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If someone tells you they haven’t fallen in love with Edinburgh, they’ve never been. Few cities are as instantly captivating as the Scottish capital. 

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From the historical intrigue of the higgledy-piggledy Old Town to the regimented decorum of the New, its architecture alone makes it worth a trip, not least because it’s crowned magnificently by an ancient castle. Green spaces abound, including the venerable Royal Botanic Gardens in Inverleith, the tree-lined Meadows and, best of all, Holyrood Park – the site of Arthur’s Seat, an extinct volcano that makes for a bracing climb. The fact that it’s all so compact means it’s easy to take in a range of sights in one day without the need for transport. 

As such, Edinburgh’s ideal for just about any type of city-break. Families will love attractions like the spooky Mary King’s Close, the pandas at the zoo, and the strong Harry Potter connection (JK Rowling still lives here); foodies will adore the sophisticated dining scene (Auld Reekie, as it’s known, has four Michelin stars); culture fiends won’t want to miss any of the many galleries and museums. 

And that’s before you even mention the festival – every August, the city turns into the arts capital of the world, with millions of visitors flocking to thousands of shows, events and performances in every medium. Plus there’s a cracking pub for every night of the year. City breaks don’t get more braw.