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Edinburgh Inverness Train

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About Edinburgh

The city of Edinburgh is located in Lothian on the southern shore of the Firth or Forth and is Scotland's capital city. It has been regarded as Scotland's capital since at least the 15th century but political power moved south to London after the Union of the Crowns in 1603 and the Union of Parliaments in 1707. Edinburgh has a rich history and as a consequence has many historic buildings including Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Place, the churches of St. Giles, Greyfriars and Canongate.

The historic centre of Edinburgh is divided in two by Princes Street Gardens. To the south the view is dominated by Edinburgh Castle which is built high on the castle rock, and the long sweep of the Old Town descending towards Holyrood Palace. To the north lie Princes Street and the New Town. Edinburgh's Old Town and New Town have been declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The city is home to many national institutions including the National Museum of Scotland, the National Library of Scotland and the Scottish National Gallery. In terms of trade and commerce Edinburgh has long been a centre of banking and insurance and is now the United Kingdom's second largest financial centre after London.

About Inverness

The Scottish city of Inverness is an important centre for bagpipe players and lovers and every September since 1788 the city hosts the Northern Meeting, a bagpipe competition. Another important event for the city is the annual Highland Games which can trace its roots back to 1822. While centred on competitions in piping and drumming, dancing, and Scottish heavy athletics, the games also include entertainment and exhibits related to other aspects of Scottish and Gaelic culture.

Inverness is also home to two summer music festivals, Rockness and the Tartan Heart Festival, that bring a variety of different music to the town.

The River Ness, which flows from nearby Loch Ness, runs through Inverness on its way to the Moray Firth. The Ness Islands, a publicly owned park, consist of two wooded islands connected by footbridges and has been used as a place of recreation since the 1840s. Craig Phadraig, once an ancient Gaelic and Pictish hill fort is a 240 m hill which offers hikes on a clear pathway through the wooded terrain.

Shinty is an integral part of the Highlands and Islands and as the capital of the Highlands Inverness often hosts a wealth of Shinty finals such as the Camanachd Cup Final (the pinnacle of Shinty) as well as the International game of Shinty and Irish hurling.