Edinburgh is Scotland's compact, hilly capital. It is located in central eastern Scotland, near the Firth of Forth, close to the North Sea. Edinburgh occupies 7 miles (11 km) of north-facing slope between the Pentland Hills and the broad Firth of Forth estuary, where it merges with the once-independent seaport of Leith.The city is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the UK. It has a medieval Old Town and elegant Georgian New Town with gardens and neoclassical buildings. Looming over the city is Edinburgh Castle, home to Scotland’s crown jewels and the Stone of Destiny, used in the coronation of Scottish rulers. Arthur’s Seat is an imposing peak in Holyrood Park with sweeping views, and Calton Hill is topped with monuments and memorials.
The Edinburgh international festival offers its visitors various artist performances (classical music, opera, ballet, drama). The Summer Edinburgh Festival traditionally is held during three weeks in August every year, and Edinburgh attracts visitors from all around the world. They can also plan a visit during the Fringe Festival, where you will see comedy performances, drama and artists. Other festivals include Book Festival, Jazz Festival and TV Festival, among others.
Data and facts
- Edinburgh Castle is built on an extinct volcano.
- The current population of Edinburgh in 2020 is 537,000, a 1.13% increase from 2019.
- Edinburgh has 112 parks and more trees per head of population than any other city in the U.K.
- Edinburgh has more listed buildings than anywhere in the world (Over 75% of all city’s buildings).
- St. Margaret’s Chapel, located within the walls of Edinburgh Castle, is the oldest building in Edinburgh. It was built in memory of Queen Margaret, who is said to have died from a broken heart after the death of her husband.
- Edinburgh Castle’s Great Hall has a small window high above the fireplace known as “laird’s lug” which translates into “the Lord’s ear.” The window allowed castle residents to eavesdrop on conversations taking place in the Great Hall.
- Edinburgh was the first city in the entire world to have its own fire service.
- J.K. Rowling wrote some of Harry Potter in an Edinburgh café (The Elephant) and took inspiration from the landscape for her characters and locations.
- Edinburgh is home to 22nd best university in the world.
- The most famous street in Edinburgh, The Royal Mile, isn’t actually a mile along. It stretches one mile and 107 yards.
The City of Edinburgh Council is the local government authority for the City of Edinburgh. It was created in 1996 under the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Act 1994, with the boundaries of the post-1975 City of Edinburgh district of the Lothian region. The Scottish Parliament is responsible for legislation concerning health, education, housing, economic development, regional transport, the environment, and agriculture. The leading parliamentary party or coalition elects a first minister, who heads the Scottish Executive (the word government was avoided so as to preserve ultimate authority in the Westminster Parliament), which implements Scottish legislation. Directly below this tier of government is the City of Edinburgh Council, whose members are elected to four-year terms and implement Scottish laws at the local level. The council oversees services such as local planning, education, social services, housing, roadways and traffic, firefighting, sanitation, parks and recreation, libraries, city museums, and elections.
Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland, is a powerhouse of the Scottish economy, as well as the wider UK economy. Edinburgh has been consistently one of the most prosperous parts of the country and has the strongest economy of any city in the UK outside London.
Edinburgh has been ranked as having the second most sustainable transport network in the UK, and sits within the top 20 cities globally for the quality and effectiveness of its transport systems.
This puts it well ahead of major national and international competitors including Birmingham (38th), Manchester (35th), Barcelona (21st) and Milan (18th). The results are according to the Arcadis Sustainable Cities Mobility Index, which ranks 100 of the world’s leading cities according to the three pillars of transport sustainability. People (reflecting quality of life through factors including accessibility, connectivity and uptake of active options such as walking or cycling); Planet (capturing green factors, including congestion, pollution and emissions); and Profit (reflecting public finance, affordability and economic opportunity).
Edinburgh is the UK’s fastest growing tech hub. A new tech city is set to be built next to Edinburgh Airport, bringing thousands of jobs to the Capital. Plans have been unveiled to develop the site of the airport’s disused “crosswind” runway – the original RAF Turnhouse runway – as a “digital quarter” intended to attract major technology companies from around the world as well as encourage home-grown businesses. As well as offices and commercial buildings, there would also be several hundred homes and leisure facilities. The hope is that companies will see Edinburgh as a good location because of the talent pool from the city’s universities, the attractive lifestyle for high-flying young executives and easy transport access both for exploring Scotland and flying to international destinations.
Social Wellness and Human Resources
Children in Scotland complete seven years of primary school, starting in P1 (the equivalent of Reception classes in England), going up to P7 (the equivalent of Year 7 in England). After this, they do six years of secondary school from S1 to S6 (equivalent to Y8 to Y13 in England). Secondary schools in Scotland are also known as high schools or academies. The Curriculum for Excellence is a major educational reform with the aim of providing a wider, more flexible range of courses and subjects. As the Scottish government only sets guidelines about the school curriculum, schools needn’t stick to rigid learning paths and can make their own decisions on what to teach pupils.There are three core subjects that schools must ensure are taught: health and wellbeing, literacy and numeracy. Other than that, they’re free to:
- introduce projects that use skills and knowledge from more than one subject, leading to joined-up learning
- teach about people and places from their local area
- ask pupils about areas they’re interested in studying
Most residents of Edinburgh, locals and foreign nationals alike, have access to medical services via the NHS, the UK’s public healthcare system.
When you sign up with a GP (general practitioner), you will enroll automatically with the National Health Service. You get a 10-digit number for your health records – don’t forget to keep track of it.
From family days out to cultural pursuits, Edinburgh has a wealth of top attractions to satisfy all tastes, including some of Scotland's most visited free and paid-for attractions.
The city’s backdrop of Arthur’s Seat, the Pentland Hills and Edinburgh’s Waterfront make the city a remarkable place to live. In just one day you can explore the city’s exciting new waterfront development, wander through the cosmopolitan streets of the Port of Leith, take a cruise on the River Forth and explore the rugged terrain of the volcanic Arthur’s Seat.