OK, so it has taken me forever to upload this post! Back in October me and my boyfriend Rich took a trip to Edinburgh so I thought I’d share what we got up to, what we loved and what we would recommend for anyone else.
How we got there
I’ve lived in Newcastle for three years and had never taken a trip to Edinburgh, I have no idea why! The train was only 1hr 30 and was just over £30 for two adults with advanced single tickets! The train is a great way to travel but Edinburgh does have a local airport, so if you’re coming from further away that might be a better option.
Where we stayed
Edinburgh is extremely geared up for tourists and there are so many hotels it can be difficult to choose one! I love Booking.com and find some great discounted prices on there. We stayed at the Macdonald Holyrood Hotel which cost around £145 for two nights, including breakfast. The location was good and it was a 4* hotel. The room was super clean, HUGE bed, robes…just great!
Our Hotel was based in the Old Town (if you didn’t know Edinburgh has an Old Town and a New Town) and was by Holyrood Park where Arthur’s Seat is. It was less than a 5 minute walk to be on the Royal Mile, a busy main road full of tourist shops which leads up to the castle, and it was about a 15 – 20 minute walk (1 mile) to get to the top of the street where Edinburgh Castle is.
If you’re fit and healthy and have comfy shoes you can walk all around the centre and over to the New Town too. We walked everywhere as it was the easiest option for us.
What we did
On our first day there we did one of the most touristy things a person can do, an open top bus tour! I love these tours where you can hop on and hop off at any location. I love listening to the headphones too to get a little history lesson. I find they’re fantastic for getting your bearings and seeing what you want to do if you haven’t really pre planned anything. It could get a bit pricey if you’re going as a family but I would recommend it if you’re a couple of on your own and don’t know anything about the place.
The majority of our time was spent meandering through the streets and alleyways of Old Town, I could spend ages just wandering around looking up at the Architecture. The New town was great as well, with some stunning buildings…but the higgledy piggeldy nature of the Old Town definitely won me over.
I would highly recommend taking a wander down Victoria Street and Cockburn Street. Both streets were full of lovely unique shops which I could browse for ages! They would be really nice if you’re looking for lovely unique gifts too. Victoria Street was apparently JK Rowling’s inspiration for Diagon Alley too. Speaking of which, if you’re a Harry Potter fan you must check out Museum Context whilst on Victoria Street. Possibly one of my favourite shops I’ve ever been in. Harry Potter merch is everywhere in Edinburgh and very samey, but this shop had some amazing and unique items including mugs and prints. You bet I didn’t come away empty handed!
If you want to make a dent in your credit card definitely head over to the New Town. I was really impressed with all the shops, they had some which I love like Anthropologie and Oliver Bonas which are starting to spring up in other large cities now (sadly not Newcastle although it’s probably for the best). There’s also a Harvey Nichols so I went over to have a browse of Fenty Beauty – sadly I felt a bit disappointed and nothing really grabbed my attention.
If you end up down near Holyrood Park or are staying near there I would highly recommend a walk around if the weathers good. Sadly I didn’t get the chance to walk up to Arthur’s seat, but definitely check out this area. It’s lovely and you get amazing panoramic views of Edinburgh.
I would also recommend taking a trip to Camera Obsurer, it’s such a fun place for all ages, adults and children alike. It’s full of optical illusions and great interactive activities and photo opportunities. Also don’t miss the outside viewing areas on the top floor where you get amazing views across the city. I would suggest going in the morning and then your ticket lasts all day. We went for a little while then left, but came back at night once it was dark and it was such a good decision! It’s so much quieter and there are fewer children and families so you can go back to all those things you couldn’t get a go on. Also the views at night are great too.
What we ate
There’s so many amazing café’s and restaurants it’s hard to choose where to eat! We had already planned that we really wanted to go to the Hard Rock Café. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea but we love it and like to go when we’re in a city that has one.
If you’re about and about in the day and need a coffee or bit of lunch have a wander down Victoria Street to Grassmarket for loads of great independent café’s to choose from.
I can’t wait to go back to Edinburgh and explore more!
Talk soon x
Time for cocktails!
Burger at the hard Rock Cafe
Treating ourselves to breakfast in bed
Me with the lights
Views of Edinburgh
The best little shop
The prettiest street
Miller and Carter steak
The castle at night
The city at night
Messing with the camera