"Is it worth visiting Edinburgh Castle?" This is the single most common question people ask me. The answer to which is a resounding... "Maybe? It depends." That's why it's so satisfying that occasionally, I can just genuinely say Yes.

Let's be clear: Edinburgh Castle is very impressive, the views...

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Mary, Queen of Scots is perhaps the most famous figure in Scottish history. A woman who, despite her high birth and important position, was often the plaything of people who secretly wanted to elevate their own status.

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In Edinburgh we often talk about "The Castle", as if there were only one. If you look a little further, you'll soon find that there are another twelve to be found, of different shapes, sizes and ages. My favorite castle in Edinburgh, however, is Craigmillar Castle. It truly feels like a proper castle, with high, thick walls and it has a fascinating history.

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Say you've spent several days exploring the city and you're desperate for some greenery, then you'll never need to go far within Edinburgh. Arthur's Seat and Calton Hill are very central and a brief diversion will get you to the Botanic Gardens near Inverleith Park. However, if you're looking for beauty, variation and space, you need to head a little south, to Blackford Hill...

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Edinburgh was an important city politically, commercially and militarily. From 1437 it was Scotland's capital. As a Royal Burgh it had a regional monopoly on foreign trade. It would be the first city an invading army would reach after emerging from the Borders. So where are its walls?...

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