10 Fun Facts About Our Beloved City!

Are you thinking of studying in Edinburgh? Is Clearing the route you are taking into University? Seize the opportunity with both hands and choose Edinburgh as your city to study in. As proud ‘Dunediners’ (the old name for Edinburgh is Dunedin) the SoSS Recruitment and Marketing team have created some fun little-known-facts about the city they live, learn and work in. If this is the city you choose to study in, Edinburgh is brilliant and here are some reasons why!

1: Edinburgh hosted the Eurovision Song Contest in 1972: in the Usher Hall (which is a beautiful venue on Lothian Road).

2: Edinburgh appears in Grand Theft Auto! (Rockstar North have their Head Office here) and they featured the two bridges: the Forth Rail Bridge and the Forth Road Bridge in GTA: San Andreas, we wonder if they will update this with the new third bridge the Queensferry Crossing…?

3: Princes Street Gardens used to be a rather gruesome loch… full of human excrement and dead bodies, known as The Nor’ Loch; King James III ordered that the land between the Old Town and New Town be flooded with water to strengthen Edinburgh Castle’s northern defences but unfortunately the water was used to house many more things! (don’t worry, it’s a gorgeous parkland now!)

Princes Street Gardens: Once a Loch filled with dead bodies

4: Edinburgh has TONNES of listed buildings… 75% of its buildings are listed and it has the largest number of listed buildings in any UK city outside of London (a listed building is an object or structure that has been judged to be of national importance in terms of architectural or historic interest and included on a special UK-wide register).

The National Portrait Gallery on Queen Street. One of Edinburgh’s many listed buildings.
Panmure House, listed building and last remaining home of Economist Adam Smith, restored by Heriot-Watt University
The Balmoral is wonderful listed building and also famous as the place JK Rowling finished writing Harry Potter.

5: Edinburgh has two city football teams – Heart of Midlothian and Hibernian FC. Hearts originated in 1874 and their first grounds were on the East Meadows. Hibs originated in 1875 and played in the Cowgate and the overcrowded slums of the city. Two proud teams in one city! Aren’t we are lucky?!

6: Edinburgh is known as the world’s festival city: In August alone there are six festivals that take place and many of them overlap. Here are a few that we can think of… we are certain that there are more than take place but maybe a little more underground! Edinburgh International Festival, Edinburgh International Film Festival, Edinburgh International Jazz and Blues Festival, Edinburgh Art Festival, Edinburgh Military Tattoo, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Edinburgh International Book Festival, Edinburgh International Science Festival, Imaginate – Children’s Theatre festival, Scottish International Storytelling Festival, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, Edinburgh Winter Festival.

Edinburgh, the festival city
Japanese Street Performers at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

7: Edinburgh has more restaurants per head of population than any other UK city outside of London, so if you like eating out, studying in our city will be a culinary treat! Restaurants featuring all types of cuisines imaginable and we have four Michelin-star restaurants of our own: Number One, The Kitchin, 21212, Martin Wishart.

Edinburgh’s famous Victoria Street is home to lots of quirky restaurants

8: Edinburgh (and Glasgow) were recently listed as having more green spaces than any of the other top ten most populated cities in the UK. Many of our students are surprised by the beautiful parks and forests, lochs (Scottish term for a large open expanse of water) and rivers in the city; and we even have our own horses and sheep fields, forest walk, and loch here on campus!

The Princes Street Gardens, one of many lovely green spaces in Edinburgh
St Andrews Sq Edinburgh, another green space right in the heart of the city

9: Edinburgh Zoo is the only Zoo in the UK to have Giant Pandas! Tian Tian (Sweetie) and Yang Guang (Sunshine) have been in the city since December 2011.

10: The city is built on a volcano it runs through the heart of the city and you can’t miss it:
1. Salisbury Crag – is an ancient sill
2. Arthur’s Seat – is the core of the volcano
3. Castle Hill – is a volcanic plug, once the vent of a parasitic cone! So if you are a fan of geology, hill walking or showing off to your friends in a pub quiz…. you’re welcome!

Edinburgh Castle, perched on top of a volcano!
Maybe see you soon?

We hope that our facts have inspired you (or at the very least made you smile). This city is a fantastic place to live, learn and love! So if you think that you are going to get a second bite of the cherry during the Clearing process, apply to Heriot-Watt School of Social Sciences 0131 322 3222 and we promise to share some more useful knowledge with you 😛

Edinburgh castle

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