Of castles and palaces
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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