Princes StreetApprox. Time: 1 hours
Activity Level: Easiest

Princes Street, Edinburgh's main thoroughfare, has been described as one of the most beautiful streets in the world. Its fame springs, of course, not primarily from its architecture but from the street's incomparable setting. It is as fine a boulevard as will be encountered anywhere. Many of Edinburgh's best known shops have a Princes Street address, and the hotels can offer a magnificent prospect across the green valley of Princes Street Gardens to the high ridge of the Old Town, crowned by the castle. For pedestrians who wish to escape the bustling traffic of Princes Street, it is literally only a few steps to the tranquility of Princes Street Gardens. The gardens are in two parts, separated by the roadway of the Mound and the classical architecture of the art galleries. In West Princes Street Gardens, look out for Edinburgh's famous floral clock situated beside the flight of steps at the Mound entrance, below the statue of the poet Allan Ramsay. The oldest floral clock in the world, it is planted anew each spring with thousands of tiny plants. A mechanical cuckoo calls the hour. The Scottish American War Memorial, the Heather Garden, and the Ross Theater are also part of the West Princes Street Garden. At the eastern end of the gardens stands the memorial of the oldest regiment in the British Army, the Royal Scots, inscribed with its long roll of campaign honors. Several art galleries and the Waverly Market shopping center are some of the other highlights of the East Princes Street Garden.

Courtesy of the British Tourist Authority