My home city of Edinburgh is, in my (completely unbiased) opinion, the most beautiful city in Scotland, if not in the UK, if not in the world. It has repeatedly been voted amongst the top most beautiful and liveable cities in the world and here is why, from an insider’s perspective.
In spring, which is personally my favourite season in Edinburgh, the cherry blossoms spring to life. In the Meadows, my local park, the walkways are sheathed in delicate pink and white petals – an Instagrammer’s dream. As the cold winter days make way for warmer sunny ones, every inch of the parks and beaches become filled with picnickers, school children playing football, dog walkers and runners offsetting their winter feasting.
Summer is when the city truly comes into its own, as the long stream of festivals take place; the Edinburgh International Film Festival, the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival, and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival to name a few. In the month of August Edinburgh is said to double in size, from 500,000 residents to 1 million. As a local, we like to complain about the number of tourists wandering around the streets, stopping at every corner, asking for directions and filling all the restaurants. But really we love this time of year, where there is always something to do at any time of the day. As tourists gaze up at the magnificent Old Town buildings conversing about how this would be a wonderful place to live, we locals feel a sense of pride that we call it home.
During autumn, all the trees lining the Meadows and other parks around Edinburgh bear beautiful golden leaves which eventually drop off, creating a velvety carpet along every walkway. After the vibrance and energy of the festival season, this is a welcome time to relax and adjust back to reality. As the warm summer weather fades away, coffee shops become cosy hubs. When the days get shorter, and just as motivation dwindles, the infamous Edinburgh Christmas Market pops up in the Princes Street Gardens, bringing with it a whole new set of tourists and crowds to the centre, as the scent of gingerbread and mulled wine fills the air.
As winter takes hold, people prefer to huddle in their houses. Rain, snow, wind and sometimes even hail all fill the weather forecasts, but it’s not all bad. For a photographer, it may actually be the best time to capture some moody atmospheric shots of the city. Walking around the Old Town, there are few tourists to stand in the way, and the cloudy grey sky provides the perfect backdrop for dramatic cityscapes. And what’s more, spring is just around the corner.