Edinburgh is undeniably beautiful. It’s also a city of contrasts – of dark and light, of Michelin stars and deep fried Mars Bars, of cocktails and pints of Deuchars IPA, of green spaces and urban streets, of things ancient and modern. Whether it’s an outdoor screening of a golden oldie in the Grassmarket or the roar of the crowd from Easter Road, there’s always some event going on here. As you’d expect with a capital city, Edinburgh is a cosmopolitan place, yet it often feels like a village. Strangely for a city with so much going on, it’s not always easy to find out what’s happening and that’s where Dickins comes in. We know Edinburgh and if you read our blog What the Dickins: A Tale of Edinburgh City and follow us on Facebook you’ll know more about what’s happening in Edinburgh than locals do so you can make the very most of your stay here.

This is a city of shifting light, of changing skies, of sudden vistas. A city so beautiful it breaks the heart again and again.

Alexander McCall Smith


Edinburgh is breathtakingly beautiful. History seeps from every cobble and stone. The volcanic spine of Old Town, with its underground vaults and hurly-burly tenements, is bookended by Edinburgh Castle at one end and The Palace of Holyroodhouse at the other. The iconic jumble of the Edinburgh skyline looms in sharp contrast over the genteel Georgian New Town with its neat terraces and handsome crescents dotted with private gardens, smart shops and art galleries. A walk on Edinburgh’s streets feels like a walk on a movie set and in the winter after dark, it’s fascinating to catch glimpses of smart New Town homes as you walk past. As well as the Old and New Towns and the West End, Edinburgh boasts many villages within the city such as Stockbridge, Bruntsfield, Marchmont, Inverleith and Morningside. Redevelopment in recent years has brought areas like Fountainbridge and Haymarket back to life too and Dickins has homes in all of these areas.

The contrasts that make Edinburgh unique also make it typically Scottish, for, despite its reserved exterior; it is also a city capable of great warmth and, upon occasion, gaiety.

New Encyclopedia Britannica 15th edition.


So rich is our connection to the written word that Edinburgh became the world’s first UNESCO City of Literature in 2005. Today, the city is home to best-selling authors including JK Rowling, Ian Rankin and Alexander McCall Smith. They follow in the tradition of literary greats – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Robert Louis Stevenson, JM Barrie and Sir Walter Scott. In the eighteenth century, during the Scottish Enlightenment, brilliant minds such as David Hume, Adam Smith and Robert Burns had far-reaching impact throughout the world. In the nineteenth century, doctors at the world-renowned University Medical School made significant contributions to the development of medical science and Charles Darwin also studied here, making use of the Botanic Gardens to sow the seeds of evolutionary theory. Today, Edinburgh remains home to brilliant minds such as Peter Higgs of Higgs Boson fame and Ian Wilmut who cloned Dolly the sheep.

Here I stand as what is called the Cross of Edinburgh, and can, in a few minutes, take fifty men of genius by the hand.

Mr Amyat, King’s Chemist.


Whether young or old or from near or far, people fall in love with Edinburgh. There’s a dizzying romance to our cobbled streets. Climb any of Edinburgh’s ‘Seven Hills’ and the view towards the city with Edinburgh Castle at its heart is a sight to behold. The views away from the city show you just how small Edinburgh is and how close you are to the countryside beyond. North, south, east and west there are brilliant places to discover including Glasgow, Stirling, the Scottish Borders and East Lothian. That’s if you can tear yourself away from all there is to see and do here in Edinburgh. What with our festivals, museums, tourist attractions and open spaces you’ll never be bored. We’re a foodie destination and there’s a vibrant café scene, brilliant pubs and smart bars. Our shopping is world class to and constantly getting better. Children will be amused and delighted all day long. Yes, Edinburgh will grab hold of you and won’t let you go. So just give in and enjoy the ride! Want to get inspired? Check out our blog.