Today we’re looking at some of the most famous and well-loved historical places in Edinburgh for those who love history. So, if you’re a history fanatic you’ve come to the right place. We’ve created a small list of our favourites, so you can visit them at your leisure, and get yourself a potted history of this beautiful Scottish city.
Firstly, we’re going to begin with:
Real Mary Kings Close
It’s buried underground, under Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, and comprises of a warren of streets that are unseen to those above and have been here since the 17th century. They were once busy streets full of people and tradesmen – the mystery is how it came to be this way, so far beneath the ground. You’ll have a tour guide that explains everything and there’ll be some wonderful stories to remember.
John Knox House
This 15th century house is full of traps and tricks that have been built into the house, so there’s plenty to fascinate in this seemingly ordinary historical building. It was at the centre of the Scottish Reformation that saw the abdication of that most famous queen, Mary, Queen of Scots. When the house was excavated time-capsules were found in the walls among other things, and although John Knox lived in the house, it was only for a short time. James Mosman also lived here, he was a goldsmith to the queen (Mary) and lived here for a short period between the mid-16th century to around the late 16th century when he was executed. What happened to James Mosman and what else is hidden in the house?
The most famous of all castles, Edinburgh Castle is a beautiful, majestic and imaginatively built royal residence that is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Within the walls are the crown jewels and you can see them when you visit. What you may not know is that the castle is still active as a military base and is known as the “defender of the nation.” It’s also home to the world famous annual Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo held here every August.
St Marys Cathedral
This certainly is one of the most enigmatic cathedrals. It was designed by a George Gilbert Scott and is the biggest ecclesiastic building in Scotland. As it’s an episcopal church it comes with a Bishop, and as well as being of historical interest it’s also a present-day place of worship. Inside you’ll find The Presence, a beautiful painting, The Paolozzi Window and The Rood Cross.
This monument was dedicated the Sir Walter Scott the famous author, and is also the largest monument that’s been dedicated to a writer. It can be seen rising up far up into the sky with it’s striking Gothic Victorian spire. It’s at least 200ft tall and has nearly 300 steps which lead to its summit. If you decide to climb to the top, not only are you brave, you’ll be exposed to some of the most amazing views of Edinburgh while you’re up there. Stay at the bottom and you’ll have the sculpture of Sir Walter Scott himself to keep you company and you can bask in the shade enjoying what view there is from the safety of the ground.
After you’ve enjoyed a full day of historical exploration why not visit us here at Escape Games Edinburgh where you and family or friends can indulge yourselves in some fun, locked in a themed room with only an hour to escape. Question is - will you make it in time? See you there!