Exploring the UK
Central, Edinburgh & Glasgow
“Edinburgh is what Paris ought to be” or so said the writer Robert Louis Stevenson and who could argue with such an eminent person? But there is more to this region than just the Capital City of Scotland, delightful though this may be, for the area has numerous and varied attractions that will satisfy the most discerning of visitors, with its beautiful countryside filled with castles, great houses and battle sites.
The Lothians comprises three separate districts, East Lothian, Mid Lothian and West Lothian each providing a different but interesting features and attractions for the weekend visitor or tourist. East Lothian comprises sandy beaches and rolling hills. The Lammermuir hills lie to the south of East Lothian with broad beaches and rugged cliffs to its north and east borders. The coast stretches from Berwick 40 miles to the south with Edinburgh to the east. Fabulous bird watching opportunities bring visitors to this stretch of coastline from all over the country. For the serious hiker the coastal trail is 31 miles in length with stunning scenery along the south east coast and the bird sanctuary of Bass Rock. East Lothian is the home of golf and here you find will some of the great links and parkland courses of the world, East Lothian opens up the countryside for everyone from picnickers on the fine golden beaches, to walkers on its coasts and hills.
Mid Lothian presents an entirely different aspect to its neighbours it is situated to the south of Edinburgh, bounded by the Pentland Hills on its western edge, and to the south by the Moorland hills, the area can be said to be rich in monuments, castles, historic houses and interesting visitor attractions. Mining took place in the area and the Newtongrange Scottish museum, is one of the finest surviving examples of a Victorian colliery in Europe. For De Vinci Code fans there is the Roslyn Chapel to visit, famous for its references to the Knights Templar, Freemasonry and beautiful carvings. The rich and ancient heritage of Midlothian offers stunning scenery, walking, cycling and golf, there is also a ski centre here and Vogrie Country Park with its formalised walled garden, farmland and woods a popular attraction.
To the west of Edinburgh between it and Glasgow the West Lothian area consists of rural countryside with ancient buildings and monuments and busy industrial sites, it is perhaps most often viewed through car or train windows speeding between the two. But being so close to the seat of Scottish power it would be hard not to have something to display and the area boasts a range of attractions that make it well worth exploring. The ruined royal palace at Linlithgow, birth place of James V and his daughter Mary Queen of Scots is one of Scotland's more magnificent ruins. Industrial heritage too features in the West Lothian sector including the prettiest stretch of the recently upgraded Union Canal, and the restored railway at Boness, always proving a popular family attraction.
Glasgow is a shoppers' paradise, coming next London for sheer volume and variety, stylish too, with boutique hotels and vibrant nightlife and bars. Not just shopping the arts feature large in Glasgow, with the Scottish Ballet and Scottish Opera, both based there, attracting high-profile exhibitions that led to the city being crowned as a European City of Culture.