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Edinburgh

Scotland's capital city is a bustling hub of culture and activity, with something on offer for almost any taste.

The city is the largest financial centre in the UK outside of London and is home to the Scottish Parliament and the seat of the monarchy in Scotland.

Made famous by the annual Fringe Festival, Edinburgh has a rich history of arts and culture, boasting national institutions such as the National Museum of Scotland, the National Library of Scotland and the Scottish National Gallery.

Combine that with a plethora of bars and restaurants and it’s safe to say Edinburgh is a city that will satisfy even the most demanding rugby fan.

History of Murrayfield

The home of Scottish rugby first opened its doors on March 21st 1925, with the team previously playing matches at Inverleith.

Perhaps unsurprisingly the first visitors to play here were England, whom Scotland beat to claim their first ever Five Nations Grand Slam.

The stadium has seen some of rugby's most iconic matches, recording its highest attendance of 104,000 on March 1st 1975 - a world record until 1999.

Away from rugby, the stadium was used as a supply depot by the Royal Service Corps during World War Two.  

Curiously, Murrayfield did not have floodlights installed until 1994 when it underwent a £50 million renovation.

Getting around

Edinburgh

Bus services to the BT Murrayfield stadium include numbers 12, 26, 31, 22 and 30, all of which are served by Lothian Buses, or numbers 12, 16, 38 run by First Group and Airlink's 100.

All operators add extra services on matchday to cope with demand.

Trams are the latest addition to the city's impressive public transport network, allowing visitors to travel nearly nine miles from Edinburgh Airport to York Place in the city centre, with Murrayfield one of the 15 stops on the way. The Airlink 100 express and N22 night buses reach Waverley Bridge from the airport in about 25 minutes, depending on traffic. The Lothian Buses No 35 also runs into city centre from the airport but calls at local destinations en route, and continues to Leith.

Edinburgh is a very compact city, meaning that most of the main tourist sites are within walking distance of each other, although the extensive bus network means the Lothian day ticket is good value. 

What to see

Edinburgh Castle

A visit to Scotland's capital simply isn't complete without experiencing Edinburgh Castle, which at the top of the Castle Rock - an extinct volcano - allows for some stunning views.

This ancient stronghold has been the home to royalty for hundreds of years, with previous inhabitants including Queen Margaret, Mary Queen of Scots and James VI.

Nowadays, the castle is home to the Crown Jewels, the Stone of Destiny and a number of ancient dungeons.

Crowds often gather at 1pm every Sunday for the shooting of the One o'clock Gun, a tradition dating back to 1861.

Amazing views are a big part of the appeal of Arthur's Seat, which presents either an easy 30-minute walk up, although it can also be accessed by bike or car.

This is a superb location to enjoy a sunrise, but be sure to wrap up warm as it has a reputation for being a little chilly!

One of Edinburgh's famous landmarks in the heart of Princes Street is the Scott Monument. Constructed in 1846 to commemorate Edinburgh born writer Sir Walter Scott, climbing this iconic feature is not for the faint-hearted. At 200 feet there are 287 steps to climb, although the views on offer at the top are truly breathtaking.

Princes Street itself is worth a wander, with the West End Village offering a number of eye-catching boutiques, accessory stores and unique gift shops, all within a few minutes walk of the city centre. 

Where to drink

Pre match drinks with Gullivers

Grassmarket is home to many of the city's best bars and restaurants, with the hip and trendy Under the Stairs a great place to catch a late-night tipple, while the Hotel G&V Bar provides a backdrop that is just as swanky.

If you're the sort to enjoy a view with your drink then head to the North Bridge, which provides a great vantage point to take in the Old and New Town, as well as views of Edinburgh Castle, Jenners, the Scott Monument, and the National Galleries complex.

For those looking to take in a bit of culture, there's the Scotch Whisky Experience where you can learn all about one of Scotland's finest exports (and try a few samples!).

In terms of classic rugby pubs, you can’t go far wrong with any of the following: 

1. The Ghillie Dhu - fantastic on the night before a big match.

2. The Three Sisters is a huge temple for live sport with massive indoor and outdoor screens just a short walk from the Grassmarket.

3. The Huxley in the West End is currently landmarked by a big beautiful Scottish cow proudly standing outside! 

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