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Clockwise from top-left: View from Calton Hill, Old College, University of Edinburgh, Old Town from Princes Street, Edinburgh Castle, Princes Street from Calton Hill
Edinburgh located within Scotland

Sovereign state: United Kingdom

Country: Scotland

Council area: City of Edinburgh

Lieutenancy area: Edinburgh

Founded: Prior to 7th century AD

Burgh Charter: 1125

City status: 1889

Governing body: City of Edinburgh Council

Lord Provost: Donald Wilson

MSPs *Kenny MacAskill (SNP)

  • Marco Biagi (SNP)
  • Malcolm Chisholm (L)
  • Gordon MacDonald (SNP)
  • Jim Eadie (SNP)
  • Colin Keir (SNP)


  • Alistair Darling (L)
  • Gavin Strang (L)
  • Nigel Griffiths (L)
  • Mark Lazarowicz (L)
  • Michael Crockart (LD)

Area: 264 km2 (102 sq mi)

MSP Tavish Scott

Total Area: 1,468 km2 (567 sq mi)

Elevation: 47 m (154 ft)

  • City 482,640
  • Density 1,828/km2 (4,730/sq mi)
  • Urban 817,800

Language(s): Scots, English
Postcode areas EH
Area code(s) 0131
website: www.edinburgh.gov.uk

Edinburgh Scottish Gaelic: Dùn Èideann) is the capital city of Scotland, situated in Lothian on the southern shore of the Firth of Forth. It is the second most populous city in Scotland and the seventh most populous in the United Kingdom. <ref>'Largest Cities in the UK'Retrieved 13 October 2013</ref>The population in 2012 was 482,640. <ref>"City of Edinburgh factsheet". General Register Office for Scotland. Retrieved 27 February 2013</ref>

Edinburgh has been recognised as the capital of Scotland since at least the 15th century, but political power moved south to London after the Union of the Crowns in 1603 and the Union of Parliaments in 1707. After nearly three centuries of unitary government, a measure of self-government returned in the shape of the devolved Scottish Parliament, which officially opened in Edinburgh in 1999. The city is also the annual venue of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland and home to many national institutions such as the National Museum of Scotland, the National Library of Scotland and the Scottish National Gallery. Edinburgh's relatively buoyant economy, traditionally centred on banking and insurance but now encompassing a wide range of businesses, makes it the biggest financial centre in the UK after London. <ref> "Edinburgh – A global financial centre". Edinburgh District Council. Retrieved 13 October 2013</ref> Many Scottish companies have established their head offices in the city.

Edinburgh is rich in associations with the past and has many historic buildings, including Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Palace, the churches of St. Giles, Greyfriars and the Canongate, and an extensive Georgian New Town built in the 18th century. Edinburgh's Old Town and New Town are jointly listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. <ref>Edinburgh-World Heritage Site". VisitScotland. Retrieved 10 February 2013</ref>

The city has long been known abroad as a centre of education, particularly in the fields of medicine, Scots law, the sciences and engineering. The University of Edinburgh, founded in 1583 and now one of four in the city, was placed 17th in the QS World University Rankings in 2013.<ref>The University of Edinburgh". Retrieved 30 September 2013</ref> The city is also famous for the Edinburgh International Festival, which, since its inception in 1947, has grown – largely as a result of the "Fringe" and other associated events – into the biggest annual international arts festival in the world. In 2004 Edinburgh became the world's first UNESCO City of Literature, an accolade awarded in recognition of its literary heritage and lively literary activities in the present.<ref>City of Literature". cityofliterature.com. Retrieved 27 February 2013</ref>

The city's historical and cultural attractions, together with an annual calendar of events aimed primarily at the tourist market, have made it the second most popular tourist destination in the United Kingdom after London, attracting over one million overseas visitors each year.<ref> "Edinburgh second in TripAdvisor UK tourism poll". BBC News Online. 3 May 2011. Retrieved 16 March 2013</ref>

Etymology of Edinburgh

"Edin", the root of the city's name, is most likely of Brittonic Celtic origin, from the Cumbric language or a variation of it that would have been spoken by the earliest known people of the area, an Iron Age tribe known to the Romans as the Votadini, and latterly in sub-Roman history as the Gododdin. It appears to derive from the place name Eidyn mentioned in the Old Welsh epic poem Y Gododdin.<ref>Ifor Williams, The Beginnings of Welsh Poetry: Studies. University of Wales Press, 1972, 47 </ref><ref>Chadwick, Nora K. (1968). The British Heroic Age: the Welsh and the Men of the North. University of Wales Press,107</ref>

The poem names Din Eidyn as a hill fort (Din meaning "dun") in the territory of the Gododdin.<ref>Craig Cessford, "Gardens of the 'Gododdin'". Garden History 22 (1): 114–15</ref> The change in nomenclature, from Din Eidyn to Edinburgh, reflects changes in the local language from Cumbric to Old English, the Germanic language of the Anglian kingdom of Bernicia that permeated the area from the mid-7th century and is regarded as the ancestor of modern Scots. The Celtic element din was dropped and replaced by the Old English burh.<ref> Adrian Room, Placenames of the World. McFarland, 2006, 118–119</ref>The first documentary evidence of the medieval burgh is a royal charter, c.1124–1127, by King David I granting a toft in "burgo meo de Edenesburg" to the Priory of Dunfermline.<ref>Geoffrey Barrow, The Charters of King David I: The Written Acts of David I King of Scots, 63</ref>


Early History

The earliest known human habitation in the Edinburgh area is from Cramond where evidence was found of a Mesolithic camp-site dated to c. 8500 BC.<ref>Earliest evidence found of settlers in Scotland: hazelnuts and stone tools excavated near Edinburgh date to around 8500 BC". Retrieved 31 October 2013</ref> Traces of later Bronze Age and Iron Age settlements have been found on Castle Rock, Arthur's Seat, Craiglockhart Hill and the Pentland Hills.<ref>Hamish Coghill, Lost Edinburgh. Birlinn Ltd, 2008, 1–2</ref>

By the time the Romans arrived in Lothian at the end of the 1st century AD, they discovered a Celtic Britonnic tribe whose name they recorded as the Votadini.<ref>J. N. G. Richie, Edinburgh and South-East Scotland. Heinemann, 1972, 51?</ref> At some point before the 7th century AD, the Gododdin, who were presumably descendants of the Votadini, built the hill fort of Din Eidyn or Etin. Although its exact location has not been identified, it seems more than likely they would have chosen a commanding position like the Castle Rock or Arthur's Seat or Calton Hill. <ref> James Fraser, From Caledonia to Pictland: Scotland to 795. Edinburgh University Press, 2009, 171</ref>

In 638 AD the Gododdin stronghold was besieged by forces loyal to King Oswald of Northumbria, and around this time control of Lothian passed to the Angles. Their influence continued for the next three centuries until around 950 AD, when, during the reign of Indulf, son of Constantine II, the "burh" (fortress), named in the 10th-century Pictish Chronicle as "oppidum Eden", fell to the Scots and thenceforth remained under their jurisdiction.<ref>William Watson, The Celtic Place Names of Scotland, 1926, 340</ref><ref>Michael Lynch, The Oxford Companion to Scottish History, 2001, 658</ref>

The royal burgh was founded by King David I in the early 12th century on land belonging to the Crown, though the precise date is unknown. <ref>David Daiches, Edinburgh, Hamish Hamilton, 1978, 15</ref> By the middle of the 14th century, the French chronicler Jean Froissart was describing it as the capital of Scotland (c.1365), and James III (1451–88) referred to it in the 15th century as "the principal burgh of our kingdom". <ref>W C Dickinson, Scotland, From The Earliest Times To 1603, Thomas Nelson, 1963, 119</ref>Despite the destruction caused by an English assault in 1544, the town slowly recovered, and was at the centre of events in the 16th-century Scottish Reformation and 17th-century Wars of the Covenant.<ref>Gordon Donaldson, The Scottish Reformation Cambridge University Press, 1960, 53</ref>

Seventeenth Century

Edinburgh in the seventeenth century

In 1603, King James VI of Scotland succeeded to the English throne, uniting the crowns of Scotland and England in a personal union known as the Union of the Crowns, though Scotland remained, in all other respects, a separate kingdom. <ref> Gordon Donaldson, Scottish Kings. Batsford, 1967, 213</ref> In 1638, King Charles I's attempt to introduce Anglican church forms in Scotland encountered stiff Presbyterian opposition culminating in the conflicts of the Wars of the Three Kingdoms.<ref>P R Newman, Companion to the English Civil Wars, Facts on File Ltd, 13</ref> Subsequent Scottish support for Charles Stuart's restoration to the throne of England resulted in Edinburgh's occupation by Oliver Cromwell's Commonwealth of England forces – the New Model Army – in 1650<ref>Stephen C. Manganiello (2004). The Concise Encyclopedia of the Revolutions and Wars of England, Scotland, and Ireland, 1639–1660. Scarecrow Press, 587</ref>

In the 17th century, the boundaries of Edinburgh were still defined by the city's defensive town walls. As a result, expansion took the form of the houses increasing in height to accommodate a growing population. Buildings of 11 storeys or more were common, and have been described as forerunners of the modern-day skyscraper. Most of these old structures were later replaced by the predominantly Victorian buildings seen in today's Old Town. <ref>Defoe, Daniel (1978). A Tour Through The Whole Island of Britain. London: Penguin. p. 577"... I believe, this may be said with truth, that in no city in the world so many people live in so little room as at Edinburgh.</ref> <ref>Topham, E. (1971). Letters from Edinburgh 1774–1775. Edinburgh: James Thin. p. 27. ISBN 1-236-68255-6. Retrieved 18 March 2013"... I make no manner of doubt but that the High Street in Edinburgh is inhabited by a greater number of persons than any street in Europe."</ref>

Eighteenth Century

In 1706 and 1707, the Acts of Union were passed by the Parliaments of England and Scotland uniting the two kingdoms into the Kingdom of Great Britain.<ref>Paul Scott, 1707: the Union of Scotland and England. Chambers, 1979, 51–54</ref>As a consequence, the Parliament of Scotland merged with the Parliament of England to form the Parliament of Great Britain, which sat at Westminster in London. The Union was opposed by many Scots at the time, resulting in riots in the city. By the first half of the 18th century, despite rising prosperity evidenced by its growing importance as a banking centre, Edinburgh was being described as one of the most densely populated, overcrowded and unsanitary towns in Europe.<ref>Topham, E. (1971). Letters from Edinburgh 1774–1775. Edinburgh: James Thin. p. 27. ISBN 1-236-68255-6. Retrieved 18 March 2013"... I make no manner of doubt but that the High Street in Edinburgh is inhabited by a greater number of persons than any street in Europe."</ref>

Visitors were struck by the fact that the various social classes shared the same urban space, even inhabiting the same tenement buildings; although here a form of social segregation did prevail, whereby shopkeepers and tradesmen tended to occupy the cheaper-to-rent cellars and garrets, while the more well-to-do professional classes occupied the more expensive middle storeys.<ref>H. G. Graham, (1906). The Social Life of Scotland in the Eighteenth Century, Adam and Charles Black, 85</ref>During the Jacobite rising of 1745, Edinburgh was briefly occupied by the Jacobite "Highland Army" before its march into England. After its eventual defeat at Culloden, there followed a period of reprisals and pacification, largely directed at the rebellious clans.

In Edinburgh, the Town Council, keen to emulate London by initiating city improvements and expansion to the north of the castle, re-affirmed its belief in the Union and loyalty to the Hanoverian monarch George III by its choice of names for the streets of the New Town, for example, Rose Street and Thistle Street, and for the royal family: George Street, Queen Street, Hanover Street, Frederick Street and Princes Street (in honour of George's two sons).<ref>Keay, K; Keay, J (1994). Collins Encyclopaedia of Scotland, 285</ref> In the second half of the century, the city was at the heart of the Scottish Enlightenment when personalities such as David Hume, Adam Smith, James Hutton and Joseph Black were familiar figures in its streets. Edinburgh became a major intellectual centre, earning it the nickname "Athens of the North" because of its many neo-classical buildings and reputation for learning, similar to Ancient Athens. <ref>Blackwood's Edinburgh magazine 11. 1822, 323</ref>

In the 18th century novel The Expedition of Humphry Clinker by Tobias Smollett one character describes Edinburgh as a "hotbed of genius".<ref>Letter from Matthew Bramble on August 8". The Expedition of Humphrey Clinker. Project Gutenberg, 2000</ref> From the 1770s onwards, the professional and business classes gradually deserted the Old Town in favour of the more elegant "one-family" residences of the New Town, a migration that changed the social character of the city. According to the foremost historian of this development, "Unity of social feeling was one of the most valuable heritages of old Edinburgh, and its disappearance was widely and properly lamented."<ref>A J Youngson, The Making of Classical Edinburgh. Edinburgh University Press, 1988, 256</ref>

Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

Edinburgh Castle from Grassmarket, late nineteenth century

Although Edinburgh's traditional industries of printing, brewing and distilling continued to grow in the 19th century and were joined by new rubber works and engineering works there was little industrialisation compared with other cities in Britain. By 1821, Edinburgh had been overtaken by Glasgow as Scotland's largest city.<ref>Pryde, George Smith (1962). Scotland from 1603 to the present day. Nelson. p. 141. "Population figures for 1801 – Glasgow 77,385; Edinburgh 82,560; for 1821 – Glasgow 147,043; Edinburgh 138,325</ref>The city centre between Princes Street and George Street became a major commercial and shopping district, a development partly stimulated by the arrival of railways in the 1840s. The Old Town became an increasingly dilapidated, overcrowded slum with high mortality rates. <ref>A Hogg, (1973). "Topic 3:Problem Areas". Scotland: The Rise of Cities 1694–1905. London </ref> Improvements carried out under Lord Provost William Chambers in the 1860s began the transformation of the area into the predominantly Victorian Old Town seen today. <ref>Hogg, A (1973). "Topic 3:Problem Areas". Scotland: The Rise of Cities 1694–1905, 196</ref>

More improvements followed in the early 20th century as a result of the work of Patrick Geddes, but relative economic stagnation during the two world wars and beyond saw the Old Town deteriorate further before major slum clearance in the 1960s and 1970s began to reverse the process. University building developments which transformed the George Square and Potterrow areas proved highly controversial.<ref>H Coghill, (2008). Lost Edinburgh. Edinburgh, 219–220</ref>Since the 1990s a new "financial district", including a new Edinburgh International Conference Centre, has grown mainly on demolished railway property to the west of the castle, stretching into Fountainbridge, a run-down 19th-century industrial suburb which has undergone radical change since the 1980s with the demise of industrial and brewery premises. This ongoing development has enabled Edinburgh to maintain its place as the second largest financial and administrative centre in the United Kingdom after London.<ref>Keay, John (1994). Collins Encyclopaedia of Scotland. 1994, 286</ref>

Financial services now account for a third of all commercial office space in the city. <ref> William Rae, Edinburgh, Scotland's Capital City. Mainstream, 1994, 164</ref> The development of Edinburgh Park, a new business and technology park covering 38 acres (15 ha), 4 mi (6 km) west of the city centre, has also contributed to the District Council's strategy for the city's major economic regeneration.<ref>William Rae, Edinburgh, Scotland's Capital City. Mainstream, 1994, 164</ref> In 1998, the Scotland Act, which came into force the following year, established a devolved Scottish Parliament and Scottish Executive (renamed the Scottish Government since July 2012). Both based in Edinburgh, they are responsible for governing Scotland while reserved matters such as defence, taxation and foreign affairs remain the responsibility of the Parliament of the United Kingdom in London.<ref>William Rae, Edinburgh, Scotland's Capital City. Mainstream, 1994, 164</ref>



View of Edinburgh from Blackford Hill

Edinburgh is situated in Scotland's Central Belt and lies on the southern shore of the Firth of Forth. The city centre is 2 1⁄2 miles (4.0 km) south west of the shoreline of Leith and 26 miles (42 km) inland, as the crow flies, from the east coast of Scotland and the North Sea at Dunbar.<ref> Geographia Ltd (1984). Geographia Atlas of the World (Map). London 99</ref> While the early burgh grew up in close proximity to the prominent Castle Rock, the modern city is often said to be built on seven hills, namely Calton Hill, Corstorphine Hill, Craiglockhart Hill, Braid Hill, Blackford Hill, Arthur's Seat and the Castle Rock, giving rise to allusions to the seven hills of Rome.<ref>"Seven Hills of Edinburgh". VisitScotland</ref>

Occupying, in geological terms, a narrow gap between the Firth of Forth to the north and the Pentland Hills and their outrunners to the south, the city sprawls over a landscape which is the product of early volcanic activity and later periods of intensive glaciation.<ref>Edwards, Brian; Jenkins, Paul (2005). Edinburgh: The Making of a Capital City. Edinburgh University Press, 64–6</ref>Igneous activity between 350 and 400 million years ago, coupled with faulting, led to the creation of tough basalt volcanic plugs, which predominate over much of the area. One such example is the Castle Rock which forced the advancing icesheet to divide, sheltering the softer rock and forming a 1-mile-long (1.6 km) tail of material to the east, thus creating a distinctive crag and tail formation.<ref>Edwards, Brian; Jenkins, Paul (2005). Edinburgh: The Making of a Capital City. Edinburgh University Press. 64–65</ref>Glacial erosion on the north side of the crag gouged a deep valley later filled by the now drained Nor Loch. These features, along with another hollow on the south side of the rock, formed an ideal natural strongpoint upon which Edinburgh Castle was built.

Similarly, Arthur's Seat is the remains of a volcano dating from the Carboniferous period, which was eroded by a glacier moving west to east during the ice age.<ref>Edwards, Brian; Jenkins, Paul (2005). Edinburgh: The Making of a Capital City. Edinburgh University Press. 64–65</ref>Erosive action such as plucking and abrasion exposed the rocky crags to the west before leaving a tail of deposited glacial material swept to the east.[58] This process formed the distinctive Salisbury Crags, a series of teschenite cliffs between Arthur's Seat and the location of the early burgh.<ref>Stuart Piggott (1982). Scotland before History. Edinburgh University Press</ref>The residential areas of Marchmont and Bruntsfield are built along a series of drumlin ridges south of the city centre, which were deposited as the glacier receded.<ref>Edwards, Brian; Jenkins, Paul (2005). Edinburgh: The Making of a Capital City. Edinburgh University Press. 64–65</ref>

Edinburgh is drained by the river named the Water of Leith, which rises at the Colzium Springs in the Pentland Hills and runs for 29 kilometres (18 mi) through the south and west of the city, emptying into the Firth of Forth at Leith.<ref>Overview of the Water of Leith". Gazetteer for Scotland, Institute of Geography, University of Edinburgh. (accessed 1st August 2014)</ref> The nearest the river gets to the city centre is at Dean Village on the north-western edge of the New Town, where a deep gorge is spanned by Thomas Telford's Dean Bridge, built in 1832 for the road to Queensferry.<ref>Overview of the Water of Leith". Gazetteer for Scotland, Institute of Geography, University of Edinburgh. (accessed 1st August 2014)</ref>

The Water of Leith Walkway is a mixed use trail that follows the course of the river for 19.6 kilometres (12.2 mi) from Balerno to Leith.<ref>http://www.waterofleith.org.uk/walkway/ (accessed 1st August 2014)</ref>Excepting the shoreline of the Firth of Forth, Edinburgh is encircled by a green belt, designated in 1957, which stretches from Dalmeny in the west to Prestongrange in the east.<ref>"Review of Green Belt policy in Scotland – Edinburgh and Midlothian". Scottish Government. 11 August 2004</ref>With an average width of 3.2 kilometres (2 mi) the principal objectives of the green belt were to contain the outward expansion of the city and to prevent the agglomeration of urban areas.<ref>"Review of Green Belt policy in Scotland – Edinburgh and Midlothian". Scottish Government. 11 August 2004</ref>

Expansion affecting the green belt is strictly controlled but developments such as Edinburgh Airport and the Royal Highland Showground at Ingliston lie within the zone. Similarly, outlying suburbs such as Juniper Green and Balerno are situated on green belt land. One feature of the Edinburgh green belt is the inclusion of parcels of land within the city which are designated green belt, even though they do not connect with the peripheral ring. Examples of these independent wedges of green belt include Holyrood Park and Corstorphine Hill.<ref>"Review of Green Belt policy in Scotland – Edinburgh and Midlothian". Scottish Government. 11 August 2004</ref>

Edinburgh has three freshwater lochs, located in the Queen's Park.<ref>Sandy Mullay, The Edinburgh Encyclopedia (Mainstream: Edinburgh and London) 201</ref> However, the previously mentioned Nor' Loch occupied what are now Princes Street Gardens. <ref>Sandy Mullay, The Edinburgh Encyclopedia (Mainstream: Edinburgh and London) 201</ref> It has been attested to as early as the reign of Robert III but in later years had become heavily polluted, being described in 1750 as a 'noxious lake'.<ref>Sandy Mullay, The Edinburgh Encyclopedia (Mainstream: Edinburgh and London) 201</ref>


The Old Town and Arthur's Seat

Edinburgh is divided into distinct areas that retain much of their original character as settlements in existence before they were absorbed into the sprawling city of the nineteenth century. Many residences are multi-occupancy buildings known as tenements, although the more southern and western parts of the city have traditionally been more affluent with a greater number of detached and semi-detached villas.<ref>http://www.timeout.com/edinburgh/features/146/edinburgh-area-guide (accessed 1st August 2014)</ref>The historic centre of Edinburgh is divided in two by the broad green swath of Princes Street Gardens. To the south the view is dominated by Edinburgh Castle, built high on the castle rock, and the long sweep of the Old Town descending towards Holyrood Palace. To the north lie Princes Street and the New Town.

Moray Place in the New Town

The West End includes the financial district, with insurance and banking offices as well as the Edinburgh International Conference Centre. The Old and New Towns of Edinburgh were listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995 in recognition of the unique character of the Old Town with its medieval street layout and the planned Georgian New Town, including the adjoining Dean Village and Calton Hill areas. There are over 4,500 listed buildings within the city<ref>Edinburgh-World Heritage Site". VisitScotland</ref>a higher proportion relative to area than any other city in the United Kingdom.

Old Town

Edinburgh Castle

The Old Town runs downhill and terminates at Holyrood Palace. Minor streets (called closes or wynds) lie on either side of the main spine forming a herringbone pattern.<ref>http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/728 (accessed 1st August 2014)</ref>The street has several fine public buildings such as the church of St Giles, the City Chambers and the Law Courts. Other places of historical interest nearby are Greyfriars Kirkyard and the Grassmarket. The section of the Royal Mile between the Netherbow Crossroads and Holyrood is known as Canongate, and until 1856 was a separate burgh which had been gifted by David I to the monks of Holyrood.<ref>Sandy Mullay, The Edinburgh Encyclopedia (Mainstream, 1996) 87</ref>

The street layout is typical of the old quarters of many northern European cities.The castle perches on top of a rocky crag (the remnant of an extinct volcano) and the Royal Mile runs down the crest of a ridge from it. Due to space restrictions imposed by the narrowness of this landform, 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 16th century onwards with ten and eleven storeys being typical and one even reaching fourteen or fifteen storeys.<ref>Chambers, Robert (1824). Notices of the most remarkable fires in Edinburgh: from 1385 to 1824 </ref> Numerous vaults below street level were inhabited to accommodate the influx of incomers, particularly Irish immigrants, during the Industrial Revolution.

New Town

Princes Street and Princes Street Gardens, with Scott Memorial

The New Town was an 18th-century solution to the problem of an increasingly crowded city which had been confined to the ridge sloping down from the castle. In 1766 a competition to design a "New Town" was won by James Craig, a 27-year-old architect.<ref>Cruft, Kitty. "James Craig 1739–1795: Correction of his Date of Birth". Book of the Old Edinburgh Club. New Series Vol. 5 103–5</ref>The plan was a rigid, ordered grid, which fitted in well with Enlightenment ideas of rationality. The principal street is George Street, running along the natural ridge to the north of what became known as the "Old Town". To either side of it are two other main streets: Princes Street and Queen Street. Princes Street has become the main shopping street in Edinburgh, although it was originally intended to be residential.<ref>Sandy Mullay, The Edinburgh Encyclopedia (Mainstream, 1996) 318</ref>

The three main streets are connected by a series of streets running perpendicular to them. The east and west ends of George Street are terminated by St Andrew Square and Charlotte Square respectively. The latter, designed by Robert Adam, influenced the architectural style of the New Town into the early 19th century.<ref>Scottish Architects Homecoming". Historic Scotland. Retrieved 18 January 2011</ref>Bute House, the official residence of the First Minister of Scotland, is on the north side of Charlotte Square.<ref>"Bute House". edinburghguide.com</ref>

Princes Street is home to many chain shops, as well as Jenners department store, an Edinburgh institution.<ref>http://www.visitscotland.com/see-do/shopping/edinburgh-lothians (accessed 5th August 2014)</ref> George Street, once the financial centre, now has numerous modern bars, many occupying former banking halls, while the new Multrees Walk on St. Andrew's Square is home to Harvey Nichols and other designer shops. The St. James Centre, at the east end of the New Town, is an indoor mall completed in 1970. Often considered an unwelcome addition to New Town architecture, it includes a large branch of John Lewis. Also, by Waverley Railway Station lies the Princes Mall, which contains many high street stores. It was originally a market, but was eventually redeveloped in 1984.<ref>Mullay, Edinburgh, 320</ref> Next to Princes Mall are Waverley Steps, which connect Princes Street to the train station below.<ref>http://www.edinburghguide.com/image/waverleystepsprincesstreet (accessed 5th August 2014)</ref>From 2011 Network Rail commissioned improvements to the steps, and access to the station, costed at 9.5 million pounds.<ref>http://www.edinburgharchitecture.co.uk/waverley-steps-edinburgh (accessed 5th July 2014)</ref>

Princes Street Gardens occupy the site of the former Nor Loch, along with Waverley Station. This was originally part of the town's water supply but had latterly become a polluted dumping ground. It was drained by the 1820s as part of the city's northward expansion. Craig's original plan included an ornamental canal on the site of the loch, but this idea was abandoned.<ref>From monks on strike to dove's dung". scotsman.com</ref>In 1876 a public park was developed here, on the southern side of the street.<ref>http://www.princes-street.com/interest/princes-street-gardens.html (accessed 5th July 2014)</ref>The gardens contain many monuments, notably that to Sir Walter Scott. There is also a monument to those from the Fife and Lothian areas who fought against Franco in the Spanish Civil War (1936-9).<ref>http://www.princes-street.com/interest/spanish-civil-war.html (accessed 5th July 2014)</ref>

The Old and New Towns are connected by The Mound, an artificial hill which connects Edinburgh's New Town and Old Town. It was formed by dumping around 1,501,000 cartloads of earth excavated from the foundations of the New Town into the drained Nor Loch which forms today's Princes Street Gardens. Some of Edinburgh's most notable buildings and institutions have their premises on The Mound, including the National Gallery of Scotland, the Royal Scottish Academy, the spires of New College, the General Assembly Hall of the Church of Scotland, the elegant domed Headquarters of the Bank of Scotland, and its museum, Museum on the Mound.

The Mound is a busy, if fairly steep, thoroughfare taking traffic to and from Princes Street and the Royal Mile in the Old Town. The lower end, or 'Foot' of the Mound is a few metres walk from the Princes Street tram stop. Due to its raised elevation, the Mound commands expansive views over Princes Street and the New Town of Edinburgh and towards Calton Hill. In 1988 Margaret Thatcher's controversial speech to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland became known as the 'Sermon on the Mound'.<ref>http://www.scotsman.com/news/david-torrance-did-thatcher-get-raw-deal-over-her-sermon-on-the-mound-1-1168514 (accessed 5th August 2014)</ref>


The Southside is a popular residential part of the city, as well as being home to a number of notable institutions including the University of Edinburgh, the National Museum of Scotland, the Edinburgh Festival Theatre, Historic Scotland and Napier University. The area features the Meadows, one of the largest and oldest public parks in Britain.<ref>Sandy Mullay, The Edinburgh Encyclopedia, 240-241</ref> South Clerk Street


Leith Walk

Leith was historically the port of Edinburgh, an arrangement of unknown date that was reconfirmed by the royal charter Robert the Bruce granted to the city in 1329.<ref> Edinburgh Corporation (1929). Edinburgh 1329–1929, Sexcentenary of Bruce Charter. Edinburgh: Oliver And Boyd. xxvii</ref>The port developed a separate identity from Edinburgh, which to some extent it still retains, and it was a matter of great resentment when the two burghs merged in 1920 into the county of Edinburgh.<ref>http://www.electricscotland.com/history/leith/33.htm</ref>Even today the parliamentary seat is known as "Edinburgh North and Leith". The loss of traditional industries and commerce (the last shipyard closed in 1983) has resulted in economic decline.<ref>Untitled". Economic and Social Data Service. Retrieved 14 October 2013--note incorrect date given for Henry Robb shipyard closure</ref>The Edinburgh Waterfront development, which has transformed the old dockland into a residential area with leisure amenities, has helped rejuvenate the area. With the redevelopment, Edinburgh has gained the business of cruise liner companies which now provide cruises to Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands. In 2012, the City of Edinburgh Council announced a programme of environmental improvements which will see £5.5 million spent on the area over the next two years.<ref>http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/news/article/949/leith_improvement_programme_announced</ref>

Surrounding Towns

The urban area of Edinburgh is almost entirely contained within the City of Edinburgh Council boundary, merging with Musselburgh in East Lothian. Towns within easy reach of the city boundary include Dalkeith, Bonnyrigg, Loanhead, Newtongrange, Prestonpans, Tranent, Penicuik, Haddington, Livingston, Broxburn and Dunfermline. According to the European Statistical agency, Eurostat, Edinburgh lies at the heart of a Larger Urban Zone covering 1,724 square kilometres (666 sq mi) with a population of 778,000.<ref>"Urban Audit City Profiles – Edinburgh". Eurostat.</ref>


Like most of Scotland, Edinburgh has a temperate, maritime climate which is relatively mild despite its northerly latitude.<ref>http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/es/ (accessed 5th August 2014)</ref> Winter daytime temperatures rarely fall below freezing and are milder than places such as Moscow, and Newfoundland which lie at similar latitudes.<ref>http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/es/ (accessed 5th August 2014)</ref>Summer temperatures are normally moderate, rarely exceeding 22 °C (72 °F).[78] The highest temperature ever recorded in the city was 31.4 °C (88.5 °F) on 4 August 1975<ref>http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/es/ (accessed 5th August 2014)</ref> at Turnhouse Airport. The lowest temperature recorded in recent years was −14.6 °C (5.7 °F) during December 2010 at Gogarbank.<ref>http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/es/ (accessed 5th August 2014)</ref>

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 "the windy city", with the prevailing wind direction coming from the south west, which is frequently associated with warm, unstable air from the North Atlantic Current that can give rise to rainfall – although considerably less than cities to the west, such as Glasgow.<ref>http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/es/ (accessed 5th August 2014)</ref>Rainfall is distributed fairly evenly throughout the year.[78] Winds from an easterly direction are usually drier but considerably colder, and may be accompanied by haar, a persistent coastal fog. Vigorous Atlantic depressions, known as European windstorms, can affect the city between October and May.<ref>http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/es/ (accessed 5th August 2014)</ref>