With excellent transport links from all over the UK, Edinburgh has always been a popular short break destination, and deservedly so. There is a wide range of excellent rented accommodation in the city, from one bedroom flats to rent to imposing town houses, giving you the flexibility and freedom not often associated with a hotel stay. The capital city of Scotland, Edinburgh is an ancient city steeped in tradition and history, but also a thriving, modern town, truly an enlivening place to head for on a self-catering break. As a visitor, once you have settled into your perfect holiday apartment, you will be quickly absorbed by the heady mix of ancient and modern, from the narrow, atmospheric wynds (alleys) off the Royal Mile, to the contemporary culture on offer at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. There is so much to see and do during your short break in Edinburgh: the best tourist attractions, sports and leisure opportunities, a fabulous choice of places to eat and drink, entertainment of all types, and excellent shopping.
Don't forget that festivals are what Edinburgh does best! There is barely a month that goes by without some form of festival being celebrated - from the truly amazing Hogmanay parades to welcome in the first day of the New Year, the Snowdrop Festival in February, the Ceilidh Festival in the spring (celebrating Scottish folk music and culture), the Easter Festival, Science Festival, Children's Festival - there really is something for everyone - you should book your Edinburgh holiday apartment now. In the summer, the city erupts every August/September in the unique Edinburgh Festival, itself an artistic umbrella for the International, Book, Fringe, Film and Jazz Festivals, plus the legendary Military Tattoo - you need to book your short break early to avoid disappointment. During the winter, a self-catering apartment would enable you to enjoy the month-long Christmas Festival, lasting for the whole of December, when Princes Street Gardens, George Street and St Andrew Square come alive with an open-air German Market, the Winter Wonderland ice-skating rink and the glittering Edinburgh Eye amongst the attractions. In January, you may plan to come to Edinburgh for a short break to make the most of the sales in leading stores such as Jenners, Harvey Nichols and John Lewis.
Edinburgh is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and you will soon discover why, there is so much to see and do in this short break city! To get your bearings, your first destination might be a walk up Calton Hill, at the east end of Princes Street which is the main artery of Edinburgh. At the top is a mini-acropolis from which comes Edinburgh's nickname, The Athens of the North. From here, you have a 360-degree view right down Princes Street, across the Georgian New Town, out to the Firth of Forth, over Leith and the docks, Dynamic Earth and the Scottish parliament and to the medieval Old Town, with Holyrood Palace and Edinburgh Castle on the skyline, at either end of the Royal Mile.
A visit to Edinburgh Castle during your short city break is a must, there is so much romantic, violent history embedded in its walls and esplanades. From here, you can walk all the way down the Royal Mile to Holyrood Palace, HM The Queen's principal residence in Scotland. On the way, you will pass many historic buildings and be captivated by the atmosphere of this Old Town and its streets steeped in history. St Giles Cathedral is about half-way down, and do take time to look inside. The Official Fringe Office where you can buy tickets for shows during The Edinburgh Festival is on the right, and during the Festival, street entertainment takes over from buses outside its doors. Museums include The Museum of Childhood; Gladstone's Land, a perfectly restored 17th century merchant's house; and John Knox's House. To make the most of your short break in Edinburgh, you may like to take a diversion right along George IV Bridge and cut down cobbled Victoria Street to the Grassmarket, once the site of Edinburgh's gallows, but now an area offering a plethora of excellent independent shops, bars and pubs, overshadowed by the huge castle. When you finally reach the other end of the Royal Mile, a tour of Holyrood Palace is highly recommended. Right opposite is the new Scottish Parliament building, an award-winning design by the late Spanish architect, Enric Miralles. Directly behind is Our Dynamic Earth, a fantastic addition to the museum scene, involving space travel, eco-science, geophysics, and polar bears - your children will love it!