Edinburgh crowned most historic city in the north of England and Scotland

Edinburgh has been found to be the most historic city in all the north of England and Scotland, thanks to its vast array of historical experiences compared to its counterparts

Edinburgh crowned most historic city in the north of England and Scotland

Article Source: WM Wavemaker
First Published: 11 November 2019 13:05
Updated: 11 November 2019 13:05

For locals and visitors alike, the news that Edinburgh has been crowned the most historic city in the North of England and Scotland will come as no surprise. It only takes a brief stroll around the city to take in the stunning buildings, parks, monuments and heritage sites to realise why. A new study by TransPennine Express compared 19 cities to see which had the most historical hits on offer.

Edinburgh scored top marks in all categories except for one – monuments. To celebrate Edinburgh’s victory, let’s delve into just what makes the city so historically great, looking at some of the top sites.

Royal Mile
The Royal Mile is one of Edinburgh’s most significant landmarks. Encased in history, this 1.81km – not an English mile, but a Scottish mile - stretch runs from Edinburgh Castle to the Palace of Holyroodhouse. It’s incredibly popular with tourists and divided into six areas. Castlehill and Castle Esplanade are the oldest part of the Mile, and the latter is known to be a space where witches were burnt at the stake. Lawnmarket was a marketplace until the 17th Century, and today connects The Hub to Bank Street. High Street is the most well-known part of the Royal Mile, housing St. Giles cathedral and Tron Kirk, as well as shops, pubs and restaurants. In contrast, Canongate is the least visited part – until 1856 it was an independent burgh, separated from the rest of the city. Lastly, Abbey Strand connects the end of Canongate to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, via Parliament Square. With so much history packed into a compact area, it’s no wonder the Royal Mile is the most historic site in Edinburgh!

Edinburgh Castle
The role of Edinburgh Castle in Scotland’s history cannot be understated. It has played two parts – a royal residence and a military stronghold. Both Queen Margaret and King Malcolm Canmore made it their home in the 11th Century. The castle then saw plenty of military action until 1745, and until the 1920s, it was the British Army’s primary base in Scotland. The rocky crags of Castle Rock was the most easily defended hilltop on an invasion route used by several different armies – from the Romans, to the Jacobite troops. The castle is so popular with tourists today due to the sheer volume of things to see – the world famous One O’Clock Gun, St Margaret’s Chapel (also the oldest surviving building in Edinburgh) and the Honours of Scotland, nicknamed the Scottish Crown Jewels.

The Real Mary King’s Close
Hidden beneath the busy Royal Mile, you’d be forgiven for passing it by, but the Real Mary King’s Close is something you don’t want to miss. Here, you can unlock the secrets of life in the 17th Century in Edinburgh, through streets, passageways and homes. You can learn about the dark past of the area and the people who lived here. This historic site is truly unique, so it is easy to see why visitors flock to it.

Royal Botanic Garden
If tranquillity is something you seek, the Royal Botanic Garden is a must-see. Encompassing 70 acres and with over 3000 exotic plants to see in the Glasshouses, you can easily spend a day here. This spectacular living collection is almost 350 years old – and visitors can embrace different climates, from the tropics to the deserts.

Gilmerton Cove
This archaeological mystery has left experts scratching their heads for over 200 years, and is still attracting curious tourists today. It’s a hand carved subterranean adventure, with seven rooms. After years of research, the origins of the site are still unknown. Was it a meet up spot for a secret society? A witch’s coven? Or home to the Romans? It’s all for visitors to decide when they experience it for themselves.

Palace of Holyroodhouse
The Palace of Holyroodhouse is most well known for its association with Mary, Queen of Scots, and Bonnie Prince Charlie. It still has royal roots today, as it is used by the Queen when carrying out engagements in Scotland. In fact, in July, Her Majesty spends a whole week celebrating Scottish culture, known as ‘Holyrood Week’. This tradition has been in place since the reign of King George V and Queen Mary. The palace itself dates to 1128, when it was founded by David I as an Augustinian monastery.

Whether you’re an architecture fan, a royalist or just a lover of all things spooky, Edinburgh’s historical sites are sure to entertain you. For history further afield, why not visit other cities on the list, like Glasgow, York and Liverpool? You can see the full historical index of the North and Scotland on the TransPennine Express website HERE

Latest Edinburgh News

National comic book tour for Maths Week Scotland

National comic book tour for Maths Week Scotland

Rossie Stone, director and founder of Dekko Comics will take part in digital events in schools across the country for Maths Week Scotland (28 September – 4 October).

First Published: 25th September 2020
Dobbies takes part in charity coffee morning

Dobbies takes part in charity coffee morning

Dobbies Garden Centres is raising vital funds for Macmillan's Coffee Morning this week, by hosting its own 'Raise a Cup' event at their Scottish stores!

First Published: 24th September 2020
Edinburgh Zoo welcomes curious new otter pair

Edinburgh Zoo welcomes curious new otter pair

The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland has recently welcomed two Asian small-clawed otters, Barry and Luna, to Edinburgh Zoo.

First Published: 24th September 2020
Jack Arts Scotland bring the ALT D Show to the streets

Jack Arts Scotland bring the ALT D Show to the streets

Jack Arts Scotland brings the ALT-D Show to the streets, showcasing works from 83 Edinburgh College of Art graduates.

First Published: 23rd September 2020
Fore Play Crazy Golf Edinburgh Tees Off Next Month

Fore Play Crazy Golf Edinburgh Tees Off Next Month

Scotland’s top alternative night out, Fore Play Crazy Golf has announced the launch of their new pop-up venue in Edinburgh city centre.

First Published: 21st September 2020
North Edinburgh Arts secures Scottish Land Funds

North Edinburgh Arts secures Scottish Land Funds

As part of the ongoing regeneration programme around MacMillan Square, North Edinburgh Arts (NEA) has secured £156,000 from the Scottish Land Fund.

First Published: 21st September 2020
A new stylish life by the sea

A new stylish life by the sea

There’s no need to sacrifice standards when escaping the city, thanks to the new Chapter One Hair Spa at Haddington!

First Published: 21st September 2020
Edinburgh care home shortlisted for top national award

Edinburgh care home shortlisted for top national award

Care UK’s Murrayside, on South Beechwood is celebrating after making the shortlist at a national award ceremony.

First Published: 19th September 2020
BBC Debate Night calls for audience members in Edinburgh and the Lothian

BBC Debate Night calls for audience members in Edinburgh and the Lothian

BBC Debate Night is calling for audience members from Edinburgh and the Lothian to take part via Zoom on Wednesday 30th September.

First Published: 18th September 2020
Edinburgh Zoo chimps learn the ropes

Edinburgh Zoo chimps learn the ropes

The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland shares adorable new photo of seven-month-old Western chimpanzee Masindi practising her climbing skills with the help of her older brother Velu.

First Published: 18th September 2020
Marathon Mum takes on biggest challenge yet, recovering from stroke

Marathon Mum takes on biggest challenge yet, recovering from stroke

Now stroke survivor Carole Fortune is determined to give back to the charity that changed her life.

First Published: 17th September 2020
A Drive In Christmas Panto is coming to Glasgow and Edinburgh this winter!

A Drive In Christmas Panto is coming to Glasgow and Edinburgh this winter!

Just when you thought your Christmas show had been cancelled, Horrible Histories comes to the rescue with their own unique take on the festive season!

First Published: 17th September 2020
The Epic Adventure of Bill and Ted continues at Vue Edinburgh Ocean and Omni

The Epic Adventure of Bill and Ted continues at Vue Edinburgh Ocean and Omni

One of the most legendary on-screen duos are reuniting after nearly 30 years for the third Bill and Ted film – Bill and Ted Face the Music, now showing at Vue Edinburgh Ocean and Omni.

First Published: 16th September 2020
Rising Enquiries Prompts West Lothian Venue to Unveil New Wedding Packages

Rising Enquiries Prompts West Lothian Venue to Unveil New Wedding Packages

Macdonald Houstoun House has seen a 25% spike in enquiries after launching a series of flexible wedding packages created specially to help couples tie the knot following lockdown.

First Published: 16th September 2020
Search is on for the best home bakers in Scotland

Search is on for the best home bakers in Scotland

The Scottish Cafe & Restaurant in Edinburgh has launched it's second annual search for Scotland’s finest home baker in time for the return of hit TV show, The Great British Bake Off.

First Published: 15th September 2020
A great sense of humour is the secret to a long life according to Edinburgh resident

A great sense of humour is the secret to a long life according to Edinburgh resident

A resident at an Edinburgh care home celebrated her 100th birthday and revealed the secret to living a long life is ‘A great sense of humour’.

First Published: 14th September 2020
The hunt is on for Santa to work in Dobbies Edinburgh store this Christmas.

The hunt is on for Santa to work in Dobbies Edinburgh store this Christmas.

In partnership with Great Grottos, suitable candidates are being called on to fill Santa’s boots in Dobbies Edinburgh store this Christmas.

First Published: 14th September 2020
Vue Edinburgh Ocean provides more ways to switch off

Vue Edinburgh Ocean provides more ways to switch off

Vue Edinburgh Ocean is boasting a slate of brand new content for cinema-lovers to enjoy this week.

First Published: 11th September 2020
Dobbies welcomes award winning butcher to Edinburgh store

Dobbies welcomes award winning butcher to Edinburgh store

The UK’s leading garden centre retailer, Dobbies Garden Centres, today (11 September) welcomes award-winning butchers, Walter Smith Fine Foods, to the flagship Edinburgh store.

First Published: 11th September 2020
Dobbies launches Christmas events programme with social distancing and safety at forefront

Dobbies launches Christmas events programme with social distancing and safety at forefront

With the festive season in sight, the UK’s leading garden centre retailer, Dobbies Garden Centres, announces its Christmas events offering for 2020.

First Published: 11th September 2020
Pupils resilience artwork on display across the county

Pupils resilience artwork on display across the county

Pupils from across Midlothian have submitted more than 150 pieces of art and written work about how they coped during COVID for a new exhibition.

First Published: 11th September 2020
West Lothian supports Great British Clean up

West Lothian supports Great British Clean up

West Lothian Council is joining other organisations such as Keep Scotland Beautiful in supporting The Great British September Clean.

First Published: 11th September 2020
Grave Robbery Returns to Edinburgh

Grave Robbery Returns to Edinburgh

New grave-robbery themed ‘escape room’ set to bring a dark and intriguing period of Edinburgh’s history back to life.

First Published: 10th September 2020
Hard Rock Cafe Edinburgh and Glasgow say THANK YOU to frontline workers!

Hard Rock Cafe Edinburgh and Glasgow say THANK YOU to frontline workers!

Hard Rock Cafes Edinburgh and Glasgow are delighted to announce an exclusive emergency services discount as a thank you to frontline workers across Scotland.

First Published: 9th September 2020
Harvey Nichols Offer Student Discount for Forth Floor Dining

Harvey Nichols Offer Student Discount for Forth Floor Dining

Harvey Nichols, Edinburgh is delighted to welcome students back to university this September with 20% off dining on the Forth Floor.

First Published: 9th September 2020
Dates announced for GlasGLOW, returning to light up the city this October!

Dates announced for GlasGLOW, returning to light up the city this October!

itison have announced that GlasGLOW will return to Glasgow's Botanic Gardens from the 29th October to the 8th November with early bird tickets on sale on the 16th September!

First Published: 9th September 2020
The Dog Ate My Homework

The Dog Ate My Homework

The Dog Ate My Homework, CBBC's BAFTA nominated comedy panel show, is back for a eighth series and they need you!

First Published: 5th August 2015
Scots crown Edinburgh Capital of Adventure

Scots crown Edinburgh Capital of Adventure

Scots crown Edinburgh ‘Capital of Adventure’, following a survey by The Scots Magazine, as it launches an interactive map to help people find the best big and wee adventures on their doorstep.

First Published: 7th September 2020
SBH Scotland are on the hunt for skydive heroes

SBH Scotland are on the hunt for skydive heroes

Come fly with us in 2021! Join Team SBH Scotland for an exhilarating Charity Skydive at Errol Airfield, Perthshire.

First Published: 7th September 2020
Kids in Museums and Walkers Books announce an exciting half term activity for families!

Kids in Museums and Walkers Books announce an exciting half term activity for families!

Kids in Museums are delighted to announce that they are once again partnering with Walker Books on an exciting half term activity for families: Where's Wally? Spooky Museum Search!

First Published: 7th September 2020

Sponsored Links

Popular Events

Bergamotte Pop Up Jungle - Edinburgh
Bergamotte Pop Up Jungle returns to Edinburgh from September 23rd - 26th with a wide election of plants for every budget!
EIFF and Unique Events present: Drive In Movies
Edinburgh International Film Festival and Unique Events have teamed up with Edinburgh Airport to produce a new monthly event for cinema fans throughout the rest of 2020!
Leith100 : Light-Up Leith History Mural
Come see the Leith History Mural in a whole new LIGHT when it returns for a run of 10 nights from 25th September!
Secrets of Witches Wood
Follow the winding footpaths and venture into the lost lands of the Calder Witches at Almond Valley Heritage Centre this October!
Royal Highland Show 2021
One of Scotland's most iconic events 'The Royal Highland Show' returns to the Royal Highland Centre from 17th June!

Popular Venues

Edinburgh Playhouse Festival Theatre Edinburgh Kings Theatre Edinburgh National Museum of Scotland Traverse Theatre