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    Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, but for any visitor looking for oddities and strange attractions, it's so much more. The rich history of Edinburgh is seen in its streets where you'll find obscure landmarks and things to do that you won't be able to find anywhere else in the world. 

    Nothing makes your Edinburgh trip quite as memorable as visiting its most unusual offerings. Here are great things to do in Edinburgh off the beaten track.


    Writers Museum

    Explore strange exhibits

    The building of the Writers Museum in Lady Stair's Close dates back to 1892 and was crafted to look like a medieval structure. It has an iconic facade that's both creepy and alluring. Within this museum, you'll find relics and artefacts from three famous Scottish writers: Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson. 

    Among the items included are Scott's printing press, Stevenson's riding boots and a cast of Burns' skull. One of the more interesting pieces is a Samoan ring that was gifted to Stevenson with the name 'Tusitala' engraved on it, which translates to 'teller of tales'.

    Τοποθεσία: Museum, Lady Stair's Close, Edinburgh EH1 2PA, UK

    Ανοιχτά: Daily from 10 am to 5 pm

    Τηλέφωνο: +44 (0)13 1529 4901

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    Burke & Hare Murder dolls

    See the famous murder dolls

    Seeing the Burke & Hare Murder dolls simply counts as among the fun and different things to do in Edinburgh. In the early 19th century, there was a series of murders in Edinburgh committed by William Burke and William Hare known as the anatomy murders, because they killed people then sold their bodies to a local anatomy school. 

    Several years after the murderers were apprehended, a set of dolls was found in Holyrood Park. While no evidence demonstrates exactly why these dolls were created, considering their likenesses to each of the murder victims, it is thought that they're funeral effigies meant to assuage Burke's guilt. Regardless of the truth, they present an unsettling sight that can be viewed at the National Museum of Scotland.

    Τοποθεσία: Chambers Street, Edinburgh EH1 1JF, UK

    Ανοιχτά: Daily from 10 am to 5 pm

    Τηλέφωνο: +44 (0)30 0123 6789

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    The Witches’ Well

    Immerse yourself in local lore

    Enter the Witches' Well, a fragment of Edinburgh's dark yet intriguing past. At Edinburgh Castle, you'll find a wide array of history and lore, but nothing is quite as impactful as this site. It's a remnant from one of the darkest chapters in Scottish history, marking the site where hundreds of accused witches were burned at the stake.

    The cast-iron fountain and plaque that currently stands at the site honour those who paid the ultimate price during the 15th- to 18th-century witch hunts. The plaque itself is an unsettling work of art featuring a snake entangling the heads of Aesculapius and Hygeia along with a foxglove plant. The plant is especially impactful imagery because it can be used for medicine or poison depending on the dosage.

    Τοποθεσία: Edinburgh Castle, Castlehill, Edinburgh EH1 2NG, UK

    Ανοιχτά: April–October: daily from 9.30 am to 6 pm. November–March: daily from 9.30 am to 5 pm

    Τηλέφωνο: +44 (0)13 1310 5114

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    φωτογραφία από Lila (CC BY-SA 4.0) τροποποιήθηκε


    Gilmerton Cove

    Wander the mysterious cove

    Gilmerton Cove is home to a labyrinth of underground passages with a purpose that has been a mystery to archaeologists for more than 2 centuries. What could it have been used for? You can learn about some of the most popular theories with a tour of these underground passages and their 7 rooms. 

    Hand-carved from sandstone, the cove's passages are notably impressive, yet they still give off a strange atmosphere that's only intensified when you learn about some theories for their use. Some say it was once a smugglers' lair, while others postulate that it was a hideout for the aristocratic order known as The Hellfire Club.

    Τοποθεσία: 16 Drum St, Edinburgh EH17 8QH, UK

    Ανοιχτά: Tours available Saturday–Sunday at noon and 2 pm

    Τηλέφωνο: +44 (0)7914 829177

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    φωτογραφία από John Dale (CC BY-SA 2.0) τροποποιήθηκε


    Dolly the Sheep

    Take a picture with a clone

    Remembering Dolly the Sheep, a scientific achievement was reached back in 1996, with the first successful clone of a mammal being born. While Dolly has since passed on, you can see her remains at the National Museum of Scotland. Dolly may look a bit out of place in the science and technology gallery of the museum, but knowing the scientific significance of her mere existence can contextualize its otherwise odd appearance. 

    In reference to other sheep, however, Dolly looks exceedingly ordinary, further demonstrating the success of this artificial cloning.

    Τοποθεσία: Chambers Street, Edinburgh EH1 1JF, UK

    Ανοιχτά: Daily from 10 am to 5 pm

    Τηλέφωνο: +44 (0)30 0123 6789

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    φωτογραφία από Sgerbic (CC BY-SA 4.0) τροποποιήθηκε


    Heart of Midlothian

    Glimpse the city's dark past

    The Heart of Midlothian represents Edinburgh's dark past with a simple yet impressive heart crafted within the street's brickwork. When you visit Edinburgh's High Street, you'll probably be enamoured with this extensive selection of restaurants and shops in the area. Unfortunately, the region wasn't always so bubbly and bustling. 

    This heart on the street represented the point of no return for poor souls headed to Old Tolbooth, the most heinous prison in all of the United Kingdom. While the prison itself was torn down long ago, the Heart of Midlothian remains as a reminder of the atrocities committed there.

    Τοποθεσία: 197 High St, Edinburgh EH1 1PE, UK

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    φωτογραφία από Frank Winkelmann (CC BY 3.0) τροποποιήθηκε


    Wojtek the Soldier Bear Memorial

    See the famous bear memorial

    Within Princes Street Gardens, you can visit the famous Wojtek the Soldier Bear Memorial. This statue depicts a soldier standing alongside a brown bear, with an accompanying plaque offering context to this oddity. The bear featured is Wojtek, and he was a valiant soldier in the Second World War. 

    A group of Polish soldiers adopted a bear cub in Iran, and over the years, it grew to be a valuable member of their team. The bear grew up with them and learned to carry equipment, drink beer and even salute. Because pets weren't allowed into theatres of war, Wojtek was enlisted as a private and served as a supply runner until he retired and moved to the Edinburgh Zoo.

    Τοποθεσία: Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh, Scotland, EH2 3AA, UK

    Ανοιχτά: Daily from 7 am to 6 pm

    Τηλέφωνο: +44 (0)1315 297921

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    φωτογραφία από Gpwitteveen (CC BY-SA 3.0) τροποποιήθηκε


    Sample craft chocolate throughout the city

    Sample craft chocolate

    If you're looking for quality craft chocolate, there's no better spot in the city than the Chocolatarium. When you visit this institution, you'll find some chocolates you're probably familiar with along with more obscure makes, with a total of 30 unique chocolate treats from more than 15 chocolate makers including Scottish and international crafters. 

    Some of the more unique flavours include camel milk, whisky and even Scottish haggis chocolate. In addition to the tasting, you can also learn more about the chocolate harvesting process and discover different techniques that showcase how chocolate is made.

    Τοποθεσία: 3-5 Cranston Street, Edinburgh EH8 8BE, UK

    Ανοιχτά: Wednesday–Sunday from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm

    Τηλέφωνο: +44 (0)13 1556 7005

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    Edinburgh Castle dog Cemetery

    Honour service dogs

    At Edinburgh Castle Dog Cemetery, you'll find a memorial and resting place dedicated to the loyal canine companions of soldiers. The cemetery itself dates back to 1837 and contains roughly 20 headstones. While you can't actually enter the cemetery area, you can see it clearly from above. It's located just off the main path near the top of the castle and is surrounded by a tranquil, well-kept garden space. 

    Nothing shows the Scottish love for our furry friends among the aristocracy and working-class alike quite like a dedicated dog cemetery.

    Τοποθεσία: Edinburgh Castle, Castlehill, Edinburgh EH1 2NG, UK

    Ανοιχτά: Daily in the summer from 9.30 am to 6 pm. Daily in the winter from 9.30 am to 5 pm

    Τηλέφωνο: +44 (0)13 1310 5114

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    Pickering's Gin

    Tour a historic distillery

    Pickering's Gin distillery is where you'll find some of the best gins in Edinburgh. It's the first gin distillery to open its doors in Edinburgh in 150 years, and it has made quite the impact. Its signature recipe offers an appealing full-bodied flavour with a perfect balance between bitterness and sweetness. 

    The gin crafted here is based on a recipe dating back to 1974 from Bombay as it features 9 Bombay botanicals engineered to perfection. You can take a tour of this distillery to get a glimpse of how it's all made.

    Τοποθεσία: Summerhall Distillery, Summerhall, Edinburgh EH9 1PL, UK

    Ανοιχτά: Monday–Wednesday from 10 am to 5 pm, Friday from 10 am to 7 pm, Saturday–Sunday from 12 pm to 7 pm

    Τηλέφωνο: +44 (0)1312 902901

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