Edinburgh Sightseeing Drive, Castle Visit, and Free Time
Tour Participation Requirements
Welcome to E'burgh. A place of dramatic architectural contrasts and rugged good looks. Here even the New Town is old, and the Old Town is really old. Together they're a UNESCO World Heritage Site with over 4,500 listed buildings.
Your GoBe crew will escort you along the River Clyde and motorway till you arrive in Edinburgh proper on Princes Street. It's home to posh shops on one side and beautiful gardens on the other, backgrounded by majestic views of Castle Hill – an extinct volcano with imposing Edinburgh Castle perched on it.
Your expedition continues in panoramic style through Old Town, descending the ridge as you traverse the fabled Royal Mile, lined with handsome multi-story houses and quaint side streets (they call them closes or wynds here). High points include the distinctive 15th-century crown steeple of St. Giles Cathedral and the Palace of Holyrood House, where the current U.K. Queen rests her head when she's here.
You'll return to the hilltop for a visit to the Castle, home to Scottish royalty for many centuries and through many changes in ownership and allegiance. There's a ton to see here, including the Old Royal Palace, where they keep the Jewels; the Crown Room, brimming with regalia; and the apartment where Mary, Queen of Scots gave birth to the king who would unite the crowns of Scotland and England, as Tudors gave way to the House of Stuart.
Having worked up a hearty appetite by now, you'll have time to seek out lunch on your own, and wander the shops and boutiques of Princes Street. Maybe you'll even try haggis, the savory national dish of Scotland.
You might be surprised if you decide to ask what's in it, so chase it down with a dram of strong Scotch whisky.
What time does the One O'Clock Gun go off?
Established in 1861 to announce the time to ships in local harbors, Edinburgh Castle's One O'Clock Gun is still fired every day at precisely 1 p.m. – except on Sundays, Good Friday and Christmas. Since sound travels rather slowly, a special adjustments map was produced to show what time the gun's report would be heard at locations distant from town. During WWI, it was fired not at one o'clock, but at a German zeppelin on a bombing mission. It missed.
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