Edinburgh is one of the most distinctive and widely recognised cities in the world. Even people who have never been anywhere near Scotland will have formed impressions of the city based on a range of sometimes clichéd but usually attractive and positive images.The great thing about Edinburgh is that the reality surpasses your expectations. Two things usually come as a surprise to first time visitors. The first is that this is a city in three dimensions. It is built on and around hills, and the way Edinburgh grew leads to surprising changes in level at every turn.
t is difficult to explain the growth and the importance of Glasgow. It has never been a capital or a residence of Kings, it is on a site that was not easily defensible, and although on a major river it didn’t originally have a good harbour. But despite this, Glasgow had already been through two booms and two busts by the time it established itself in the 1800s as the second city of the British Empire and the shipbuilding capital of the world: and as, by far, Scotland’s largest city.Glasgow’s origins lie with a Christian missionary called Mungo, or Kentigern, who established a church here
Inverness, capital of the highlands, became Scotland’s fifth city in celebration of the start of the Third Millennium. It lies at the north end of the Great Glen, where the River Ness flows into the Moray Firth, and has been a natural focus for lines of communication to and through the highlands for most of the last two thousand years.The origins of Inverness lie on its western edge at the now wooded crag of Craig Phadrig.The town grew rapidly and by 1250 a bridge had been built across the river and a priory founded. It was also an important centre for boat building and fishing.