of its most iconic battles, with English forces laying siege on the city in an attempt to capture Mary Queen of Scots. This lasted two years and, unfortunately for Mary, ended with her supporters surrendering to the English.


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Scotch Whisky

Scotch whisky is almost as old as Edinburgh itself, well not quite, but the earliest distillation is believed to have taken place in 1494. Scotch whisky comes from five main regions across the nation of Scotland, each one giving the drink a distinctive taste, ranging from the smoky notes of Islay to the vanilla flavours of Speyside. A great place to sample the different flavours is the Scotch Whisky Experience, which although isn’t old itself, holds the largest collection of Scotch in the world!


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Located directly below the castle and nestled in the heart of the Old Town, the Grassmarket is one of the most famous areas of the capital. Originally a market place for horse and cattle in the 14th to the 19th centuries the old market is now one of the most buzzing areas of the city, with pubs and colourful bars dotted around the edge – pop into one of them to try some haggis, neeps and tatties. It also leads off to Victoria Street, pictured below on our very own Instagram.


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The Dome

During the 19th century, another iconic Edinburgh landmark was built, The Dome. Originally serving as the headquarters of the Commercial Bank of Scotland from 1847, The Dome is now a category A listed building and serves a different purpose. The grandiose architecture and opulent interiors could hardly go unappreciated without an occupant, so The Dome was transformed into a bar and restaurant that everybody could enjoy together.


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