Photo (C) Magnus Hagdorm
10 Awesome Autumn Attractions in Edinburgh
When autumn arrives there’s a tendency to look far afield in exotic climes for a break.
But the reality is that there are some stunning spots for the cooler months in the UK too. Edinburgh has a range of attractions and events that offer a cultural antidote to the post-summer blues. The capital of Scotland is a city that has been shaped by its relationship with temperate weather – it embraces it, is better for it, suits it. It is a city that, come rain or shine, bursts with activity and vibrancy. Ultimately, the autumn months are the perfect time to visit.
Within easy reach of Tune Hotel Edinburgh here are ten autumn must-visits…
One of the most impressive and imposing historical city centre sites in the world, Edinburgh Castle is an absolute must for visitors to the Scottish capital. Located a short distance from Tune Edinburgh, it’s also perfectly located for a relaxed and easy day out. While a general tour of the castle, taking in sights such as the Great Hall and the fantastically named Stone of Destiny, is a wonderful way to experience Edinburgh’s ultimate landmark, it might be worth considering timing your trip to coincide with one of the many events held at the castle, such as Music Through the Ages, From Waterside to Waterloo and Kilts and Captivity.
Photo (C) Philip McErlean
National Museum of Scotland
One of the best ways to discover a new city is to visit its museums. This puts the city’s place in the world into perspective and brings its history to life. In a city such as Edinburgh, which boasts a rich and colourful history – one that is still prevalent and visible to this day – the National Museum of Scotland is a must. Much like the Edinburgh Castle, the National Museum is within walking distance of Tune Edinburgh and therefore offers a stress-free day out. Notable limited-time-only events include the fantastic Celts exhibition, which runs until the final week of September, and the stunning Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibit, which continues throughout the autumn months.
Photo (C) CCFoodTravel.com
The Edinburgh Dungeon
Cities as old as Edinburgh inevitably have darkness in their past, and it is exactly this that the Edinburgh Dungeon brings so powerfully to life. Be prepared for an assault on the senses – the dungeon tour is full of sights, sounds and smells that will keep you on your toes. Each tour is interactive and includes a cast of actors and actresses that bring the city’s murky past to the present – the plague, ghosts and torture chambers all feature. If you’re someone inclined to get the heart racing, this’ll be the perfect way to get to know the city! Want to learn more? Check out this spooky attraction list.
Photo (C) Shadowgate
Scottish National Gallery
If art’s your bag, make sure you get over to the Scottish National Gallery, a stunning building in the heart of the city that houses one of the most comprehensive collections of fine art in the world. Even if art isn’t a particular passion of yours, the Gallery is still well worth a visit. Notable exhibitions include Joseph Beuys: A Language of Drawing, which runs until the end of October and Self Portraits: Rembrandt to Ai Weiwei, which ends on 16 October. While admission to the Gallery is free of charge, some of the exhibitions are ticketed, so if you’re interested in a particular paid-for display it’s worth buying your tickets online before you travel.
Photo (C) Spencer Means
Walking a new city can be exhausting, but ultimately it’s one of the best ways to experience a new place – just surround yourself with it. While Edinburgh has plenty of excellent and aged pubs perfect for resting those weary legs (and it’s well worth sampling as many of these as you can) why not treat yourself to something a little fancier on one of your lunch breaks? The Dome, an impressive building with a Greco-Roman façade and Corinthian Portico in the centre of town, offers everything from coffees to cocktails, via afternoon tea and fine dining. If culinary experiences are your thing, the Dome won’t disappoint.
Photo (C) Ibpyles
Part of Edinburgh’s UNESCO World Heritage Site, Calton Hill offers stunning views of the city and is a beautiful spot to spend the duskier hours of the day. After exerting all that energy in reaching the top, visitors are rewarded with a veritable feast of historical architecture (along with those aforementioned views, of course). Among the iconic monuments that litter the hilltop are the National Monument, the Robert Burns Monument and the City Observatory. Naturally this is a site open to the elements, but don’t let that deter you – it’s one of the best places to visit in all of Edinburgh, even in the rain.
Photo (C) Shadowgate
Palace of Hollyroodhouse
Originally an abbey, the chambers were converted into a palace by King James IV in the late 15th Century. The Palace of Hollyroodhouse has since been used by a long list of reigning monarchs and assorted royalty, including Mary, Queen of Scots, and is still used today by Queen Elizabeth II. The ancient architecture is breathtaking and the sweeping gardens are some of the finest in the country, if not the world. While general admission offers an exciting experience, those visiting before 16 October can also enjoy Fashioning a Reign, a look at the current Queen’s lengthy reign through the medium of her wardrobe.
Photo (C) Iain Cameron
Just as London has the Houses of Parliament, Edinburgh has the Scottish Parliament Building, which, unlike most of the other sites you’ll be visiting in the city, is modern. Regardless of your political inclinations, give it a go. Politics has always been a powerful part of Scottish life and this building is now at the heart of it all. As well as the simple thrill of taking the place in, visitors can also enjoy free tours that incorporate art, literature and history. What’s not to love about that?
Photo (C) christopherhu
For those who like their history quaint, Dean Village will be just your thing. This sanctuary within the city is located on the Water of Leith, just a short walk from the bustle of Princes Street. A waterside walk takes in millstones, a beautiful bridge and the gorgeous St Bernard’s Well temple. Excitingly, the main building, Well Court, recently underwent extensive renovation work and has been restored to its former glory. City centres can get a bit much at times, so when that moment strikes, head to Dean Village.
Photo (C) John Mason
The Royal Mile
If you’ve visited Edinburgh Castle or the Palace of Holyroodhouse, then you’ll have walked part of the Royal Mile. The Mile is the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town, the buzz of people and activity providing the heartbeat. With plenty of pubs, cafes and restaurants vying for your attention, as well as a range of ever-present buskers and performers, your senses are well served. Furthermore, places of historical interest, such as the Writers’ Museum, John Knox House and the Museum of Edinburgh can all be found on this slice of the city. It’s the street where everything happens, and even if those autumn clouds roll over, it’s a street worth experiencing.
Photo (C) NH53
Long days walking new cities are tiring. It’s important to have a base that’s both close to the action and offers a relaxing and comfortable atmosphere to retreat to when the day is done. Our Tune Hotel Edinburgh is perfectly placed for a number of the attractions and sites listed above, providing you with the ultimate place to stay for your awesome autumn getaway.