There is more to Edinburgh than Hogmanay and festival time in August – it is easily one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. It’s been described as the ‘Athens of the North’ but ‘Auld Reekie’ as it’s affectionately known is a city of loud, crowded pubs, great restaurants, late-night parties and stunning history.
And it has also been the scene of many English disasters at Murrayfield, the home of Scottish rugby. David Sole’s infamously slow walk onto the field in 1990 was the catalyst to a seething Grand Slam victory and 10 years later Andy Nicol’s try tore the wheels off another England clean sweep attempt in the driving Scottish rain.
Edinburgh’s rugby is much like its landscape – craggy, rock hard and steeped in history. It is an earthy place where each summer the world’s biggest arts festival rises from the ashes of last year’s rave reviews to produce another show-stopper. And it is here where the Scottish Parliament sits again after a 300-year absence.
It is a raw and rugged treat for rugby fans, a city of contrasts and extremes – from the castle silhouetted against a blue sky, late night snugs and pubs with a treasure trove of whiskey’s, a cafe in the Old Town for a coffee and the dark mouths of the alleys – each with a different site, smell and experience.
Edinburgh is a gem of a place – not just for rugby lovers but for lovers of life. It has something for every taste and experience and even the most seasoned travellers and rugby fans will find something new on each visit.