Monday, 10 July 2017

5 Highlights From My Weekend Break in Edinburgh


Last weekend I was in Edinburgh and it was wonderful. I'd been only once before a few years ago and I'd forgotten quite how amazing the city is. With the sun out every day this time, it was even more delightful to wander around the city to explore. I hit up a lot of literary hot-spots for future blog posts (there are SO many bookish things in Edinburgh), in addition to checking out the sights I didn't get a chance to go to last time. The weekend was pretty much non-stop awesomeness and I'll be writing dedicated blog posts about many of the things we did, saw and ate over the coming weeks, but as a teaser here are my top five highlights from the trip.

Afternoon tea in a library

We arrived Friday afternoon and after a quick trip into the city, the first place we went to was Colonnades, a restaurant in the Signet Library in Parliament Square just off the Royal Mile. I'd seen images of the dining tables scattered in between ceiling-high book cases on Instagram and of course had to make sure it'd be part of our trip. While we went for the unique and beautiful surroundings (which was a delight), the food as part of our afternoon tea was incredible too – easily one of the most interesting combinations of flavours I've had the pleasure to enjoy as part of an afternoon tea (and I've tried a lot of them in London). I want to do the experience justice and will be writing a separate blog review with tons of photos from our visit, but it had to be included in my highlights.




Ghost Tour

Straight after our afternoon tea we joined a free ghost tour departing from the Royal Mile. In 90 minutes we explored the city on foot with a group of about twenty led by our tour guide Max. It wasn't actually scary, but he did know heaps of weird and wonderful tidbits about the darker side of Edinburgh that kept us entertained throughout the tour. Though in all fairness, it was Max who made the tour as enjoyable as it was with his over-the-top impersonations and sheer enthusiasm throughout. Another bonus of doing this tour on our first day was that it helped us get our bearings of the city again so we knew which way to go the following days. You can of course also do a normal walking tour for that but we arrived too late in the day to this on our first day and we'd already done one like that last time, so this was a great alternative.




Climbing Arthur's Seat

As I already embarrassingly admitted in my itinerary blog on Edinburgh, when we went last time we hit up Calton Hill thinking that was Arthur's Seat and while it provided a lovely view over the city it didn't quite feel as exciting or high up as I'd been told. Spoiler alert: because it wasn't Arthur's Seat. We did the research this time and climbed the actual Arthur's Seat. We went up the steep way which was quicker than anticipated and it was actually not bad to do at all. We were lucky though as we did it on a morning when it wasn't rainy or too hot, just very windy, and so the circumstances were pretty ideal. If I lived in Edinburgh this would definitely be something I'd try to do a few times a month as it's a great work-out and the view was glorious. We even saw sunshine on Leith (ha, see what I did there?) and we walked down the Duddingston side which was a lot easier and brought us straight to The Sheep Heid Inn (a 600-year-old pub) for a scrumptious lunch. I had the caramelised fig and whipped goat's cheese curd pizza with mozzarella and pine nuts, which is one of the best pizzas combinations I've ever had. Yum.




The Castle on the hill

Because of lack of time and already having visited last time, we didn't end up going inside Edinburgh Castle this time around, but being on top of a hill we could see it from most places we visited (especially great views were from the roof top of the National Museum of Scotland and Arthur's Seat), and I couldn't help but get the Ed Sheeran song The Castle on the Hill in my head each time we spotted it, hee! It's also a pretty iconic Edinburgh sight and I am pretty sure I took more photos of the castle from all angles imaginable than anything else in Edinburgh.




Dean Village

Our Airbnb was on the edge of Dean Village to the West of Princes Street, which meant we weren't only close to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (and the glorious parks around it) but also Dean Village, a picturesque little former village that has now been absorbed into the city of Edinburgh. Known as The Water of Leigh Village it is filled with cobble-stoned curvy streets, German-inspired houses and lots of flowers, making it look like an iconic Scottish village straight from a historic BBC drama.




Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more Edinburgh blog posts, including A Booklover's Guide to Literary Edinburgh



3 comments:

  1. Loved the view from the hill! Is that your dog? So adorable!

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    1. Thank you! He isn't mine, but sure made for a lovely shot :)

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  2. I miss Edinburgh so much! I love that shot of the castle with the thistle - you've got a great eye :) I went to Arthur's Seat during my last trip there too, it was so much fun!

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