Edinburgh ( , or ; ) is the
capital city of Scotland.
It is the
second largest city in Scotland and the
populous in the United Kingdom.
The City of Edinburgh Council is one of
Scotland's 32 local
the south-east of Scotland, Edinburgh lies on the east coast of the
Central Belt, along the Firth of Forth, near the North Sea.
Owing to its spectacular, rugged setting
and vast collection of Medieval and Georgian architecture
numerous stone tenements
, it is often
considered one of the most picturesque
cities in Europe.
The city forms part of the City of Edinburgh council area
; the city council area
Edinburgh and a 30-square-mile (78 km2
is the seat of the Scottish Parliament.
The city was one of the major centres of
, led by the
University of Edinburgh
earning it the nickname Athens of the North
. The Old
Town and New Town districts of Edinburgh were listed as a UNESCO World Heritage
Site in 1995.
There are over 4,500 listed buildings
within the city. In the
2008 mid year population estimates, Edinburgh had a total resident
population of 471,650. Edinburgh is well-known for the annual
, a collection
of official and independent festivals held annually over about four
weeks from early August. The number of visitors attracted to
Edinburgh for the Festival is roughly equal to the settled
population of the city. The most famous of these events are the
performing arts festival in the world), the Edinburgh International
, the Edinburgh
, and the Edinburgh International
Other notable events include the Hogmanay
street party (31 December), Burns Night
(25 January), St. Andrew's Day
November), and the Beltane Fire
The city attracts 1 million overseas visitors a year, making it the
second most visited tourist destination in the United Kingdom,
In a 2009 YouGov poll, Edinburgh was voted the "most desirable city
in which to live in the UK".
have settled the Edinburgh area from at least the Bronze Age, leaving traces of primitive stone
settlements at Holyrood, Craiglockhart Hill and the Pentland Hills for example. Influenced through the Iron Age by Hallstatt and La
Tene Celtic cultures from central
Europe, by the time the Romans arrived in Lothian at the beginning
of the 1st millennium AD, they discovered a Celtic, Brythonic tribe whose name they recorded as
Votadini, likely to be a Latin version of
the name they called themselves.
The city's name is most likely Celtic
) in origin, possibly Cumbric or a
variation of it. It is first mentioned in the late 6th century in
the heroic poems of the Gododdin
Brythonic form of 'Votadini
'), named as
and Din Eidyn
and also described as
or Eidyn gaer
, i.e. the stronghold or
fort of Eidyn. All these forms use 'Eidyn' as a proper name, and
the same is true for later translations made by invading Bernicians
, typified in a note from the 9th
century's Life of St Monenna
, 'Dunedene, which is in
This Celtic root is contrary to the often-cited theory that the
city was named after the Bernician King of Northumbria, Edwin, who
was killed in AD 633. However it is extremely unlikely that Edwin
had any connection with Edinburgh, despite the expansion of his
kingdom during his reign. Although centuries later some, such as
Symeon of Durham in the 12th century, referred to the city in terms
such as Edwinesburch
, this hypothesis has been largely
discredited as 'folk-etymology', the invention of a connection
where there is none, most likely for political reasons. Indeed
rigorous etymological research supports the Celtic route
Nevertheless there is no doubt that the Angles of Northumbria did
have significant influence over south east Scotland, notably from
AD 638 when it appears the Gododdin
stronghold of Din Eidyn was sieged. Though far from exclusive
), this influence continued over three centuries.
It was not until c. AD 950 when, during the reign of Indulf, son of
Constantine, the city, referred to at this time in the Pictish
Chronicle as 'oppidum Eden', fell to the Scots
and finally remained under their jurisdiction.
It is worth noting that during this period of Germanic
influence in south east Scotland,
when the city's name gained its Germanic suffix, 'burgh', the seeds
for the language we know today as Scots
By the 12th century Edinburgh was well established, founded upon
the famous castle rock, the volcanic crag
geological feature shaped by 2 million years of
glacial activity. Flourishing alongside it to the east, another
community developed around the Abbey of Holyrood, known as Canongate.
In the 13th century these both became
and through the late
medieval period Edinburgh grew quickly.
King James IV of Scotland
undertook to move the Royal Court from
Stirling to Holyrood,
making Edinburgh the national capital.
Edinburgh continued to flourish economically and culturally through
period and was at the
centre of the 16th century Scottish
and the Wars of the
a hundred years later.
In 1603 King James VI
succeeded to the English and Irish
thrones, fulfilling his ambition to
create a united kingdom under the Stewart Monarchy. Although he
retained the Parliament of
in Edinburgh, he marched to London to rule from his
throne there. He ordered that every public building in the land
should bear his family's emblem, the red lion rampant, and to this
day the most common name for a public house in Britain is the Red
In 1639, disputes between the Presbyterian Covenanters
and the Anglican Church
led to the Bishops' Wars
, a prelude to the English Civil War
, and the brief
occupation of Edinburgh by the Commonwealth
forces of Oliver Cromwell
In 17th-century Edinburgh, a defensive wall, built in the 16th
century, largely as protection against English invasion following
James IV's defeat at Flodden (hence it's moniker, the Flodden Wall)
still defined the boundaries of the city . Due to the restricted
land area available for development, the houses increased in height
instead. Buildings of 11 stories were common, and there are records
of buildings as high as 14 stories, an early version of the
modern-day skyscraper. Many of the stone-built structures can still
be seen today in the Old Town.
the Act of Union was ratified by a
narrow margin in the Scottish Parliament, however many Scots had opposed it and the people
of Edinburgh rioted at the news.
It would be almost 300
years before the Parliament was reinstated.
From early times, and certainly from the 14th century, Edinburgh
(like other royal burghs of Scotland) used armorial devices in many
ways, including on seals. However in 1732, the ‘achievement’ or
‘coat of arms’ was formally granted by the Lord Lyon King of Arms.
These arms were used by Edinburgh Town Council until the
reorganisation of local government in Scotland in May 1975, when it
was succeeded by the City of Edinburgh District Council and a new
coat of arms, based on the earlier one, was granted. In 1996,
further local government reorganisation resulted in the formation
of the City of Edinburgh Council, and again the coat of arms was
During the Jacobite
rising of 1745,
Edinburgh was briefly occupied by Jacobite forces before their
march into England.
An 1802 illustration of Edinburgh from
However following their ultimate defeat at Culloden, there was a
period of reprisals and pacification, largely directed at the
Catholic Highlanders. In Edinburgh the Hanoverian monarch
attempted to gain favour by supporting new developments to the
north of the castle, naming streets in honour of the King and his
family; George Street, Frederick Street, Hanover Street and
Street, named in honour of George IV's two
Edinburgh is noted for its fine architecture, and the New Town for
its Georgian architecture in particular.
Following the controversial Act of Union in 1707, Scotland was both
galvanised by a desire to retain it's national identity and culture
and quick to recognise the opportunities now presented by access to
formerly guarded English international trading routes. These
factors and others contributed to the blossoming of the Scottish
Enlightenment during the second half of the 18th century, arguably
Edinburgh's most successful period. The city was at the heart of it
and renowned throughout Europe at this time, as a hotbed of talent
and ideas and a beacon for progress. Celebrities from across the
continent would be seen in the city streets, among them famous
Scots such as David Hume
, Walter Scott
, David Wilkie
, Robert Burns
and Adam Smith
became a major cultural centre, earning it the nickname Athens
of the North
because of the Greco-Roman
style of the New
's architecture, as well as the rise of the Scottish
intellectual elite who were increasingly leading both Scottish and
European intellectual thought.
19th century, Edinburgh, like many cities, industrialised, but did
not grow as fast as Scotland's second city, Glasgow, which replaced it as the largest city in the
country, benefitting greatly at the height of the British
Following two World Wars and the dismantling of the British Empire,
the second half of the 20th century saw much civil unrest
throughout Scotland and including in Edinburgh. However in 1992
Edinburgh hosted the European Union Treaty Summit and the city once
again had a taste of being a bona fide
In 1997 it was agreed the Scottish Parliament would sit again and
in 1999 it did. With the election of an SNP Scottish Government
in 2007 there is a
sign that Scots are seriously considering the reinstatement of full
sovereignty to their Parliament. However, independence or not, the
Parliament alone has given new impetus to the city where it
The city is affectionately nicknamed Auld Reekie
for Old Smoky
), because when
buildings were heated by coal
and wood fires,
chimneys would spew thick columns of smoke into the air. The
colloquial pronunciation "Embra" or "Embro" has also been used as
in Robert Garioch
's Embro to the
Some have called Edinburgh the Athens of the North
. It is
also known by several Latin names; Aneda
. The adjectival form of the latter,
, can be seen inscribed on many educational
Edinburgh has also been known as Dunedin
, deriving from
the Scottish Gaelic
. Dunedin, New Zealand, was originally called "New Edinburgh" and is still
nicknamed the "Edinburgh of the South".
The Scots poets
and Robert Fergusson
sometimes used the city's
Latin name, Edina
. Ben Jonson
described it as Britain's other eye
, and Sir Walter Scott
referred to the city as
yon Empress of the North
. Robert Louis Stevenson, also a
son of the city, wrote, 'Edinburgh is what Paris ought to be.'
Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, is divided into areas that generally encompass a
park (sometimes known as "links"), a
main local street (i.e. street of local retail shops), a high
street (the historic main street, not always the same as the main
local street, such as in Corstorphine) and residential
In Edinburgh many residences are tenements,
although the more southern and western parts of the city have
traditionally been more affluent and have a greater number of
detached and semi-detached villas
historic centre of Edinburgh is divided into two by the broad green
swath of Princes
Street Gardens. To the south the view is dominated by
Castle, perched atop the extinct volcanic crag, and the
long sweep of the Old Town trailing after it along the ridge.
north lies Princes
Street and the New Town. The gardens were begun in 1816 on bogland which had once been the Nor Loch.
To the immediate west of the castle lies the financial district,
housing insurance and banking buildings. Probably the most
noticeable building here is the circular sandstone building that is
the Edinburgh International Conference
looking up The Royal Mile
The Old Town has preserved its medieval
plan and many Reformation
buildings. One end is closed by the castle and the main artery, the
, leads away from it; minor
streets (called closes
) lead downhill on
either side of the main spine in a herringbone pattern. Large
squares mark the location of markets or surround public buildings
such as St. Giles' Cathedral
and the Law Courts
. Other notable places
nearby include the Royal Museum of Scotland, Surgeons' Hall and McEwan Hall.
layout is typical of the old quarters of many northern European
cities, and where the castle perches on top of a rocky crag (the
remnants of an extinct volcano) the Royal Mile runs down the crest
of a ridge from it.Due to space restrictions imposed by the
narrowness of the "tail", the Old Town became home to some of the
earliest "high rise" residential buildings. Multi-storey dwellings
known as lands
were the norm from the 1500s onwards with
ten and eleven stories being typical and one even reaching fourteen
stories. Additionally, numerous vaults below street level were
inhabited to accommodate the influx of (mainly Irish) immigrants
during the Industrial
. These continue to fuel legends of an underground city
to this day. Today there are tours
of Edinburgh which take you into the underground city, Edinburgh
The New Town was an 18th century solution to the problem of an
increasingly crowded Old Town.The city had remained incredibly
compact, confined to the ridge running down from the castle.In 1766
a competition to design the New Town was won by James Craig
, a 22-year-old
architect. The plan that was built created a rigid, ordered grid,
which fitted well with enlightenment
ideas of rationality.
principal street was to be George Street, which follows the natural ridge to the north of
the Old Town. Either side of it are the other main streets
Street and Queen Street.
Princes Street has since
become the main shopping street in Edinburgh, and few Georgian
buildings survive on it.
Linking these streets were a series of perpendicular streets.
east and west ends are St. Andrew Square and Charlotte Square respectively.
The latter was designed by
and is often considered one
of the finest Georgian squares in the world. Bute House, the official residence of the First Minister of Scotland, is on
the north side of Charlotte Square.
Sitting in the glen
between the Old and New Towns was the Nor' Loch,
which had been both the city's water supply and place for dumping
. By the 1820s it was drained.
plans show that a canal was intended , but
Street Gardens were created instead. Excess soil from the
construction of the buildings was dumped into the loch, creating what is now The Mound. In the mid-19th century the National
Gallery of Scotland and Royal Scottish Academy
Building were built on The Mound, and tunnels to Waverley
Station driven through it.
The New Town was so
successful that it was extended greatly. The grid pattern was not
maintained, but rather a more picturesque layout was created. Today
the New Town is considered by many to be one of the finest examples
of Georgian architecture
planning in the world.
residential part of the city is its south side, comprising a number
of areas including St Leonards, Marchmont, Newington, Sciennes, The Grange, Edinburgh "South side" is broadly analogous to the
area covered by the Burgh
Muir, and grew in popularity as a residential area
following the opening of the South Bridge. These areas are particularly popular with
families (many well-regarded state and private schools are located
here), students (the central University of Edinburgh campus is
based around George Square just north of Marchmont and the
Meadows, and Napier
University has major campuses around Merchiston &
Morningside), and with festival-goers.
These areas are also
the subject of fictional work: Ian
's Inspector Rebus
in Marchmont and worked in St Leonards; and Morningside is the home
of Muriel Spark
's Miss Jean
Brodie.Today, the literary connection continues, with the area
being home to the authors J. K. Rowling
, and Alexander McCall Smith
Leith is the port of Edinburgh. It still retains a separate
identity from Edinburgh, and it was a matter of great resentment
when, in 1920, the burgh
of Leith was merged
into the county of
Even today the parliamentary seat is known as 'Edinburgh North
Leith'. With the redevelopment of Leith, Edinburgh
has gained the business of a number of cruise liner companies which now provide
cruises to Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands. Leith also has the
Britannia, berthed behind the Ocean
Terminal and Easter
Road, the home ground of Hibernian.
Geography and climate
by the Firth of
Forth to the north and the Pentland Hills, which skirt the periphery of the city to the
south, Edinburgh lies in the eastern portion of the Central
Lowlands of Scotland.
The city sprawls over a
landscape which is the product of early volcanic activity and later
periods of intensive glaciation. Igneous activity between 350 and
400 million years ago, coupled with faulting
led to the dispersion of tough
, which predominate over much of the area. One such
example is Castle Rock
forced the advancing icepack to divide, sheltering the softer rock
and forming a mile-long tail of material to the east, creating a
distinctive crag and tail
erosion on the northern side of the crag gouged a large valley
resulting in the now drained Nor Loch.
This structure, along with a ravine to the
south, formed an ideal natural fortress
which Edinburgh Castle was built upon. Similarly, Arthur's
Seat is the remains of a volcano system dating from the
Carboniferous period, which was
eroded by a glacier moving from west to east
during the ice age.
Erosive action such as plucking
exposed the rocky crags to the west before leaving a tail of
deposited glacial material swept to the east. This process formed
the distinctive Salisbury Crags
which formed a series of teschenite
cliffs located between
Arthur's Seat and the city centre. The residential areas of Marchmont and Bruntsfield are built along a series of drumlin ridges located south of the city centre
which were deposited as the
viewpoints in the city such as Calton Hill and Corstorphine Hill are similar products of glacial erosion.
Hills and Blackford Hill are a series of small summits to the south west of
the city commanding expansive views over the urban area of
Edinburgh and northwards to the Forth.
is drained by the Water of
Leith, which finds its source at the Harperrig
Reservoir in the Pentland Hills and runs for 29 km (18
miles) through the south and west of the city, emptying into the
Firth of Forth at Leith. The nearest the river gets to the city
centre is at Dean
Village on the edge of the New Town, where a deep gorge is
spanned by the Dean Bridge, designed by Thomas Telford and built in 1832 for the road
to Queensferry. The Water of Leith Walkway is a mixed use trail that
follows the river for 19.6 km (12.2 miles) from Balerno to Leith.
Designated in 1957, Edinburgh is ringed by a
green belt stretching from Dalmeny in the west to Prestongrange in the east.
average width of 3.2 km (2 miles) the principal objective of
the green belt was to contain the outward expansion of Edinburgh
and to prevent the agglomeration of urban areas. Expansion within the
green belt is strictly controlled but developments such as
Edinburgh Airport and the Royal Highland Showground at Ingliston are located within the zone. Similarly, urban
villages such as Juniper
Green and Balerno sit on green belt land.
One feature of the
green belt in Edinburgh is the inclusion of parcels of land within
the city which are designated as green belt even though they do not
adjoin the main peripheral ring. Examples of these independent wedges of
green belt include Holyrood
Park and Corstorphine Hill.
Like much of the rest of Scotland, Edinburgh has a temperate
which is relatively mild despite its northerly latitude
. Winters are especially mild, with daytime
temperatures rarely falling below freezing, and compare favourably
with places such as Moscow, Labrador and Newfoundland which lie in similar latitudes.
temperatures are normally moderate, with daily upper maxima rarely
exceeding 22 °C. The highest temperature ever recorded in the city
was 31.4°C on 4 August 1975. The proximity of the city to the sea
mitigates any large variations in temperature or extremes of
climate. Given Edinburgh's position between the coast
and hills, it is renowned as a windy city, with the prevailing wind
direction coming from the south-west which is associated with warm,
unstable air from the Gulf Stream that
can give rise to rainfall - although considerably less than cities
to the west, such as Glasgow.
Rainfall is distributed fairly evenly
throughout the year. Winds from an easterly direction are usually
drier but colder. Vigorous Atlantic depressions, known as European windstorms
, can affect the city
between October and May.
|Population Growth 1991–2001
|Under 16 years old
|Over 65 years old
At the United Kingdom Census
, Edinburgh had a population of 448,624, a rise of 7.1% on
1991. Estimates in 2008 placed the total resident population at
471,650 split between 227,922 males and 243,728 females.
makes Edinburgh the second largest city in Scotland after Glasgow.
According to the European Statistical
, Edinburgh sits at the
heart of a Larger Urban Zone
covering 665 square miles (1,724 km2
) with a
population of 778,000.
Edinburgh has a higher proportion of those aged between 16 and 24
than the Scottish average, but has a lower proportion of those
classified as elderly or pre-school. Over 95% of Edinburgh
respondents classed their ethnicity as White in 2001, with those
identifying as being Indian and Chinese at 1.6% and 0.8% of the
population respectively. In 2001, 22% of the population were born
outside Scotland with the largest group of immigrants coming from
England at 12.1%. Since the 2004 enlargement of the
European Union, a large number of migrants from the accession
states such as Poland, Lithuania and Latvia have
settled in the city, with many working in the service industry.
There is evidence of human habitation on Castle Rock
from as early as 3,000
years ago. A census conducted by the Edinburgh presbytery in 1592
estimated a population of 8,000 scattered equally north and south
of the High Street which runs down the spine of the ridge leading
from the Castle. In the 18th and 19th Centuries, the population
began to expand rapidly, rising from 49,000 in 1751 to 136,000 in
1831 primarily due to rural out-migration. As the population
swelled, overcrowding problems in the Old Town, particularly in the
cramped tenements that lined the present
day Royal Mile and Cowgate, were exacerbated.
Sanitary problems and
disease were rife. The construction of James Craig's
masterplanned New Town
from 1766 onwards witnessed the migration of the professional
classes from the Old Town to the lower density, higher quality
surroundings taking shape on land to the north. Expansion southwards
from the Royal Mile/Cowgate axis of the Old Town saw more tenements
being built in the 19th Century, giving rise to present day areas
such as Marchmont, Newington and Bruntsfield.
20th Century population growth coincided with lower density
suburban development in areas such as Gilmerton, Liberton and South
As the city expanded to the south and west,
detached and semi detached villas with large gardens replaced
tenements as the predominant building style. Nonetheless, the 2001
census revealed that over 55% of Edinburgh's population live in
tenements or high rise flats compared to the Scottish average of
Throughout the early to mid 20th Century
many new estates were built in areas such as Craigmillar, Niddrie, Pilton, Muirhouse, Piershill and Sighthill, linked to slum clearances in the Old
a green belt which separates Edinburgh from surroundings towns such
as Bonnyrigg, Loanhead and Dalkeith to the south, Danderhall and Musselburgh to the east and Broxburn
and Livingston to the west.
Culturally, Edinburgh is best known for the Edinburgh Festival
, although this is in
fact a series of separate events, which run from the end of July
until early September each year. The longest established festival
is the Edinburgh
, which first ran in 1947. The
International Festival centres on a programme of high-profile
theatre productions and classical music performances, featuring
international directors, conductors, theatre companies and
The International Festival has since been taken over in both size
and popularity by the Edinburgh
. What began as a programme of marginal acts has become
the largest arts festival in the world, with 1867 different shows
being staged in 2006, in 261 venues. Comedy is now one of the
mainstays of the Fringe, with numerous notable comedians getting
their 'break' here, often through receipt of the Perrier Award
In 2008 the largest comedy venues on the Edinburgh Fringe
launched as a festival
within a festival, labelled the Edinburgh Comedy Festival
at its inception it was the largest comedy festival in the
world.Alongside these major festivals, there is also the Edinburgh
Art Festival, Edinburgh International
(moved to June from 2008), the Edinburgh Jazz and
Blues Festival, and the Edinburgh International
. The Edge
(formerly known as T on the Fringe), a popular music
offshoot of the Fringe, began in 2000, replacing the smaller Flux
and Planet Pop series of shows.
Running concurrently with the summer festivals, the Edinburgh Military Tattoo
the Castle Esplanade every night, with massed pipers
International Science Festival
is held annually in April and is
one of the most popular science festivals in the world.
Equally famous is the annual Hogmanay
celebration. Originally simply a street party held on
Street and the Royal Mile, the
Hogmanay event has been officially organised since 1993.
1996, over 300,000 people attended, leading to ticketing of the
main street party in later years, with a limit of 100,000 tickets.
Hogmanay now covers four days of processions, concerts and
fireworks, with the actual street party commencing on New Year's
Eve. During the street party Princes Street is accessible by ticket
only, allowing access into Princes Street where there are live
bands playing, food and drink stalls, and a clear view of the
castle and fireworks. Alternative tickets are available for
entrance into the Princes Street Gardens concert and Ceilidh, where
well known artists perform and ticket holders are invited to
participate in traditional Scottish Ceilidh dancing. The event
attracts thousands of people from all over the world.On the night of 30
April, the Beltane Fire
Festival takes place on Edinburgh's Calton
The festival involves a procession
followed by the re-enactment of scenes inspired by pagan
spring fertility celebrations.
Museums and libraries
Edinburgh is home to a large number of museums and libraries, many
of which are national institutions. These include the Museum of
Scotland, the Royal
Museum, the National Library of Scotland, National War Museum of
Scotland, the Museum of Edinburgh, Museum
of Childhood and the Royal Society of
Literature and philosophy
Edinburgh has a long literary tradition, going back to the Scottish Enlightenment
Enlightenment produced philosopher David
and the pioneer of political economy, Adam Smith
. Writers such as James Boswell
, Robert Louis Stevenson
, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
, and Sir Walter Scott
all lived and worked in Edinburgh.
J K Rowling
, author of the Harry Potter
novels, is a resident of
Edinburgh. Edinburgh has also become associated with
the crime novels of Ian Rankin; and the
work of Leith native
Irvine Welsh, whose novels are mostly
set in the city and are often written in colloquial Scots.
Edinburgh is also home to
Alexander McCall Smith
number of his book series. Edinburgh has also been declared the
first UNESCO City of
Music, theatre and film
Outside festival season, Edinburgh continues to support a number of
theatres and production companies. The Royal Lyceum Theatre has its own company, while the King's Theatre,
Festival Theatre, and Edinburgh Playhouse stage large touring shows. The Traverse
Theatre presents a more contemporary programme of
theatre companies productions are staged at the Bedlam
Theatre, Church Hill Theatre, and the King's
Theatre amongst others. Youth Music Theatre: UK
regional office in the city.
Hall is Edinburgh's premier venue for classical music,
as well as the occasional prestige popular music gig.
halls staging music and theatre include The
Hub, the Assembly Rooms
and the Queen's Hall.
The Scottish Chamber Orchestra
based in Edinburgh.
has two repertory cinemas, the Edinburgh
Filmhouse, and the Cameo, and the independent Dominion Cinema, as well as
the usual range of multiplex.
Edinburgh has a healthy popular music scene. Occasional large gigs
are staged at Murrayfield and Meadowbank, whilst venues such as the Corn Exchange, HMV
Picture House and the Liquid Room cater for smaller
Edinburgh is also home to a flourishing group of contemporary
composers such as Nigel Osborne, Peter Nelson, Lyell Cresswell,
Haflidi Hallgrimsson, Edward Harper, Robert Crawford, Robert Dow,
and John McLeod whose music is also heard regularly on BBC Radio 3
and throughout the UK.
Edinburgh is also home to several of Scotland's galleries and
organisations dedicated to contemporary visual art. Significant
strands of this infrastructure include: The Scottish Arts Council
House, Edinburgh College of Art, Talbot Rice Gallery (University of
Edinburgh), The Travelling Gallery, Edinburgh Printmakers, WASPS,
Artlink, Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop, Doggerfisher, Stills,
Collective Gallery, Out of the Blue, The Embassy, Magnifitat,
Sleeper, Total Kunst, OneZero, Standby, Portfolio Magazine, MAP
magazine, Edinburgh's One O'Clock Gun Periodical and Product
magazine and the Edinburgh
Edinburgh is home to Scotland's five National Galleries
as well as
numerous smaller galleries. The national collection is housed in the
Gallery of Scotland, located on the Mound, and now linked to the
Royal Scottish Academy, which
holds regular major exhibitions of painting. The contemporary
collections are shown in the Scottish National Gallery of Modern
Art, and the nearby Dean Gallery. The Scottish
National Portrait Gallery focuses on portraits and
The council-owned City Arts Centre shows regular art exhibitions.
the road, The Fruitmarket Gallery offers world class exhibitions of contemporary art,
featuring work by British and international artists with both
emerging and established international reputations.
There are world class private galleries, including: Doggerfisher
and Ingleby Gallery, the latter serving up a constantly challenging
exhibition program of Museum quality work.
Nightlife and shopping
Edinburgh has a large number of pubs, clubs and restaurants.
traditional areas were the Grassmarket, Lothian Road and
surrounding streets, Rose
Street and its surrounds and the Bridges.
Street in the New Town has grown in prominence, with a large number of
new, upmarket public houses and nightclubs opening, along with a
number on the parallel Queen
Street. Stockbridge and the waterfront at Leith are also
increasingly fashionable areas, with a number of pubs, clubs and
The largest nightclubs
are Lava &
Ignite (formerly Cavendish) and City Nightclub, as well as
Edinburgh University's student union, Potterrow. Smaller commercial
venues include Base, Faith, Stereo, and Karma. In recent years
night clubs on George Street such as Opal Lounge, Lulu's, Why Not
and Shanghai have become popular.
The main alternative, indie and rock nights are hosted at The Hive,
Opium and Studio 24. The Liquid Room is currently undergoing a full
re-fit after being damaged by the fire that destroyed an Indian
restaurant which was situated behind it in December 2008. It is
expected to reopen within the year.
underground nightclub scene playing music such as techno, house,
electronica, drum & bass and
dubstep has suffered in recent years with
the closure of Wilkie House, The Honeycomb, The Venue, La Belle
Angele (destroyed in the Cowgate fire) and Luna (formerly eGo).
Voltaire, The Bongo Club, and The Caves now host the majority of
underground events held in Edinburgh.
There are two dedicated gay clubs in Edinburgh, CC Blooms and GHQ;
several other club venues have LGBT nights.
A fortnightly publication, The
, is dedicated to life in Edinburgh and around, and
contains listings of all nightclubs, as well as music, theatrical
and other events. The List
also regularly produces
specialist guides such as its Food and Drink guide and its guide to
the Edinburgh Festivals
Street is the main shopping area in the city centre, with a wide
range of stores from souvenir shops, from chains such as Boots and H&M
and institutions like Jenners.
George Street, north of Princes Street, is
home to a number of upmarket chains and independent stores.
Centre, at the eastern end of George Street and Princes
Street, hosts a substantial number of national chains including a
Lewis. Multrees Walk, adjacent to the St. James Centre, is a recent
addition to the city centre, hosting brands such as Louis Vuitton, Emporio Armani, Mulberry and Calvin Klein, with Harvey Nichols anchoring the
Edinburgh also has substantial retail developments outside the city
centre. These include The Gyle and Hermiston Gait in the west of the city,
Toll, Straiton Retail Park and Fort Kinnaird in the south and east, and Ocean
Terminal to the north, on the Leith
waterfront. The Royal Yacht Britannia lies in dock here next to the centre.
Zoo is a non-profit zoological park located in Corstorphine. The land lies on Corstorphine
Hill and provides extensive views of the city.
1913, and owned by the Royal Zoological Society of
Scotland, it receives over 600,000 visitors a year, which makes
it Scotland's second most popular paid-for tourist attraction,
As well as catering to tourists and locals,
the Zoo is involved in many scientific pursuits, such as captive breeding
of endangered animals,
researching into animal behaviour
and active participation in various conservation programs
world. The Zoo is the only zoo in Britain to house polar bears
well as being the first zoo in the world to house and to breed
Edinburgh has two professional football
clubs - Hibernian
and Heart of Midlothian
. They are known
locally as Hibs and Hearts and both teams currently play in the
Scottish Premier League
at Easter Road
Stadium, which straddles the former boundary between
Edinburgh and Leith, while
Hearts play at Tynecastle Stadium in Gorgie.
Edinburgh was also home to senior sides St Bernard's
, and Leith Athletic
. Most recently,
Meadowbank Thistle played at Meadowbank Stadium until 1995, when the club moved to Livingston, becoming Livingston
Previously, Meadowbank Thistle had been named
Ferranti Thisle. The Scottish national team
occasionally played at Easter Road and Tynecastle
-league sides include Spartans
, who play in the
East of Scotland League
along with Civil Service
, Lothian Thistle
, Tynecastle F.C.
and Heriot-Watt University F.C.
Edinburgh United F.C.
Junior Football Association, East Region
The Scotland national rugby union team plays at Murrayfield
Stadium, which is owned by the Scottish Rugby Union and is also
used as a venue for other events, including music concerts.
Edinburgh's professional rugby team, Edinburgh Rugby, play in the
Celtic League at Murrayfield. It is the largest capacity stadium in
Scotland. Raeburn Place held the first rugby international game
between Scotland and England. Edinburgh is also home to numerous
smaller rugby teams including The Edinburgh Academicals (who play
at Raeburn Place), The Murrayfield Wanderers and several teams from
the universities in Edinburgh.
Scottish cricket team, who
represent Scotland at cricket
internationally and in the Friends Provident Trophy, play
their home matches at The Grange.
The Edinburgh Capitals
latest of a succession of ice hockey
clubs to represent the Scottish capital. Previously Edinburgh was
represented by the Murrayfield
and the Edinburgh Racers. The club play their
home games at the Murrayfield Ice Rink and are the sole Scottish representative in the
Elite Ice Hockey
The Edinburgh Diamond
is a baseball club claiming its first Scottish
Championship in 1991 as the "Reivers." 1992 saw the team repeat as
national champions, becoming the first team to do so in league
history and saw the start of the club's first youth team, the
. The name of the club was
changed in 1999.
Edinburgh has also hosted various national and international sports
events including the World Student
, the 1970
British Commonwealth Games
, the 1986 Commonwealth Games
inaugural 2000 Commonwealth Youth Games. For the Games in 1970
the city built major Olympic standard
venues and facilities including the Royal
Commonwealth Pool and the Meadowbank Stadium.
In American football
, the Scottish Claymores
games at Murrayfield, including their
World Bowl 96
victory. From 1995 to
1997 they played all their games there, from 1998 to 2000 they
split their home matches between Murrayfield and Glasgow's Hampden
Park, then moved to Glasgow full-time, with one final Murrayfield
appearance in 2002. The city's most successful non-professional
team are the Edinburgh Wolves
currently play at Meadowbank Stadium.
The Edinburgh Marathon
held in the city since 2003 with more than 13,000 taking part
has a speedway team, the Edinburgh Monarchs, which is currently
based at the Lothian Arena in Armadale, West Lothian.
Edinburgh has the strongest economy of any city in the UK outside
London. The strength of Edinburgh's economy is reflected by its
per capita, which was measured
at £28,238 in 2005. The economy of Edinburgh and its hinterland has
recently been announced as one of the fastest growing city regions
in Europe. Education and health,
finance and business services, retailing and tourism are the
largest employers. The economy of Edinburgh is largely based around
the services sector — centred around banking
, financial services, higher education, and
. Unemployment in Edinburgh is low at 1.9%, which
has been consistently below the Scottish average.
Banking has been a part of the
economic life of Edinburgh for over 300 years, with the
establishment of the Bank of
by an act of the original Parliament of Scotland
together with the burgeoning financial services industry, with
particular strengths in insurance and
investment underpinned by the presence of
Edinburgh based firms such as Scottish Widows and Standard Life, Edinburgh has emerged as Europe's sixth largest
financial centre. The Royal
Bank of Scotland, which is the fifth largest in the world by
market capitalisation, opened
their new global headquarters at Gogarburn in the west of the city in October 2005; their
registered office remains in St.
Manufacturing has never had as strong a
presence in Edinburgh compared with Glasgow; however brewing, publishing, and nowadays electronics have maintained a foothold in the
Edinburgh Financial District
While brewing has been in decline in recent years,
with the closure of the McEwan's
in 2005, Caledonian
remains as the largest, with Scottish and Newcastle
their headquarters in the city.
is an important economic mainstay in
the city. As a World
Heritage Site, tourists come to visit such historical sites as
Castle, the Palace of Holyroodhouse and the Georgian New Town.
This is augmented in August of each year
with the presence of the Edinburgh
, which bring in large numbers of visitors, generating
in excess of £100m for the Edinburgh economy.
As the centre of Scotland's devolved government, as well as its
, the public sector plays a
central role in the economy of Edinburgh with many departments of
the Scottish Government
in the city. Other major employers include NHS Scotland
and local government
Following local government reorganisation in 1996, Edinburgh
constitutes one of the 32
Unitary Authorities of Scotland
. Today, the City of Edinburgh Council
administrative body for the local authority and has its powers
stipulated by the Local Government etc
. Like all other unitary and island authorities in
Scotland, the council has powers over most matters of local
administration such as housing, planning, local transport
, parks, economic
development and regeneration. The council is composed of 58 elected
, returned from 17 multi-member electoral wards
the city. Each ward elects three or four councillors by the
single transferable vote
system, to produce a form of proportional representation
Following the 2007 Scottish
the incumbent Labour Party
lost majority control of
the council, after 23 years, to a Liberal Democrat
Since 2007, the council has operated a committee structure, headed
by the Lord
, who chairs the full council and acts as a figurehead
for the city. The Provost, currently George
, also serves as ex officio
the Lord Lieutenant
of the city. A Leader and
Policy & Strategy Committee, appointed by the full council, are
responsible for the day-to-day running of the city administration.
Jenny Dawe has been the Council Leader since May 2007. Councillors
are also appointed to sit on the boards of public bodies such as
Lothian and Borders
and the Forth Estuary Transport
of national governance, Edinburgh is represented in the Scottish
For electoral purposes, the city area is
divided between six of the nine constituencies
in the Lothians
. Each constituency elects one Member of the Scottish
by the first past the
system of election, and the region elects seven additional MSPs
, to produce a form
of proportional representation.
is also represented in the House of Commons by 5 Members
of Parliament elected from single member constituencies by the
the local constituencies, Edinburgh
, is represented by Alistair Darling
, the current UK Chancellor of the
Airport is the principal international gateway to the city,
handling almost 9 million passengers in 2008.
anticipation of rising passenger numbers, the airport operator
outlined a draft masterplan in 2006
to provide for the expansion of the airfield and terminal building.
The possibility of building a second runway to cope with an
increased number of aircraft movements has also been mooted.
As an important hub on the East
Coast Main Line
, is the primary railway station serving the
city. With more than 14 million passengers per year, the station is
the second busiest in Scotland behind . Waverley serves as the
terminus for trains arriving from and is the departure point for
many rail services within
operated by First
west of the city centre lies Haymarket railway station which is an important commuter stop.
2003, Edinburgh Park station serves the adjacent business park located in the
west of the city and the nearby Gogarburn headquarters of the Royal Bank of Scotland.
The Edinburgh Crossrail
Edinburgh Park with Haymarket, Waverley and the suburban stations
of and in the east of the city.. There are also commuter lines to South Gyle and Dalmeny, which serves South Queensferry by the Forth Bridges, and to the south west of the
city out to Wester
Hailes and Curriehill
Lothian Buses operate the majority of city bus services within the
City and to surrounding suburbs, with the majority of routes
running via Princes
Street. Services further afield operate from the
Edinburgh Bus Station off St. Andrew Square.
Lothian, as the successor company to the
, also operates all of the City's branded public tour bus services
, the night bus network
and airport buses
. Lothian's Mac Tours
subsidiary has one of the largest remaining fleets of ex-London
buses in the UK, many
converted to open
top tour buses
. In 2007, the average daily ridership of Lothian
Buses was over 312,000 - a 6% rise on the previous year.
order to tackle traffic
, Edinburgh is now served by six park and ride
sites on the periphery of the
city at Sheriffhall
. A new facility at Straiton opened in October 2008.
of Edinburgh residents in February 2005 rejected a proposal to
in the city.
Edinburgh has been without a tram system since 16 November 1956.
However, following parliamentary approval in 2007, construction
began on a new Edinburgh tram
in early 2008, which has lead to major disruption to
transport services. The first stage of the project was expected to
be operational by July 2011 but is unlikely to be working before
the beginning of 2012 . The first phase will see trams running from
the airport in the west of the city, through the centre of
Edinburgh and down Leith
Walk to Ocean Terminal and Newhaven. The next phase of the project will see
trams run from Haymarket through Ravelston and Craigleith to Granton on the waterfront. Future proposals
include; a line going west from the airport to Ratho and Newbridge and a line running along the length of the
There are four universities in Edinburgh with over 100,000 students
studying in the city. Established by Royal Charter in 1583, the
University of Edinburgh is
one of Scotland's ancient universities and is
the fourth oldest in the country after St
Andrews, Glasgow and Aberdeen. Originally centred
around Old College the university expanded to premises on The Mound, the Royal Mile and George Square.
Buildings in the south of the city contain most of the
schools within the College of Science and Engineering.
the medical school moved to purpose built accommodation adjacent
to the new Edinburgh Royal Infirmary at Little France.
Edinburgh University has strengths in
medicine, law, engineering, chemistry, physics, English, veterinary
science and informatics.
1960s Heriot-Watt University and Napier Technical College were
Heriot-Watt traces its origins to 1821, when a
school for technical education of the working classes
was opened. Based in Riccarton to the west of the city, Heriot-Watt specialises in
the disciplines of engineering, business and mathematics.
Napier College was renamed Napier Polytechnic in 1986 and gained
university status in 1992. Edinburgh Napier University has
campuses in the south and west of the city, including the former
Craiglockhart Hydropathic and Merchiston Tower.
It is home to the Screen Academy Scotland
education colleges in the city include Jewel & Esk College
(incorporating Leith Nautical College founded in 1903), Telford
College, opened in 1968, and Stevenson College, opened in
also has a campus in south Edinburgh.
university status in January 2007, Queen
Margaret University was founded in 1875, as The Edinburgh School of
Cookery and Domestic Economy, by Christian Guthrie Wright and
Other notable institutions include the Royal College of Surgeons
and the Royal College of
Physicians of Edinburgh
which were established by Royal
Charter, in 1506 and 1681 respectively. The Trustees Drawing
Academy of Edinburgh was founded in 1760 - an institution that
became the Edinburgh College of Art in 1907.
There are 18 nursery, 94 primary and 23 secondary schools
administered by the city council. In addition, the city is home to a large
number of independent,
fee-paying schools including George Heriot's School, Fettes College, Merchiston Castle School, Edinburgh Academy
and Stewart's Melville College.
Hospitals in Edinburgh include the Royal
Infirmary of Edinburgh, which includes Edinburgh University Medical
School, and the Western General Hospital, which includes a large cancer treatment
There is one private hospital, Murrayfield Hospital,
owned by Spire Healthcare
Royal Infirmary is the main Accident & Emergency hospital not
just for Edinburgh but also Midlothian and East Lothian, and is the
headquarters of NHS Lothian, making it a centric focus for
Edinburgh and its hinterland. The Royal Edinburgh Hospital
specialises in mental health; it is situated in Morningside. The
Royal Hospital for Sick Children is located in Sciennes Road; it is
popularly known as the 'Sick Kids'.
of Scotland claims the largest membership of any religious
denomination in Edinburgh. Its most important and historical church
is St Giles' Cathedral; others
include Greyfriars Kirk, Barclay Church, Canongate Kirk and St Andrew's and St George's
Church. In the south east of the city is the 12th
century Duddingston Kirk. The Church of Scotland Offices are located in Edinburgh, as is the Assembly Hall and New College on The Mound.
The Roman Catholic Church
has a sizeable presence in the city. Its notable
structures include St Mary's Cathedral at the top of Leith Walk, the Sacred Heart of
Jesus, St Patrick's, St. Columba's, St.
Peter's and Star of the Sea.
The Roman Catholic community in
Edinburgh is part of the Archdiocese of St
Andrews and Edinburgh
, which is led by Keith Cardinal O'Brien
, considered to be the
leader of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland.
The Free Church of
(Reformed and Presbyterian) has congregations on the
Royal Mile and Crosscauseway; its offices and training college are
located on the Mound.
The Scottish Episcopal
is part of the Anglican Communion. Its centre is the
resplendent St Mary's Cathedral, Palmerston Place in the west end.
addition, there are a number of independent churches situated
throughout the city; these churches tend to have a high percentage
of student congregants and include Destiny Church, Charlotte Chapel, Carrubbers Christian Centre, Morningside Baptist Church and Bellevue Chapel.
Edinburgh Central Mosque - Edinburgh's main mosque and
Islamic Centre is located on Potterrow on the city's southside,
near Bristo Square. It was opened in the late 1990s and the
construction was largely financed by a gift from King Fahd of Saudi Arabia.
The first recorded presence of a Jewish
community in Edinburgh dates back to the late
17th century. Edinburgh's Orthodox
is located in Salisbury Road,
which was opened in 1932 and can accommodate a congregation of
2000. A Liberal
meets in the city. There is also a Sikh
in the city which are both located in
the Leith district.
Scotland has a rich history in science and engineering, with
Edinburgh contributing its fair share of famous names. James Clerk Maxwell
, the founder of the
modern theory of electromagnetism
was born here and educated at the Edinburgh Academy
and University of Edinburgh
, as was the
engineer and telephone
pioneer Alexander Graham Bell
. Other names
connected to the city include Max Born
physicist and Nobel laureate
, the biologist who
discovered natural selection
, a philosopher, economist and
historian; James Hutton
, regarded as
the "Father of Geology
"; John Napier
inventor of logarithms
; chemist and one of the founders of
thermodynamics Joseph Black
medical researchers Joseph Lister
and James Young Simpson
; chemist and
discoverer of the element nitrogen
and developer of the maclaurin
, Colin Maclaurin
, the geneticist involved in
the cloning of Dolly the sheep
outside Edinburgh. The stuffed carcass of Dolly the sheep is now on
display in the National Museum of Scotland.
The lighthouse engineering family, the Stevenson family was based
Famous authors of the city include Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
, the creator of
, Ian Rankin
, author of the Inspector Rebus
of crime thrillers, J. K. Rowling, the
author of Harry Potter, who
wrote her first book in an Edinburgh coffee shop (Nicolson's Cafe, the Elephant House and
Black Medicine), Adam Smith, economist,
born in Kirkcaldy, and author of The Wealth of Nations, Walter Scott, the author of famous titles such
as Rob Roy and Ivanhoe, Robert
Louis Stevenson, creator of Treasure
Island and the Strange Case of Dr Jekyll
and Mr Hyde.
Edinburgh has been home to the actor Sir
, famed as the first cinematic James Bond
, a comedian and actor, best known as one of The Two Ronnies
; and Dylan Moran
, the Irish comedian. Famous city
artists include the portrait painters Sir Henry Raeburn
, Sir David Wilkie
and Allan Ramsay
. Historians such as
and Arthur Marwick
had roots here.
The city has produced or been home to musicians that have been
extremely successful in modern times, particularly Ian Anderson
, frontman of the band
; Wattie Buchan
, lead singer and founding member
of punk band The Exploited
, lead singer for the
; The Proclaimers
, a musical ensemble of two
brothers; the Bay City Rollers
Boards of Canada
Edinburgh is the hometown of the former
Prime Minister of
the United Kingdom, Tony Blair, who
was born in the city and attended Fettes College; Robin Harper the
co-convener of the Scottish Green
Party; and John Witherspoon,
the only clergyman to sign the United States
Declaration of Independence, and later president of Princeton University.
On the more sinister side, famous criminals from Edinburgh's
history include Deacon Brodie
of society by day and burglar by night, who is said to have
influenced Robert Louis
's story, the Strange Case of Dr Jekyll
and Mr Hyde
; the murderers Burke and
, who provided fresh corpses for anatomical dissection by
the famous surgeon Robert Knox
a notorious warlock
The City of Edinburgh has entered into 11 international twinning
arrangements since 1954. Most of the
arrangements are styled as 'Twin Cities', but the agreement with
Kraków is designated as a 'Partner City'.
agreement with the Kyoto Prefecture, concluded in 1994, is officially styled as a
'Friendship Link', reflecting its status as the only region to be
twinned with Edinburgh.
- General Register Office for Scotland - mid 2008
population estimates by sex, age and administrative area
- Edinburgh voted most desirable city to live in
www.edinburgh-inspiringcapital.com, 14 August 2009
- Coghill, Hamish Lost Edinburgh pp. 1/2.
- Harris, The Place Names of Edinburgh(1996)
- Lownie, Auld Reekie, An Edinburgh Anthology (2004),
- Watson, The Celtic Place Names of Scotland (1926),
- Lynch et al., The Oxford Companion to Scottish History
- Scottish Vernacular Dictionary
- List of
Latin place names in the British Isles
- Vivas Schola Regia
- Royal High School
- The Cambridge Companion to Ben Jonson.
Retrieved 17 April 2007.
- Marmion A Tale of Flodden Field by Walter Scott.
Retrieved 17 April 2007.
- The Story of Leith XXXIII. How Leith was
- J Stuart Murray in Edwards & Jenkins (2005); p64-65
- Edwards, B. & Jenkins, P. (2005) p21
- Lynch, M. (2001), p219
- Edwards, B. & Jenkins, P. (2005), p9
- Edwards, B. & Jenkins, P. (2005) p46
- Robinson, P. in Edwards, B. & Jenkins, P. (2005), p46