"At 820 feet, Arthur's Seat is the highest point in the 640-acre Holyrood Park. The spectacular views from the top encompass the whole city all the way to the mouth of the Forth. The easiest way up is from Dunsapie Loch, where there's a good-sized car park. Alternatively, you can walk from the Old Town, heading up past the Dynamic Earth science center onto a path that leads from Queen's Drive.
Also easy to climb are the dramatic Salisbury Crags, a series of 151-foot cliffs adjacent to Arthur's Seat. Other features in this huge park are the ancient cultivation terraces, some of the earliest and best-preserved examples of ancient farming practices in Scotland, and the picturesque ruins of the medieval St. Anthony's Chapel."
"Calton Hill provides a panoramic view of the city, with Princes Street, the castle, and the Old Town silhouetted against Arthur's Seat. To the east and north you can see the Firth of Forth and the docks at Leith. At the foot of the hill stands the 13th-century Royal High School, where Sir Walter Scott was once a pupil. Perhaps the most important of Edinburgh's many memorials is the impressive National Monument on Calton Hill, erected to remember the dead from the Napoleonic Wars. Henry Playfair designed the memorial using the Parthenon in Athens as his inspiration.
Work began in 1822, but the project had to be abandoned due to lack of money. Nelson's Monument was unveiled in 1816 after Horatio Nelson's victory at the Battle of Trafalgar. Opposite Calton Hill stands a memorial to famed Scottish poet, Robert Burns. For a spectacular memento of your Edinburgh vacation, be sure to snap a few shots from here over the city at sunset."
"A combination of Edinburgh history, city views from a new perspective, and experience with optical illusions, the Camera Obscura & World of Illusions is an attraction that certainly appeals to all ages.
The centerpiece, set in a Victorian rooftop room, is a pinhole camera that projects live moving images of Edinburgh onto a viewing table. The panorama is created by a combination of mirror and lenses, and it has been entertaining people here since 1853. The rest of the experience will challenge your faith in your own vision, with a hall of mirrors, a vertigo-inspiring spinning vortex, 3-D holograms, and a whole range of optical experiences"
"Scotland's most famous landmark, Edinburgh Castle is one of Britain's most visited tourist attractions. Highlights of a visit include hearing the famous One O'clock Salute from Half Moon Battery (cannon fire commemorates the tradition of helping ships synchronize their clocks), the impressive Scottish National War Memorial and National War Museum, and the stunning collection of Crown Jewels housed in the Royal Palace.
Another notable feature is the Stone of Destiny (aka, the Stone of Scone), famously stolen by Edward I and placed under the English throne in London - only returned to Scotland 700 years later in 1996."
"Since opening in 2011, the National Museum has become one of Scotland's most popular attractions, and one of the best things to do for free in Edinburgh. Welcoming over two million visitors each year, it incorporates collections from a number of Edinburgh's older museums, with highlights including national archaeological collections; medieval artifacts; and displays focusing on natural history, geology, art, science, and technology.
In its 16 galleries, containing more than 8,000 artifacts, are Dolly the sheep – the world's first cloned mammal – as well as some of Elton John's more elaborate stage costumes. Traditional museum displays also include material from Ancient Egypt and the infamous Maiden, an early form of guillotine. There's plenty to see and do here, so expect to spend at least three or four hours exploring. Guided tours are available, and two restaurants are located on-site."
"The Royal Mile refers to the streets linking Edinburgh Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Lined with charming townhouses, churches, and historic landmarks, this splendid thoroughfare is a great place to stroll for its shops (including kiltmakers), inns, museums, cafés, and restaurants. Many of the buildings are tall, averaging six to 15 stories and are referred to locally as ""lands."" Narrow little alleys, called ""winds,"" with their quaint hidden backyard ""closes,"" weave in and around them. Some of the most popular attractions are at the upper end of the Royal Mile – commonly called Castle Hill – and include Outlook Tower and the Camera Obscura and the Tolbooth (St. John's Highland Church) with the city's tallest church tower. It houses the interesting People's Story Museum and Gladstone's Land, a six-story merchant's house with pretty ceiling paintings and original furniture.
Also worthy of a visit is Lady Stair's Close, home to The Writer's Museum. Here, you'll find displays of manuscripts, portraits, etchings, and memorabilia of the poet Robert Burns and writers Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson. Just around the corner and overlooking Princes Park, the Museum on the Mound is worth checking out for its displays relating to the history of money and economics."
"The Royal Yacht Britannia is one of Britain's most popular attractions associated with the monarchy. Over the years, the Queen has welcomed heads of state and famous people from around the world to this luxurious vessel. After more than 40 years serving the Royal Family, the 60-year-old yacht was sent to Leith, Edinburgh's port area, as the centerpiece of the Britannia Visitor Centre.
Once aboard, you'll learn about the history of this and other royal yachts as you explore the ship's five main decks. Highlights include the Royal Apartments and bedrooms; the lovely sun lounge; and the onboard Royal Deck Tea Room, where you can stop for tea and cakes. For those wanting to spoil themselves with a luxury getaway, consider a stay aboard the former lighthouse ship, the Fingal, docked adjacent to the royal yacht."
Big Ben is the nickname for the Great Bell of the striking clock at the north end of the Palace of Westminster in London, England, although the name is frequently extended to refer also to the clock and the clock tower.
The official name of the tower in which Big Ben is located was originally the Clock Tower, but it was renamed Elizabeth Tower in 2012, to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II.
"One of Britain's most iconic buildings, Buckingham Palace is also the scene of London's most popular display of pomp and circumstance, the Changing of the Guard. Drawing crowds at 11:30am regardless of the season, this colorful and free display of precision marching and music also takes place at St. James's Palace, after which you can follow the band along The Mall as they march between sites.
Buckingham Palace was built in 1837 and has been the London residence of the Royal Family since Queen Victoria's accession. If you're wondering whether the Queen is in, look at the flagpole atop the building: if the royal standard is flying day and night, she's at home. On special state occasions, she and members of the Royal Family may even emerge on the central balcony. When the Queen's away at her summer palace in Scotland, visitors can purchase tickets for tours of the State Rooms, the Queen's Gallery, and the Royal Mews."
"Enjoy amazing 360-degree views over London from the London Eye, a rotating observation wheel which is 135 metres (443 ft) high.
Spot some of the capital's most iconic landmarks and top attractions, including Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace. Within each capsule, interactive guides allow you to explore the capital's iconic landmarks in several languages."
Come face-to-face with some of Britain’s top celebrities with a time-saving admission ticket to Madame Tussauds in London.
Booking your admission ticket in advance means that you avoid long lines on the day and enjoy the freedom to explore the attraction at your own pace. Plus, your admission ticket grants you access to the Spirit of London taxi ride and more.
"Completed in 1894, Tower Bridge is the most iconic bridge in London. This impressive feat of engineering is 244 metres (800 ft) long, covered in 22,000 litres (5,812 gallons) of paint and crossed by 40,000 people each day. Find out more about the bridge’s history and enjoy fantastic views from 42 metres (138 ft) above the Thames on the bridge’s walkways.
Take a look behind the scenes at the famous bridge and discover areas such as the machinery room, which houses the hydraulic system that allows the bridge to rise for river traffic. This process hasn’t always gone smoothly, however. In 1952, the bridge started rising while one of London’s double-decker buses was still trying to cross. Its driver, Albert Gunton, avoided catastrophe by accelerating rapidly and jumping the gap."
"Despite the Tower of London's grim reputation as a place of torture and death, within these walls you will also discover the history of a royal palace, an armoury and a powerful fortress. Don't miss Royal Beasts and learn about the wild and wonderous animals that have inhabited the Tower, making it the first London Zoo.
Discover the priceless Crown Jewels, join an iconic Beefeater on a tour and hear their bloody tales, stand where famous heads have rolled, learn the legend of the Tower's ravens, storm the battlements, get to grips with swords and armour, and much more!"
Located on the outskirts of London, Warner Bros. Studio is home to a treasure trove of Harry Potter film sets, costumes, props, and other special mementos. On this tour, climb aboard a comfortable coach at a time of your choosing and head straight there.
You have time to independently explore the exhibits, take photos, browse the gift shop, and even enjoy a glass of butterbeer (at your own expense).
If you only had an afternoon to experience London on a grand scale, Westminster would be a wise place to start. The ornate Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey sit adjacent at a corner of Parliament Square, and a short stroll along The Mall leads to Buckingham Palace. Trafalgar Square and Nelson's Column are just up the road as well. As captivating as the architecture is, the wonders of Mother Nature are highlights of the area too. St James's Park (arguably London's loveliest), the expansive Green Park, and pedestrian friendly tree lined paths along the river showcase the exquisite manicure provided by English gardeners.
Just beyond the landmarks and the gorgeous outdoor spaces, quiet residential squares and age old local pubs offer a more subdued take on this global seat of power in the heart of London.