As the country begins to emerge from a lockdown which has rendered international travel complicated, experience something closer to home that’s both unique and undiscovered: Scotland’s eclectic capital. There’s something truly magical about Edinburgh, where elegant Georgian architecture and fine dining is juxtaposed with ancient, rugged landscapes and untamed wildlife, and there’s always something new to discover.


The city’s history is etched in its picturesque landscape. The imposing Edinburgh Castle stands tall on the skyline dominating the medieval streets of the Old Town beneath, packed with little stores and galleries just waiting to be explored. Out of the castle’s shadow you’ll find the graceful Georgian architecture and wide boulevards of the New Town, home to upmarket shops, major art galleries and some of the country’s finest restaurants. On the horizon, the post-volcanic Arthur’s Seat augurs the hardy countryside beyond, ideal for an invigorating ramble with breath-taking views.


Meanwhile, over the last decade Edinburgh’s culinary scene has exploded, from street food to silver service, making full use of the range and breadth of Scottish produce drawn from the waters and farms surrounding the city. Sample the finest traditional and innovative dishes at Michelin-starred restaurant Number One at The Balmoral. If it’s the amber dram you’re looking to savour, the charming Lowlands distilleries are easily reached from Edinburgh, whose lighter whiskies (and understandable accents) are more approachable to first-timers. However, you need not leave the city to sample fine whisky; SCOTCH, our whisky bar at The Balmoral, houses over 500 varieties drawn from distilleries across the country, including rare and limited-edition bottles few have seen or tried.


Those unable to resist the lure of rural scenery can reach a number of nearby destinations with ease. For beach lovers, the endless expanses of sand framed by the clear waters of the North Sea are perfect for a traditional bucket and spade family day out. For hikers, any number of breathtakingly beautiful paths disappear along the prehistoric coastline, or inland around Loch Lomond and the dramatic splendour of the Trossachs.


If you’re seeking to enjoy a free-spirited escape to a varied and captivating destination without going abroad, this year, rediscover Scotland’s capital. From quiet urban sophistication and the beauty of the great outdoors to locally sourced, seasonal food and warming whiskies (or cocktails), it has everything. Reserve your room or suite at The Balmoral, its iconic clocktower rising above the crossroads where Edinburgh’s New Town meets the Old: your perfect base from which to discover both the city and countryside.


Discover our Free Spirit Escapes at The Balmoral and book yours by emailing or calling +44 131 557 6727.

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