9 things you may not know about Edinburgh

Edinburgh’s among the raft of additions to the growing rank of cities where O2 4G is now available. So we thought this might be a great time to brush up on our  knowledge of Scotland’s capital – here’s some facts about our latest 4G debutant:

1.   JK Rowling wrote her first novel – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – in an Edinburgh coffee shop. That’s a lotta latte.

2.   Fictional superspy James Bond was educated at Edinburgh’s Fettes College. His character has been portrayed by several actors over the years, including Sean Connery, who delivered milk to Fettes College as a youth.

3.   Other famous people from ‘Auld Reekie’ include funnymen Ronnie Corbett and Rory Bremner, former British PM Tony Blair. Garbage’s lead singer Shirley Manson is from Edinburgh, as is Mark Beaumont – Guinness World Record holder for ‘Fastest True Circumnavigation of the World by Bicycle’. You can thank Edinburgh for the detective skills of Sherlock Holmes – his creator, Arthur Conan Doyle, was born here.

4.   We can’t really talk about Edinburgh facts without mentioning this one – Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone, was born in the city.

5.   Edinburgh’s New Year celebration – Hogmanay – is the biggest New Year street party on the planet.

6.   The first statue of Abraham Lincoln to be erected outside the United States is located in the Old Calton Burial Ground, alongside a memorial to the Scottish soldiers who died in the American Civil War.

7.   The world’s biggest arts festival takes place every August in Edinburgh.

8.   Edinburgh Zoo (home to *those* pandas) celebrated its centenary year in 2013 – it opened its doors in July 1913. The first animal to be bought was a gannet, costing the equivalent of 8p.

9.   Be more dog? Not wise in 18th century Edinburgh – after a butcher’s dog went mad, magistrates ordered that all dogs be slaughtered – even guide dogs for the blind.

Got a fact about Edinburgh? Know something you want to share with the world about any of our 4G cities? Let us know in the comments.