Edinburgh is a glorious place to be, especially when the sun is shining down. Unfortunately Scotland sees more than its fair share of bad weather. As long as you arm yourself with an umbrella and some sensible shoes there’s no reason to let the rain stop you from having fun. Here’s how.
National Gallery of Scotland — Photo courtesy of Simon Hill
There is a choice of art galleries in the city center. Around half-way along Princes Street you’ll find the Mound which is home to the National Gallery Complex which includes the National Gallery of Scotland (pictured above) along with the Royal Scottish Academy Building and the Weston Link. There are some fantastic paintings within by artists like Cezanne, Van Gogh and Monet. You’ll also find a café, shop and restaurant beneath the gallery. Various temporary exhibits are often on so check the calendar for things that might interest you.
You could also kill a couple of hours in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery on Queen Street. There are some fascinating portraits on show here, you’ll learn all about famous Scots and there’s some wonderful photography to enjoy as well. Just like the National Gallery the Portrait Gallery is free but they generally charge for admission to the special exhibitions that are occasionally held.
If you need a location that caters for the whole family and is sure to have something that captures your imagination then head for Chambers Street and the National Museum of Scotland. This unrivalled attraction boasts a treasure trove of Scottish and international exhibits. There are also some good places to eat inside and plenty of fun activities for children.
Ocean Terminal — Photo courtesy of Nigel Chadwick
Perhaps you want to do a spot of indoor shopping, maybe grab a bite to eat and catch a movie. If that sounds appealing then make for the Ocean Terminal shopping mall down in Leith. It is the biggest mall in Edinburgh and it boasts a twelve screen cinema, gym, and a host of restaurants, cafes and shops. Make sure that you take the chance to visit the Royal Yacht Britannia when you are there. This luxurious yacht used to convey the Queen and the Royal Family but it’s now a popular tourist attraction. You can get a taste of the high life for yourself when you take the tour and then enjoy refreshments in the Tea Room.
Edinburgh has a proud medical history and so Surgeons’ Hall offers a group of alternative museums to visit for adults with an interest in medicine and the macabre. You’ll find some intriguing and frightening exhibits here as you learn all about the history of medicine and the development of surgical techniques. The pathology museum is a particular highlight and it’s worth booking a guided tour but this is not for the squeamish!
So don’t let the rain keep you holed up in the hotel just hail a taxi or jump on a bus and visit one of these great attractions.