I was over in Edinburgh last week to meet old friends for dinner.
One couple were visiting from South Africa – their home for 35 years now. The other couple have lived almost all their lives in Edinburgh. They have 6 grandchildren, so meeting Derek and Trish means booking a date weeks in advance.
Nothing to blog about there.
However, my train got me into the city about 45 minutes before we were due to meet. Just one of those quirks of timetabling. It gave me a bit of time to just look around that part of the city – Princes Street Gardens, the Mound – and take in the atmosphere of Edinburgh in the summer.
Mostly I’m just there for a work meeting, or to meet someone socially. Very rarely do I get to see it as the tourists do.
I can see the attraction, and having been around most European capitals over the years (plus a few further away), I can appreciate how it ranks by comparison. It is right up at the top.
Within the UK it can’t be compared with London, in the sense of size and the number of attractions for visitors. But then add in its charms and how reasonable prices are (compared to London) and Edinburgh has an edge.
It was significantly overpriced compared to western EU cities, but the big drop in the value of sterling this summer may have mitigated the imbalance.
For anyone planning a visit, the city is full to bursting point during the Festivals – early August onwards, for 3-4 weeks. Book early if you want to be here then. If you prefer things a bit quieter, avoid that time of year!
ⓒ iain taylor 2016