Brass Rubbing Centre

Chalmers Close, Royal Mile, 556 4364. Mon—Sat 10am-5pm. Free, but there is a charge for making a rubbing. Situated in the apse of a Gothic church dating back to 1460, the centre houses a selection of church brasses and ancient Pictish replicas as well as lots of crayons so you can get rubbing.

Caledonian Brewery

Slateford Road, 623 8066. Tours Mon—Fri, 11am, 12.30pm & 2.30pm. The award-winning Caledonian Brewery, still going strong after 100 years, will let you into the secrets behind the crafting of their fine ales. The tour takes you through the brewing process, from crushing the malt to brewing in the open coppers, culminating in a free beer of your choice in the sample cellar. Private evening and weekend tours available, call for details.

Camera Obscura

Castlehill, Royal Mile, 226 3709. MonaSun IOam—Spm. £3.95 (£1.95—£3.15); family ticket £11.50. Pick up a pedestrian in your hand at this attraction, which gives visitors a real- time, 360° image of the city. There is also an exhibition devoted to holographs and photography on the lower floors.

Craigmillar Castle

Niddrie Mains, 661 4445. Mon—Wed & Sat 9.30am—4.30pm; Thu 9.30am-1pm (closed Fri); Sun 2—4.30pm. £1.80 (£1.30; children 75p). For a real taste of history, take a drive out to this ramshackle old castle, which although not quite as intact as Edinburgh Castle, is far more atmospheric and the scene of much plotting during the reign of Mary, Queen of Scots.

Water, ater veryw


What's so special about swimming? Well, there’s more to it than just splashing around or doing a couple of lengths; regular trips to your local pool will help you shake off those millennium love handles, and this event aims to leave you fully


But I already know how to swim Have you considered diving, waterpolo or synchronised swimming? These are all activities

which take place around Edinburgh's pools, so go along and try something different.

How do I learn more? By going along to Swimfest of course! There will be experts on hand with tips on how to improve your front crawl, backstroke and other strokes, as well as giving you the lowdown on clubs and classes across the city.

- Swimfest, Sun 76 Ian, 2—4pm. Royal Commonwealth Pool, Da/keith Road. 667 7217. Further info on 529 4092.

From antique dolls to 1980s computer games, there’s plenty here to send you off on a trip down memory lane.

Edinburgh Castle

225 9846. Daily 9.30am—5pm (last admission 4.15pm). £6 (£2-£5). Although much of the castle’s medieval character was lost when it was converted into barracks in the 19th century, continuing excavations aim to redress this. Other attractions include James lV’s famous cannon, Mons Meg, lots of military silverware and, of course, The Stone Of Destiny, used to crown Scottish kings since time began.

Museum Of Scotland

Chambers Street, 247 4219. Mon—Sat 10am-5pm; Sun noon-5pm; Tue 10am—8pm. £3 (£1.50—children under 18 free). Devoted solely to the history and heritage of Scotland, the building contains five thematically-arranged exhibitions, moving from pre-history, through the Industrial Revolution, to the present day, at which point national heroes such as Billy Connolly and Elaine C. Smith get involved.

Edinburgh Zoo

Corstorphine Road, 334 9171. Daily 9am-5pm. £6.80 (£3.80—£4.80); family ticket £19L23.50. Widely accepted as one of the finest zoos in Britain, there’s plenty here to while away an afternoon, or even a whole day if you take your time. The penguin parade at 2pm is a must and the newly-built African plains afford a fantastic view of the city.

Gorgie City Farm

51 Gorgie Road, 337 4202. Daily 9.30am—4pm. Free. Set up in 1982 on a derelict council rubbish site, the farm is now home to a host of farmyard animals and equipment, as well as organic and herb gardens.

Huntly House

142 Canongate, 529 4143. Mon—Sat lOam-Spm. Free. Packed with historic artefacts, this restored 16th century mansion tells the story of Edinburgh’s past and its pe0p1e and houses important collections of Edinburgh silver and glass, Scottish pottery and shop signs.

Museum Of Childhood

42 High Street, 529 4142. Mon—Sat 10am-5pm. Free. Founded in 1955, the museum has five public galleries with all manner of archive material and old toys relating to childhood through the ages.

68 THE UST 6—20 Jan 2000

Newhaven Heritage Museum Newhaven Harbour, 551 4165. Mon—Sun noon-5pm. Free. Memorabilia and reconstructed scenes tell the story of Newhaven and its sea-going heritage, from its origins as a naval dockyard to its continued use as a fishing port.

Old Town Weaving Compan

555 Castlehill, Royal Mile, 226 1555. Mon—Sat 9am—5.30pm; Sun 10am—5pm. £4 (£1); family ticket £8. Watch tartan appear before your eyes at this weaving wonderland. You’ll get the chance to try your hand on a real loom and visit two mixed-media exhibitions, Story Of Weaving and Highland Dress Through The Ages. And if you’re feeling brave you can dress up in ancient Scottish costume and have your photie taken.

Palace Of Holyroodhouse

Royal Mile, 556 1096. Daily 9.30am—4.30pm. £5.50 (£2.70—£4); family ticket £13.50. Starting life as a 13th century abbey, the palace has evolved into a sumptuous regal residence crammed full of paintings and artefacts dating back primarily to the 17th century. The tower apartments housed a sad and lonely Mary Queen of Scots for a time, but with a spectacular view of Arthur’s Seat, and magnificent gardens to look at, it’s hard to feel too sorry for her.

Rosslyn Chapel

Roslin, 440 2159. Mon—Sat 10am—5pm; Sun noon—4.45pm. £3 (£2.50—children £1). What you get out of a trip to Rosslyn Chapel may depend on your familiarity with books of the conspiracy theorist genre: a stronghold for the Knights Templar?; proof of pre- Columbian transatlantic travel?; even the final resting place of the Holy Grail? What is certain though is that the chapel contains enough historically fascinating carvings and symbols to hold the attention of even the most determined philistine.

Royal Botanic Garden

lnverleith Row, 552 7171. Daily 9.30am-4pm. Free. A sea of tranquillity in the hubbub of the city, the Botanic Garden is home to a wealth of flora and fauna from all over the world. The glasshouses give you the opportunity to check out tropical plants as well. The site also hosts art exhibitions, horticultural courses and various countryside events, including daily guided walks in the

Royal Museum Of Scotland

2 Chambers Street, 247 4219. MonnSat 10am-5pm; Sun noon—5pm; Tue 10am—8pm. £3 (£1.50—children under 18 free). A 19th century museum housing international collections of natural history, geology, science, technology and the decorative arts, plus two permanent exhibitions: Ar! & Industry and The Ivy Wu Gallery.

Royal Observatory Visitor Centre Blackford Hill, 668 8405. Mon—Sat IOam—Spm; Sun noon—5pm. £3 (£2—family ticket £7). This attraction is a mine of information on the heavens, from the latest interactive CD-Roms on space and astronomy to the observatory’s on- going work in Hawaii and Australia. Public star-gazing sessions take place every Friday night from October to March.

Royal Yacht Britannia

Ocean Drive, Leith, 555 5566. Daily 10.30am—6pm (last entry 4.30pm). £7.50 (£3.75-£5.75); family ticket £20. The former royal yacht has opened its doors to members of the public after a £25 million refit. The on-shore visitor centre contains historical information on the boat and its furnishings while, on the yacht itself, members of the public can have a good nosy round the royals’ former quarters.

Scotch Whisky Heritage Centre

354 Castlehill, The Royal Mile, 220 0441. Daily 10am-5pm (last admission 4.15pm). £5.50 (£2.75—£3.85); family ticket £13.50. Take a romp through the traditions and history of yer national drink at this fully interactive attraction. Highlights include a lesson from a ghost master-blender, a barrel-car ride through whisky history and a well-stocked bar in which to test your newly-acquired expertise.

The People's Story

Canongate Tolbooth, 163 Canongate, 529 4057. Mon—Sat 10am—5pm. Free. Situated in the Canongate Tolbooth, the sights, sounds and even smells of Edinburgh folk from the 18th century onwards are faithfully reproduced.

The Turbo Ride

Fountainpark, Dundee Street, 229 1706. Daily llam—lOpm; Fri & Sat

llam—l 1pm. £3.50 (£2.75); family ticket £10. Step on board the world’s most exciting motion simulator for a thrilling ride. Using flight simulation technology, digital sound and a five storey high screen, the Turbo Ride throws you right into the middle of all the action, in films such as Dino Island and Red Rock Run.

Writers' Museum

Lady Stair’s House, Lady Stair’s Close, 529 4901. Mon—Sat 10am—5pm. Free. A treasure-house of items relating to three of Scotland’s most famous writers: Robert Louis Stevenson, Robert Burns and Sir Walter Scott.