30 June 2017

Travel: A City Break in Edinburgh

Towards the end of last week I headed up to Edinburgh for a short break with my boyfriend. Edinburgh is a city I've wanted to visit for a while now and we managed to arrange a last minute trip (we even managed to bag cheap train tickets.. yay!)

Our train pulled into Edinburgh around lunchtime. After going straight to our AirBnB apartment to drop off our heavy bags (a huge thank you to our host who kindly allowed us to check in early) we headed out for an afternoon of exploring the city.

We spent the first part of our afternoon wandering around the Old Town and the famous Royal Mile, absorbing the lively atmosphere and admiring the architecture. I don't know about you, but I love looking at pretty buildings! I just had to take a picture of the colourful buildings on Victoria Street which are said to have been the inspiration behind Diagon Alley.

Victoria Street Edinburgh

Old Town Edinburgh Bagpipes

Later in the afternoon we headed over to Princes Street and the New Town to do a spot of shopping before returning to our apartment to spruce up before heading back out for dinner and drinks. We headed to Bryant & Mack Private Detectives for drinks (based just off Rose Street) which was quite honestly the coolest bar I've ever been into. You've probably guessed from the name of the bar that it had a detective theme. I'm not the biggest fan of themed places, however the detective theme was carried out in such a quirky, clever way (the drinks menus arrived in case files and the bill in a little 'case closed' file). The bar was small and cosy, so may not be suitable for large groups (due to it's no standing service policy).

After an early start the previous day we decided to treat ourselves to a lie in on Friday morning (we were on holiday after all!) After our leisurely start to the morning, we headed up to Edinburgh Castle. The tickets for the castle are on the pricey side but there is a lot to see within the castle including the National War Museum, St Margaret's Chapel and the Scottish Crown Jewels. We managed to catch the famous One o'clock gun being fired on our visit (if you're wondering what I'm talking about it's a historical time signal).  The views of the city from the castle were pretty impressive too (despite the weather being what some people would call typically Scottish!)
View from Edinburgh Castle

After grabbing a spot of lunch in a cute little cafe we headed up Arthur's Seat you get the best views from the top. Arthur’s Seat is what remains of an old volcano right in the city centre. The climb is tough going but worth it for the views of the city. My boyfriend took this incredible scenery shot from the summit!
Arthurs seat view

Saturday was our final day in Edinburgh and we headed out bright and early to make the most of it, first fuelling up with a full Scottish breakfast (turns out I’m not a fan of haggis). We then went to the National Museum of Scotland and spent a lot longer than we expected looking around all the exhibits, which had everything from dinosaurs to fashion. We really enjoyed the museum (as shown in the snippet of my Instagram story below). I definitely think it's worth checking out if you're visiting Edinburgh. Oh, and did I mention that admission is free?

The next stop on my list was The Elephant House, the cafe where JK Rowling wrote some of the early Harry Potter stories! 

Unfortunately, we didn't have chance to pop into the cafe as we were short on time and wanted to squeeze in a trip to the Scottish National Gallery before it was time to catch our train home. The Scottish National Gallery is another of Edinburgh’s free attractions, which was crammed full of paintings by famous artists. 

I really enjoyed my first visit to Edinburgh although we had planned to do/see a lot more during our visit but unfortunately we just didn't have enough time. A good excuse to make a return visit though, right?!

I would love to hear about any trips you’ve got planned over the Summer in the comments below!

Thank you for reading,

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