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Homescotland10 Strange facts you wouldn’t believe are true about Edinburgh in Scotland

10 Strange facts you wouldn’t believe are true about Edinburgh in Scotland

Edinburgh is the top tourist destination in Scotland and the number one UK destination outside London. Our city’s abundance of curiosities could take even the most seasoned ‘Edinburger’ by surprise.

1. Got the time? Neither does the famous Balmoral Hotel clock (which is never right!)

Balmoral Hotel clock
Balmoral Hotel clock

Tall, gothic and incorrect, the Balmoral Hotel situated next to Waverley Station has a clock that has shown the wrong time for well over a century. Tip: it just runs 3 minutes fast, to encourage people to catch the train on time.

National animals: America has an eagle, Italy has a wolf, England has a lion, and Scotland has… a unicorn? In Celtic mythology, the unicorn is a symbol of both purity and power. Given the extensive history of conflict between the two, as an ‘undefeatable’ creature the unicorn was chosen to rival England’s lion.

2. Unicorn statues are found all over Scotland, Edinburgh included, but why?

Scotland’s National Animal Unicorn
Scotland’s National Animal Unicorn

National animals: America has an eagle, Italy has a wolf, England has a lion, and Scotland has… a unicorn? In Celtic mythology, the unicorn is a symbol of both purity and power. Given the extensive history of conflict between the two, as an ‘undefeatable’ creature the unicorn was chosen to rival England’s lion.

These days, the location is better known for its vast variety of pubs to choose from. However, in the 18th century Rose Street was reputedly home to more than 100 brothels.

3. Roses are red, much like Rose Street which used to be a Red Light District

These days, the location is better known for its vast variety of pubs to choose from. However, in the 18th century Rose Street was reputedly home to more than 100 brothels.

After a long-running excursion to Sri Lanka in 1838, the 78th Highlanders regiment returned home with a lot more than expected. They brought back an Elephant to Edinburgh Castle as their new regimental mascot, which was alleged to quickly develop a love for beer.

4. Addressing the Elephant in the room (but actually in the castle!)

After a long-running excursion to Sri Lanka in 1838, the 78th Highlanders regiment returned home with a lot more than expected. They brought back an Elephant to Edinburgh Castle as their new regimental mascot, which was alleged to quickly develop a love for beer.

5. Colonel-in-chief of the Norwegian King’s Guard lives in Edinburgh Zoo… He’s a penguin

Sir Nils Olav is the world’s only knighted penguin and he is the mascot of his guard. Guardsmen like to visit this soldierly King Penguin every few years during their visit to perform at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

In 1437, Scone was replaced by Edinburgh as the capital. In the Middle Ages, Scone was an important royal centre and – unsurprisingly – to this day Scone Palace is a popular tourist attraction.

6. Edinburgh wasn’t always the capital city of Scotland

royal-mile-Edinburgh’s-Old-Town
royal-mile-Edinburgh’s-Old-Town

In 1437, Scone was replaced by Edinburgh as the capital. In the Middle Ages, Scone was an important royal centre and – unsurprisingly – to this day Scone Palace is a popular tourist attraction.

Edinburgh’s iconic landscapes such as Castle Rock, Arthur’s Seat and the Salisbury Crags were all shaped by moving glaciers. The last one in Scotland melted about 11,500 years ago.

7. If you enjoy hiking in Edinburgh then you have the Ice Age to thank

Edinburgh’s iconic landscapes such as Castle Rock, Arthur’s Seat and the Salisbury Crags were all shaped by moving glaciers. The last one in Scotland melted about 11,500 years ago.

The rock that Edinburgh Castle is built upon is the plug of an extinct volcano that erupted approximately 340 million years ago, long before Scotland’s last Ice Age.

8. “You’re hot then you’re cold…” Edinburgh Castle sits on an extinct volcano

The rock that Edinburgh Castle is built upon is the plug of an extinct volcano that erupted approximately 340 million years ago, long before Scotland’s last Ice Age.

9. The origins of the name “Edinburgh” are still disputed to this day

“Dùn Èideann” is the Scottish Gaelic for ‘Edinburgh’ that is understood as ‘Fort Eidyn’ or ‘Edwin’s Fort’ to some. This was thought to be due to Edwin of Northumbria, a powerful English ruler that reigned in 616, but no evidence supports that he even stepped foot here. It is more probable that The Votadini, the dominant Iron Age Celtic tribe of the Lothians, coined the term ‘Eidyn’ for the region.

Edinburgh is the only city worldwide to have a dog on the list of citizens given the ‘Freedom of the City’. Of course, we’re referring to the famous Greyfriars Bobby, who is just one of five dog-related statues and memorials within walking distance from the city centre. In Edinburgh, dogs leave pawprints in our city and our hearts.

10. Edinburgh has a historical track record for its love of dogs

Edinburgh is the only city worldwide to have a dog on the list of citizens given the ‘Freedom of the City’. Of course, we’re referring to the famous Greyfriars Bobby, who is just one of five dog-related statues and memorials within walking distance from the city centre. In Edinburgh, dogs leave pawprints in our city and our hearts.

Maris Lopez
Maris Lopezhttp:////my-lifestyle.co
Hey there! I'm Maris, an American girl who is passionate about adventure, the outdoors and all things travel!
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