Robert Burns said it was “Scotia’s darling seat”, while Walter Scott called it “mine own romantic town”. Neither can be argued with. Scotland’s capital is a fairytale sprung to life, its cobbled wynds funneling from the Royal Mile – down, down, down – into an old New Town, that served as the grid blueprint for Manhattan.
More than that: it’s the home of Sean Connery, the telephone, Sherlock Holmes, penicillin, Jekyll and Hyde, digestive biscuits, Peter Pan, anaesthesia, Inspector Rebus, bank overdrafts, Harry Potter and plenty more. Plus, it’s part-built on Arthur’s Seat, a dormant volcano with a jawbone of crags so striking it puts the city’s showpiece castle in the shade.