TRAVEL Places to visit as the first-ever China-Scotland flight touching down in Edinburgh

TRAVEL

Places to visit as the first-ever China-Scotland flight touching down in Edinburgh

CGTN

02:50, June 19, 2018

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(Photo: CGTN)

Hainan Airlines’ flight HU749, which departed from Beijing, China, smoothly landed in Edinburgh, Scotland on June 12, 2018. This was the inaugural direct flight connecting Beijing and Edinburgh, marking the success of the first non-stop air service between mainland China and Scotland.

Starting from June, Hainan Airlines run direct flights between Beijing and Edinburgh twice a week (on Tuesday and Saturday). Two further return flights connecting two cities will go via Dublin.

The new air link helps to strengthen the relations between two countries both economically and culturally. It makes it easier for Chinese visitors to experience the Scottish culture.

Edinburgh is the second only to London as the most popular UK destination for Chinese tourist, according to Gordon Dewar, the chief executive of Edinburgh Airport. Also, more than 10,000 Chinese students are currently studying at Scottish universities.

Why not take this chance and discover this iconic Scottish city!

Top experiences in Edinburgh

Recognized as the capital of Scotland since the 15th century, Edinburgh is the seat of the Scottish Government, the Scottish Parliament and the supreme courts of Scotland. The city of Edinburgh is divided in two by Princes Street Gardens. From the Old Town’s medieval street layouts and tenements, to the 18th-century New Town’s financial district, the city offers a respective but harmonious view.

Edinburgh Castle

Located high on Castle Rock and dominated the view of the Old Town, Edinburgh Castle has played a pivotal role in Scottish history, both as a royal residence – King Malcolm Canmore and Queen Margaret first made their home here in the 11th century – and as a military stronghold. It also was involved in many historical conflicts, making it an iconic place for the Kingdom of Scotland. Today it is one of Scotland's most atmospheric and popular attractions, allowing the tourists to revisit history with present-day perspectives.

Palace of Holyroodhouse

Situated at the opposite end to the Edinburgh Castle, this palace is the royal family's official residence in Scotland but is more famous as the 16th-century home of the ill-fated Mary, Queen of Scots. Taking a self-guided audio tour, you may find yourself immersed in the stories of Mary. The best bedroom of Queen of Mary in Scotland, the famous 16th-century murder scene of Mary’s secretary David Rizzio and the ruins of the Holyrood Abbey may bring you back to the era of the mid-16th century.

Royal Mile

The Royal Mile runs through the center of the Old Town, connecting the Edinburgh Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Alongside the Mile, tourists can visit numerous historical sites including the St Giles' Cathedral and some of the best eating and drinking spots in the city. You may feel the heartbeat of this ancient city by walking alongside the Mile.

Calton Hill

The Calton Hill is a hill situated at the east end of the Princes Street, providing you panoramic views of the whole Edinburgh city. The top of Calton Hill is a usually quiet place and is easily accessed. It takes no more than five minutes to get to the top of the hill through the staircases. By the way, don’t miss the sunset here. This place is included as one of the top five locations to photograph an Edinburgh sunset.

For Harry Potter Fans

If you’re a Harry Potter fan, no trip to Edinburgh would be complete without searching for a little bit of Harry Potter in Edinburgh.

The Elephant House

The Elephant House is a self-proclaimed “birthplace of Harry Potter,” where J.K. Rowling started her writing of the story. If you step into this café, you will find the store itself has nothing to do with Harry Potter. However, your visit isn’t complete without a trip to the restrooms. The white walls are covered in Harry Potter-themed graffiti, everything from raunchy HP jokes to heartfelt odes to Rowling. The cafe used to crack down on these scrawls, but it's now accepted, and people will not stop doing this. 

Victoria Street / Diagon Alley

Lined with candy-colored shops, this curving cobbled street happens to be the main inspiration for Diagon Alley in the book. Shops such as novelty joke shop Aha Ha Ha Jokes and second-hand bookstore The Old Town Bookshop should not be missed. Even muggles can see the similarities between the real-existing shops and the ones in the magic world. 

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