Our resident photographer, Louison has been exploring Edinburgh since the beginning of February and has managed to capture the essence of its beauty in these breathtaking photographs. Even in the winter months, it’s easy to see why Edinburgh is frequently voted one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
Here is a selection of some of our favourite photographs of Edinburgh:
St. Andrew’s Day is here, giving us a chance to celebrate and remember the patron saint of Scotland. The date is being marked by a Google Doodle – but who was St Andrew and is today a public holiday for people living in Scotland?
St. Andrew’s Day (or in Scottish Gaelic, ‘Là Naomh Anndrais’) is a bank holiday in Scotland, marking the country’s patron saint. It’s the feast day of Saint Andrew and is celebrated on the 30th November each year. Saint Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland, and St. Andrew’s Day is Scotland’s official national day.
Although most commonly associated with Scotland, Saint Andrew is also the patron saint of Greece, Romania and Russia. In Germany, the feast day is celebrated as Andreasnacht (“St. Andrew’s Night“), in Austria with the custom of Andreasgebet (“St. Andrew’s Prayer“), and in Poland as Andrzejki (“Andrews”).
St Andrew’s Day, the perfect excuse to try all the traditional Scottish meals!
For St. Andrew’s Day you’ll certainly see the national flag everywhere. However, do you know the origin of the Scottish flag? According to legend, in 832 A.D. King Óengus II (or King Angus) led the Picts and Scots in battle against the Angles, King Angus and his men were surrounded and he prayed for deliverance. During the night Saint Andrew, who was martyred on a saltire cross, appeared to Angus and assured him of victory. On the following morning, a white saltire against the background of a blue sky appeared to both sides. The Picts and Scots were heartened by this, but the Angles lost confidence and were defeated. This saltire design has been the Scottish flag ever since.
How to say ‘Happy St Andrew’s Day’ in Scottish Gaelic
To really get into the the St Andrew’s Day spirit you should say: Latha fèill Anndrais sona dhut when you want to say it to one person and Latha fèill Anndrais sona dhuibh when you want to wish a Happy St Andrew’s Day to a group of people.
Getting to Edinburgh and inlingua is easy, no matter where you are coming from or how you choose to travel. On this article you’ll find general information about how to get to the city of Edinburgh, and details of how to navigate the city and find your inlingua school.
Getting to Edinburgh
Edinburgh International Airport receives daily flights from more than 20 UK and 40 European airports, as well as daily transatlantic flights. Flights from international destinations are also scheduled throughout the week. The airport is about 12km from the city centre. The 30-minute journey can be easily made using the frequent airport bus or tram services, or by taxi.
Edinburgh has excellent rail links throughout the UK. The East Coast mainline, which links Edinburgh and London King’s Cross, is the UK’s fastest intercity railway: you can travel between the cities in around 4 hours. Or, if you prefer to travel overnight, a sleeper service runs between London Euston and Edinburgh Waverley 6 nights a week.
There are great links to other cities too. The journey to Glasgow only takes 45 minutes, while York, Newcastle, Inverness or Aberdeen can be reached in about 2 hours. All trains arrive at Waverley Station in the centre of the city, although some trains also stop at Haymarket, which is a smaller station in the West End.
If you are travelling on a budget, buses are often your best bet. Edinburgh is well placed on the Scottish motorway network so getting here is easy with regular bus services from all major UK cities. Buses and coaches arrive at St Andrews Square bus station in Edinburgh’s city centre.
Travel times by road are less than you might think. From the south: Birmingham is about 5 hours away; Manchester and York, 3 hours; Newcastle, 2 hours. From the north: Inverness is about 3 hours away; Aberdeen, 2 hours. Route information for drivers can be found on the RAC or AA websites.
Edinburgh is a compact city and is easy to get around on foot, by bike or by public transport.
Travelling by public transport
Edinburgh and its surrounding suburbs are well served by two local bus companies. A tram service also operates in the city centre. The main public transport used in Edinburgh is the bus. You will see the famous double-decker buses everywhere.
Ideal for infrequent users. SINGLEtickets are available from your bus driver. When boarding the bus let the driver know the type of ticket you require and then place the correct change into the red fares box. Please have your correct fare ready as our drivers do not have access to cash and cannot give change.
Airport Day ticket: £9.00
A day ticket is perfect if you wish to take the bus several times a day. With this option, you have access to all buses in Edinburgh for one day and you can of course use them as often as you’d like to. The day ticket costs £4.00 and you can buy it directly to the first bus driver also.
One-week card: £18.00
Four-week card: £54.00
One-year card: £630.00
It is the best option for regular travellers. You can choose from a one-week card and a four-week card. With the Ridacard you will have unlimited travel on bus and tram, day and night. The Ridacard has to be purchased to one of the Travelshops from the Lothian buses (situated on Hanover Street, E London Street or on Market Street).
Finding inlingua Edinburgh
We are based at 40 Shandwick Place, Edinburgh, EH2 4RT, United Kingdom.
Halloween is approaching as fast as people from Edinburgh died during the dark time when The Black Death (also known as The Plague) spread across the city and killed thousands of its inhabitants, and so we would like to share with you some of the most haunted places in Edinburgh.
White Hart Inn
This old Grassmarket Inn is reputed to be the most haunted pub, not just in Edinburgh but in the whole of Scotland. Public executions used to take place nearby. Sightings of a shadow going to the cellar have been reported and a door down there has been seen to slam shut on occasions. Barrels have been moved and beer taps closed off and when the staff opens them to pour a pint, they find they are switched off again. These incidents and many more have been reported by staff and owners over many, many years.
A Haunted Underground City
Underneath South Bridge are many vaults and passageways. The bridge was built over Niddry Wynd and its cobbled street still lies under the bridge. In the past, people lived in the vaults and there were even shops underground. You can visit the vaults on a tour and over the years many ghost stories have surfaced. One of the most interesting stories happened early in 2003 when a radio producer was interviewing former rugby star, Norrie Rowan, who owns part of the underground city. On playing the interview back there was a ghostly voice shouting Go Away in Gaelic but no one else had been there at the time.
A number of ghost tours take place in the city’s underground vaults and there have been a various reports of paranormal activity. The TV show, Most Haunted, hosted a live investigation in the vaults in 2006 and, according to some reports, Burke and Hare stored the bodies of their victims in the site before selling them to the medical school.
The Banshee Labyrinth
Partially located within some of the city’s many underground vaults, the Banshee Labyrinth describes itself as Scotland’s most haunted pub. It is reportedly occupied by a banshee – a group of workmen once heard a bloodcurdling scream and a few hours later one of them received a call about the death of a family member. There are also said to be occurrences of drinks flying off tables and smashing into walls.
The Missing Piper
Edinburgh has a hidden underworld to which the castle is strongly connected, a series of secret tunnels leading from Edinburgh castle down the Royal Mile. One of these is rumoured to lead to Holyrood House. Holyrood house itself is closely associated with Scotland’s turbulent past, including Mary, Queen of Scots, who lived here between 1561 and 1567. Successive kings and queens have made the Palace of Holyrood house the premier royal residence in Scotland; even today it’s still a royal residence.
When the tunnels were first discovered several hundred years ago, a piper was sent to explore. As he navigated the tunnels he played his bagpipes so that his progress could be tracked by those above. About halfway down the Royal Mile the piping suddenly stopped. When a rescue party was sent, there was no trace of the piper. He had simply vanished. Several search parties went into the tunnel system but no trace of the piper was ever found.
The piper’s ghost still haunts Edinburgh today, walking endlessly along the underground tunnel beneath the Royal Mile. His music can sometimes be heard from within the castle and on the streets above the tunnels.
It has a history dating back more than 2,000 years and has been the site of numerous battles and sieges so it’s no wonder there are reports of ghostly goings-on at the city’s most iconic landmark. The sound of drums, unexplained knocking sounds, and mysterious orbs have all been reported. In 2001, a team of scientists carried out an investigation into the paranormal experiences at the castle as part of the Edinburgh International Science Festival and said the results appeared to support the stories.
Did you know that 70% of the UK’s gin is produced in Scotland?
“Scotland has got a rich heritage of distilling …” according to Isle of Harris Distillery production manager Kenny Maclean. But this doesn’t just apply to our world-renowned single malt Scotch whisky.
Well-known brands such as Gordon’s, Tanqueray and Hendricks are produced here, but there’s also been a surge in the production of small-batch handcrafted artisan gins resulting in a wonderful selection of over 100 gins, produced by over 50 makers, to choose from. Some offer visitor and tasting experiences and some even offer the opportunity to try making your own.