Neighbours, everybody needs good neighbours….not just a throwback to our 80s soap watching habits, but a solid fact. Okay, so this is Edinburgh and not Erinsborough, but we’re lucky here at Dynamic Earth because we have brilliant neighbours just the same - you know, the sort that you can definitely borrow a cup of sugar from!
In fact, we get along so well that, a few years back, we all got together to form the Canongate and Holyrood Initiative. There are so many great things to do here at the bottom of the Royal Mile in the Old Town - and not just at Dynamic Earth.
Canongate and Holyrood is a Unesco World Heritage site, which is pretty cool. The area dates back to 1128 and the formation of Holyrood Abbey, so it’s full of fascinating historical buildings to explore as well as cultural attractions - like ours!
We’ve rounded up 5 places to visit in our neighbourhood...besides us, of course!
1. Palace of Holyroodhouse
The official residence of Her Majesty The Queen in Scotland. The Queen's Gallery holds temporary exhibitions of works from the Royal Collection. Undoubtedly, one of the palace’s most famous residents was Mary, Queen of Scots who came to live there in 1561. She married both of her husbands here and it was in her own apartments that David Rizzio, her secretary, was brutally murdered at the hands of a group led by her first husband Lord Darnley. The palace is currently hosting a special exhibition of clothes from our current Queen’s wardrobe through the years as part of her 90th birthday celebrations. Check out the palace’s current opening times and admission prices here.
2. The Scottish Parliament
Visit the seat of power in Scotland. Marvel at the award-winning architecture, see democracy in action if the parliament is in session or take a free guided tour. There’s a shop, cafe and permanent exhibition telling the story of Scotland’s Governments. Opening hours depend on parliamentary business, so check the website.
3. The Scottish Poetry Library
A wonderful national resource, the Scottish Poetry Library is home to a vast array of collections, both international and Scottish. A fascinating library to browse and get lost in some of the most beautiful words in the world. It’s the perfect place if you are looking for a poem for a wedding or other event, and the staff are brilliant at finding poems you loved but can’t remember much of! The library hosts events and exhibitions and there are often performances and readings by poets and writers. Free to enter. Opening hours Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 10am-5pm, Thursday 10am-7pm and Saturday 10am-4pm.
4. The Museum of Edinburgh
No day out on the Royal Mile is complete without a visit to the Museum of Edinburgh, where the city’s past is brought to life in vivid technicolour. You can watch Edinburgh grow beneath your feet in the blacked out theatre as part of Foundation - The Story Of A City. See beautiful glass and metalware created by the craft guilds, decipher the signatures on the National Covenant and dress up in replica period costumes. Free entry, open Monday-Saturday 10am-5pm and on Sundays during August. Find out more here.
5. People’s Story Museum
The People’s Story explores the lives of Edinburgh’s ordinary people at work and play from the late 18th century to today. You can see displays of a bookbinder’s workshop, a wartime kitchen and even a former jail which is an original part of the Canongate Tolbooth, where the museum is housed. Free entry, open Monday-Saturday 10am-5pm and Sundays during the Edinburgh Festival. Find out more here.
There are lots of places to eat and drink in the area too as well as some lovely shops. If you’re planning a visit, you can download a guide to the Canongate and Holyrood trail. It’s packed with information on other historic buildings in the area, as well as lots of interesting facts. Did you know Bovril was invented in the Canongate?
We look forward to seeing you on your Edinburgh day out. Let us see what you've been up to using the #canonGreat hashtag on social media and don’t forget to say hello to our neighbours!