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Three Perfect Days: Edinburgh

Edinburgh,” wrote the poet Hugh MacDiarmid, “is a mad god’s dream.” The line says a lot about this city—its impossible clutter of architectural splendor, the dense concentration of beauty it represents.

Author Chris Wright Photography Rahel Weiss

Princes Street skirting Old Town

Picture 1 of 16

Edinburgh,” wrote the poet Hugh MacDiarmid, “is a mad god’s dream.” The line says a lot about this city—its impossible clutter of architectural splendor, the dense concentration of beauty it represents.

This beauty is, at times, brooding and melancholy, reflecting the violent religious and political upheavals Edinburgh has endured throughout its history, along with the fires, the plagues and—less dramatically but more reliably—the inclement weather.

Indeed, the very effort to build an Athens on this craggy shoulder of Scotland, with the wind whipping in from the Firth of Forth and the hard volcanic rock below, seems the kind of thing a mad god might do. Mad or not, Edinburgh has always been a center of brilliance—of invention, art, literature and thought. Recently, this tradition has expressed itself in the city’s food scene (it has five Michelin-starred restaurants, second only to London in the U.K.) and its renowned cultural events (the Fringe and International festivals happen in August). 

As for the people—well, they can be as steely as you’d expect in this environment, imbued with amused cynicism and maintaining a tight grip on their sense of independence. That said, if you ask a local for directions, you could well spend the next 15 minutes engaged in casual conversation.

So, yes, Edinburgh is a sublimely beautiful city. The surprise is how warm and charming it can be, how open and energetic. How fun.

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Three Perfect Days in Edinburgh: Few places can do rain like Edinburgh. Explore the sublimely beautiful Scottish city’s history, architecture, and more. 



One Response to “Three Perfect Days: Edinburgh”

  1. Ravinder Johar Says:
    March 4th, 2016 at 2:46 pm

    I have been using Three Perfect Days for years!!

    Never fais!! Absolutely the best guide and amazing recommendations!!

    My comliments to the Team!!

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