Of cas­tles and palaces

YTL Life - - Life Feature -

As the United King­dom’s “most walk­a­ble city”, Ed­in­burgh com­mands a tourist fol­low­ing for its his­tory book set­ting, pic­turesque cob­ble­stone lanes and ami­able lo­cals. With The Glasshouse Ho­tel Ed­in­burgh’s lo­ca­tion at the heart of the city, guests en­joy bird’s-eye views of Cal­ton Hill and prox­im­ity to sto­ried mon­u­ments, bars, cafes, restau­rants and shops. On the to- do list of vis­i­tors are places on the Royal Mile, a mere 10-minute walk from the ho­tel. Amid the hus­tle and bus­tle of this cen­turies-old walk­way, Ed­in­burgh re­veals one of its more unique as­pects.

Part of the Old Town, on op­po­site sides of the Royal Mile, are Ed­in­burgh Cas­tle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse. The for­mer is one of the Scot­tish cap­i­tal’s most fa­mous land­marks, with ori­gins trac­ing to the 12th cen­tury when St Mar­garet’s Chapel was con­structed. The cas­tle’s ex­pan­sion in­cluded the Great Hall, built by James IV in 1510; Re­gent Mor­ton’s Half Moon Bat­tery, es­tab­lished to­wards the end of the 16th cen­tury; and the Scot­tish War Memo­rial, which com­mem­o­rated the end of the First World War.

To­day, Ed­in­burgh Cas­tle is home to the Hon­ours or Scot­land’s Crown Jew­els; the Stone of Des­tiny; Mons Meg, a gun from the 15th cen­tury; the One O’clock Gun; and the Na­tional War Mu­seum of Scot­land. At the end of this ex­tra­or­di­nary thor­ough­fare is the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the of­fi­cial Scot­tish res­i­dence of Queen El­iz­a­beth II. As the home of the kings and queens of Scot­land, dat­ing to the 16th cen­tury, the build­ing is a vast repos­i­tory of beau­ti­ful arte­facts and art­works. Vis­i­tors are wel­come to ex­plore the 16th-cen­tury His­toric Apart­ments of Mary, Queen of Scots along with the State Apart­ments, which func­tion till to­day as venues for state events. Recorded guided tours are avail­able in nu­mer­ous lan­guages for those keen to un­cover lit­tle known nuggets of in­for­ma­tion about this lo­ca­tion and its leg­endary for­mer oc­cu­pants.

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