No trip to Scotland would be complete without a trip to Scotland's capital city. With a population of just over 477,000 it is a relatively small, compact city but contains many of Scotland's national institutions, it is the seat of Government and there are a large number of museums and major visitor attractions.
It is very relaxed city and large numbers of people still live and work in the city centre (financial services). During the summer, the parks and open spaces are full of people sunbathing, enjoying a drink or have ice-cream (the sun does shine sometimes).
An architectural gem, the city enjoys UNESCO world heritage status as much for its buildings and vistas as its geographical location and imposing castle.
Edinburgh largely escaped destruction during the Second World War and as a result it was chosen in 1947 to host a world class cultural festival. Over the years this has flourished and has grown to become Edinburgh International Festivall that we know today. However that is only part of the story; uninvited performers turned up and organised their own venues and ticket sales. The Fringe event has grown into one of the largest arts festivals in the world.
Edinburgh is truly a festival city; there are festivals and major events taking place throughout the year culminating in the week long Hogmanay celebrations to mark the New Year.