JC Travels: Exploring Edinburgh!
Our last day in Scotland luckily turned out to be a gloriously sunny day! We had decided to end the trip in Edinburgh and after doing the Eat Walk tour on our first day, we wanted to spend the day exploring the city in a bit more detail.
We started the day by heading straight to the castle! I love history and I don’t think I could have done a whole trip without going in. The line to buy tickets though was huge so I just stood to the side and bought them online on my phone – something to keep in mind! We also got audio guides so we could get a bit more context of the castle.
It has a stunning view over the city and as it is surrounded by sheer cliffs, makes an ideal location for a castle. It has been there since the city itself was founded, slowly expanding and changing. The most interesting bits were definitely the prison and the barracks, telling tales of prisoners of war all brought there throughout the years. It was good to hear more about Mary, Queen of Scots as well. The Crown Jewels were also there but as they are in such a tiny room, we had a quick glance and then moved on – it was interesting to see the stone of Scone on which Scottish monarchs are always anointed on.
We spent a couple of hours here wandering about – I did enjoy it but it is quite expensive, obviously for all that upkeep! After, we headed out onto the royal mile – a stretch of road running from the castle at one end to Holyrood Palace at the other. We did consider going in the palace but after the price of the castle, we didn’t want another expensive attraction! Instead, we turned at the palace and went to the Scottish Parliament instead.
Scotland devolved their parliament about 10 years ago to look after more local matters and report into the main UK Parliament. You are able to enter, get a tour and go into the main debating chamber. We weren’t there at the right time for a guided tour but we could do a self guided one with the help of some useful leaflets! I didn’t know much about the Scottish Parliament so it was enjoyable to sit in the debating chamber and read about its history along with how it works. I have been to the UK, New Zealand, Canadian and Australian parliaments so it was interesting to add this to the mix and compare how things were done!
Once we had a wander, it was getting late in the afternoon so we took a walk across the city and back to our hotel for a rest – you can tell this was a walking day as I did the most steps I’ve ever done, something like 25,000! Our hotel was lovely but next time we visit Scotland, I’d love to stay in one of the gorgeous cottages advertised on Scotts Castle Holidays website. Scotland is a gorgeous place and I can’t think of anywhere better to visit. Staying in a cottage would make it even better!
We went to a local restaurant for dinner, where I had my final indulgence of the trip, a giant burger! If you couldn’t tell, we most definitely had to diet once we got back from this trip! Once we had eaten we weren’t ready for our day to end so walked across to the 56 North Gin bar! They literally had 1000s of varieties, it was amazing – gin lovers paradise! I had a local Edinburgh variety combined with some fever tree. The gin and tonic really polished off what was an amazing couple of days in Edinburgh!
I honestly can’t wait to go back to Edinburgh, hopefully again for the fringe and I’d love to go in the winter as it definitely has that magic which would be enhanced by thick coats and warm fires.
This wraps up the end of our Scotland trip! We had such an amazing time and I’ve loved reliving the memories, I highly recommend a trip up there, especially if you are based in the UK!
Have you been to Edinburgh?