It must be great living in Edinburgh. So much culture; so much history; so many festivals and pubs and tours to enjoy. Edinburgh must be the greatest place in the world to live in, right? Well, that depends on who you ask. Speak to any one of the gazillion tourists who make the pilgrimage to Scotland’s capital every August, and they’ll assert that Edinburgh is indeed a majestic city, and what’s more did you see that cute statue of the faithful dog who slept upon his master’s grave? To many Burgh residents however, the annual Fringe festival is a chore to be endured, epitomised by grid-locked streets and an obstacle course of billboards and predatory flier-distributors that must be negotiated on the way to work.
But what about the castle – surely that alone makes Edinburgh one of the best places in the world to live? While even the dourest of Burgh residents will admit to admiring the talismanic structure that overlooks their city, the truth is that few have ever ventured inside it. To your average tourist, such a casual disregard for one of the world’s most iconic buildings is verging on the sacrilegious. Nevertheless, most locals have never set foot inside the famous castle upon the hill, pithily observing that it’s ‘too dear and full of tourists’. Given the array of cultural gems and ‘must-see’ attractions that Edinburgh dwellers never witness, perhaps it’s time that Visit Scotland started marketing the city to their own. From a shortlist of ‘heaps’, here’s just two local attractions that there really is no excuse for not experiencing:
National Museum of Scotland.
Reopened after a £47m refurb, the museum incorporates 3,000-year-old mummies and a complete Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton. A life-size dinosaur? In Scotland? Madness. What next – our own parliament?
Have you ever wondered why so many tourists dutifully trek up that craggy rock thing that overlooks the city? Could it be on account of the breathtaking view from the top, encompassing Auld Reekie and the Firth of Forth? Should the picturesque panorama fail to entice you, there’s always enjoyment to be derived from admiring the phallic shapes that jokers have painstakingly arranged the loose stones into on the approach to the summit.
Of course there are countless other local attractions that ought to draw Burgh residents in their droves; whether they will or not is another matter entirely. Castles and festivals are all well and good, but sometimes you can’t beat the satisfaction of a night spent in your local, demolishing Deuchars with abandon. After all, the best culture always comes in a pint glass.