Country Living (UK) - - Travel -

Set­tlers first as­cended the heights of Cas­tle Rock (now the site of Ed­in­burgh Cas­tle) in around 900BC – its lo­ca­tion on a vol­canic crag pro­vid­ing a nat­u­ral de­fen­sive po­si­tion per­fect for ward­ing off in­trud­ers (al­though hav­ing been cap­tured by both Ed­ward I and Oliver Cromwell, it’s clearly not im­pen­e­tra­ble). Built on craggy hill­sides, the city is in­ter­twined with its land­scape, and in the 18th cen­tury was dubbed ‘The Athens of the North’, ow­ing to it be­ing a cen­tre of cul­ture and ar­chi­tec­tural majesty.

Visit: from the re­mains of the 16th-cen­tury Flod­den Wall, built af­ter the Scots’ de­feat by the English in 1513, to the Na­tional Mon­u­ment of Scot­land (Ed­in­burgh’s an­swer to the Acrop­o­lis) and the head office of RBS (one of the most beau­ti­ful bank­ing halls in Bri­tain), the city is a his­tor­i­cal trea­sure trove with many lit­tle-known gems to ri­val the famed Royal Mile and Cas­tle – al­though they’re pretty good, too (ed­in­burgh.org).

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