What to do in Edinburgh after class or at the weekend
Edinburgh is a fantastic city to learn English in. The size of the city means that you can get to know your way around within a few days, within a few weeks you can navigate your way around like a native! The school is located in the city centre, just off Charlotte Square and George Street. When you finish your classes you are perfectly situated to explore the city on foot, whatever the weather!
Walking in Edinburgh
If it is a nice day, you can walk the 2 minutes to Princes Street Gardens and sit and have a coffee or do your homework. If the sky is clear, you can climb the 287 steps of the Scott Monument and get a fantastic view of the city and over the Firth of Forth. The Scott Monument is close to Waverley Train Station, at the East end of Princes Street Gardens. It commemorates the Scottish writer, Sir Walter Scott, and is the largest monument dedicated to a writer in the world. Entrance is about £4.
From the east end of Princes Street you can go for stroll up Calton Hill for a nice for a nice view of the city. Here are a few things to look out for when you are on Calton Hill, do you know why is Edinburgh often called The Athens of the North?
If it is a dry day and you fancy a longer walk with a 360 degree panoramic view, you could head over to Arthur's Seat. This is an inactive volcano in the middle of Holyrood Park, it takes about 45 minutes to walk to the top from near the Scottish Parliament. Please wear suitable shoes for climbing this hill and be careful as it can be very slippery, espcially if it has rained recently.
Galleries and museums in Edinburgh
If the weather means you want to stay inside, you can visit some of the museums, galleries and attractions located all over the city. The National Gallery of Scotland and the The National Portrait Gallery are 10/15 minutes walk from the school and The City Art Centre, 15/20 minutes walk, also has an intersting collection of Scottish art. All these galleries are free, except for some temporary exhibitions which have an admission fee.
The recently refurbished National Museum of Scotland is on Chamber Street, about 20 minutes walk from the school. Entrance is free but some temporary exhibitions have an admission fee. The National Museum of Scotland is an interesting visit for all ages and interests, the building itself is lovely inside and you can always just stop for a coffee in the lovely cafe. On a clear day, it is worth visiting the viewing platform on the roof for great views of Edinburgh's skyline.
The Museum of Edinburgh and People's Story are located on the Canongate (bottom of the High Street near the Parliament), both small museums have interesting artifacts from Edinburgh in the past and give you an insight in to the history of the people and city.
For literary enthusiasts, The Writers' Museum, in Makers' Court (between the top of the Mound and the High Street), celebrates the life of three great Scottish writers. Robert Louis Stevenson (Treasure Island, Kidnapped, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and many others), Sir Walter Scott (Ivanhoe, Rob Roy, Waverley and many others) and Robert Burns (author of many poems and folk songs, including the world famous 'Auld Lang Syne' which is often sung at New Year). Did you know that Edinburgh was the first UNESCO World Heritage City for Literature?
Edinburgh by the sea
If you want to walk by the sea, you can jump on the number 41 bus from Hannover Street or Princes Street and go to the end of the line and get off at Cramond. Once a village in its own right, it is now a suburb of Edinburgh. You can have a coffee or drink in one of the pubs or cafes or go for stroll along the promenade. When the tide is out, it is possible to walk to Cramond Island. Before you leave the mainland, check the notice board with the tide times and make sure you return before high tide. Otherwise you will be stuck on the island!
Numerous buses leave from the centre of town to Portobello, jump on the regular number 15 or 26 from Princes Street. You can walk along the beach or pop in to one of the pubs or cafes. We recommend The Beach House for some tastey cake and a coffee!