22nd March – Welcome Reception, National Museum of Scotland, 19.30-23.30
23rd March – Banquet Dinner, National Museum of Scotland, 19.00-23.00
What to do in Edinburgh
Buy your discounted Edinburgh Bus Tour ticket in advance to receive a discount
Edinburgh Castle was recently voted top UK Heritage Attraction in the British Travel Awards and is Scotland’s number one paid-for tourist attraction.
This most famous of Scottish castles has a complex building history. The oldest part, St Margaret’s Chapel, dates from the 12th century; the Great Hall was erected by James IV around 1510; the Half Moon Battery by the Regent Morton in the late 16th century; and the Scottish National War Memorial after the First World War.
The castle houses the Honours (Crown Jewels) of Scotland, the Stone of Destiny, the famous 15th century gun Mons Meg, the One O’ Clock Gun and the National War Museum of Scotland.
The Palace of Holyroodhouse
The Palace of Holyroodhouse is Her Majesty The Queen’s official residence in Scotland. Visitors can explore 14 magnificent historic and State Apartments, the romantic ruins of the 12th-century Holyrood Abbey and remarkable royal gardens.
The Royal Mile and Grassmarket
The Royal Mile connects Edinburgh Castle with the Palace of Holyroodhouse. A walk down this world-famous street will take you past traditional Edinburgh tenement buildings and cobbled closes. Attractions include The Real Mary King’s Close, St Giles’ Cathedral and the modern Scottish Parliament building.
The Grassmarket was once the location of a medieval market place and the site of public executions. Today this area is popular with tourists and locals alike who come here to enjoy great views of the Castle, medieval architecture, and a variety of friendly pubs and eclectic shops.
National Galleries Scotland
Edinburgh boasts three art galleries; the Scottish National Gallery, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. Visitors to the galleries can view one of the best collections of fine art in the world, modern and contemporary art and portraits of well-known Scottish characters both past and present.
Princess Street Gardens
Princes Street Gardens lies at centre of Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site, within New Town and Old Town Outstanding Conservation Areas. It is listed in the Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscape in Scotland and has geological and botanical scientific interest. The Gardens are set in the valley between the old and new towns with Edinburgh Castle on its rock towering above the western end. The park has been awarded a Green Flag since 2011 and its central location make it a popular choice with residents and visitors.
The world renowned Floral clock was first planted in 1903 and each year the planting scheme commemorates a special anniversary. The planting schemes are designed by the Technical team in the Parks and Greenspace Service. The colourful displays take 30,000 plants, and a variety of flower and foliage plants are used in the designs. All are of a dwarf nature, suitable for carpet bedding, including annuals such as Lobelia, Pyrethrum and Golden Moss and succulents such as Echeveria and Sedum.
Royal Botanic Garden
Just one mile from city centre, the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh offers visitors peace and tranquillity amongst 72 acres of stunning scenery. The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is one of the finest botanic gardens in the world. A pleasure for all the family, the Garden offers fantastic views of the capital’s skyline, featuring Edinburgh Castle, and is located just a mile from the city centre. Visitors can discover its fascinating history, which dates back 300 years, learn about its plantings and walk around 70 acres of beautiful landscape.
The Glasshouse visit is a particular highlight, starting at the Victorian Temperate Palm House dating back to 1858 and one of the tallest traditional palm houses ever built. The Garden’s 10 magnificent Glasshouses each has a different climatic zone, from steamy tropics to arid desert, and are home to 3,000 exotic plants from around the world including a 200-year-old palm tree.
Visitors can enjoy the serenity of the Chinese Hillside, explore the world-famous Rock Garden or stroll amongst the awe-inspiring Giant Redwood trees in the Woodland Garden. Plus, there are fine artworks to view in the Garden’s contemporary art gallery Inverleith House.
Open all year, the Garden hosts a popular programme of events, exhibitions and guided tours. The Garden’s restaurants include the award-winning Gateway Restaurant and the Terrace Cafe which serves a delicious selection of high quality hot and cold foods for all tastes. Snacks are also available at the East Gate Lodge.
Formerly the Scottish National Zoological Park, is an 82-acre (33 ha) non-profit zoological park in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland. The land lies on the south facing slopes of Corstorphine Hill, from which it provides extensive views of the city. Built in 1913, and owned by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, it receives over 600,000 visitors a year, which makes it Scotland’s second most popular paid-for tourist attraction, after Edinburgh Castle. As well as catering to tourists and locals, the zoo is involved in many scientific pursuits, such as captive breeding of endangered animals, researching into animal behaviour, and active participation in various conservation programs around the world.
Edinburgh Zoo was the first zoo in the world to house and to breed penguins. It is also the only zoo in Britain to house koalas and giant pandas. The zoo is a member of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA), the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA), the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), and the Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions. It has also been granted four stars by the Scottish Tourism Board. The zoo gardens boast one of the most diverse tree collections in the Lothians.
One of the major thoroughfares in central Edinburgh, Scotland, and its main shopping street. It is the southernmost street of Edinburgh’s New Town, stretching around 1 mile (1.6 km) from Lothian Road in the west to Leith Street in the east. The street is mostly closed to private cars, with public transport given priority. The street has virtually no buildings on the south side, allowing panoramic views of the Old Town, Edinburgh Castle, and the valley between.
Scotland is a land of dramatic coastlines, sandy beaches, wild mountain landscapes and stunning lochs. Why not schedule in some extra time to explore its landscape, history, culture, and food and drink.