Enjoy Edinburgh's churches and cathedrals for free
the Greyfriars Bobby statue outside the churchyard
St Giles' Cathedral
Canongate Kirk- The Kirk of Holyroodhouse and Edinburgh Castle
St Cuthbert's Parish Church
St Giles’ Cathedral
Standing halfway between Edinburgh Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse, St Giles’ Cathedral was founded in the 12th century and due to its role in Scotland’s Reformation history is often referred to as the 'Cradle of Presbyterianism'. Take in the beautiful stained glass windows that date from the 1870s and see the Thistle Chapel, home of the Knights of the Order of the Thistle, Scotland's most senior order of chivalry which is headed by The Queen.
Up near the top of the Royal Mile, Greyfriar’s Kirk has stood since 1620 on land which was granted by Mary, Queen of Scots. The kirk is famous for its graveyard, which was not only frequented by graverobbers but is also said to be where a faithful dog, Greyfriar’s Bobby, sat by his master’s grave. Another historic event here was the signing of the National Covenant in 1638, an important event and document in Scottish history which you can find out about at the kirk’s visitor centre.
Dating from 1690, the historic Canongate Kirk was built near the bottom of the Royal Mile and its modest architecture is a perfect place for peaceful reflection. Its parish includes nearby Holyrood Palace so it welcomes members of the royal family when they are residence. In the summer of 2011, the church was the venue for the marriage of Zara Philips, the daughter of the Princess Royal and granddaughter of HM The Queen.
Other city centre churches
There are several other impressive church buildings to visit in Edinburgh city centre. These include St Johns which is renowned for its stained glass, St Cuthberts which has intricate ceiling paintings, St Mary's Cathedral, which is great example of neo-Gothic architecture and St Andrew's and St George's West on George Street which is an excellent example of Georgian architecture.
SearchSkip search forms
Search for accommodation
Search for attractions
Search for events
Search for activities
Book online or call us:
0845 859 1006
Monday to Friday: 0900 - 1700
Closed Saturday and Sunday
* Calls may be recorded.
Sign up now to receive regular e-newsletters and be the first to hear about the latest news, exciting events and festivals.
Edinburgh and the Lothians sits on the eastern side of Scotland's central belt, in the heart of the country.