Not last week, but the week before Jack and I had another little staycation, but this time in Edinburgh. Edinburgh is a city that I have always wanted to go to and was at the top of my travel list. As someone who regularly goes to Bath, you often hear it compared to Edinburgh – but with Edinburgh being the gothic version of Bath due to the black stained stone. We stayed in Edinburgh from Monday to Saturday and stayed in the Courtyard by Marriott. I think it was a good hotel to stay within a 15-minute walk of most of the things we did.
And generally, Edinburgh is really good for that – you can walk to the majority of the places and we only got one Uber during the week and one bus to get to the Zoo. I absolutely adored it so I thought I would talk you through what we got up to when we spent a week in Edinburgh. For those possibly considering Edinburgh as a little staycation, then you might want to make some notes. We hadn’t been before and didn’t do too much research beforehand but pretty much managed to do all the main sightseeing bits quite well!
We flew to Edinburgh fairly early Monday morning so we were in Edinburgh and having breakfast by 9:30AM. Luckily we could check into our hotel straight away so we dropped everything off and then left to have a walk around and gain our bearings a bit. We walked up to the castle, and around the general area of Old Town and the Grassmarket. This included going into the Harry Potter shops, and also going to the cafe and graveyard where JK Rowling gained the inspiration for some of the Harry Potter characters (Jack and I love HP so this was a must).
We pretty much spent most of the morning and afternoon walking around the old town before heading to the new shopping center near our hotel for a look around the shop and also to see my friend Sophie from uni who works there. Because we were up at 3AM for our flight we did go back to the hotel for a couple of hours to chill, before heading back out and walking across Edinburgh to a burger restaurant called Luxford Burgers – which was amazing by the way!
On Tuesday we had booked in to go around the Castle. This was a highlight of the trip as I feel it is one of the must things to do when you go to Edinburgh. Also if you are there at 1PM they sound a canon there every day which is good to try and see! We did a lot of our research on Tik Tok and found a Bagel shop called Bross Bagels so headed there for lunch before taking an Uber to the bottom of Arthurs Seat.
Arthurs Seat is basically a rather large hill made from Volcanic rock which you can climb up and have amazing views of the city. It is quite a steep walk but we managed it and it took about an hour and a half to walk up and back. We stopped off at a bakery called Mimi’s on the way back and then decided to get food at the hotel in the evening.
On Wednesday we headed to Edinburgh Zoo in the morning. I think this was Jack’s highlight as it was the main thing he wanted to do whilst we were there. It was really lovely and not that busy either so the perfect time of year to go really. We then got the bus to New Town and had some lunch in Spoons before going down to the Botanical Gardens. It felt so autumnal and walking around was just really lovely. After we spent some time there we head back towards Old Town and found a restaurant called Bubba Q which is a barbeque place on the Royal Mile. One thing that Edinburgh doesn’t lack is good restaurants and every night we got back to the hotel feeling very full but we could have eaten our way through the city.
Thursday morning we headed to Camera Obscura which was on my to-do list because I have seen it on Youtube and it just looked so different from anything I had done before. I really enjoyed it and like the zoo, it is the perfect time of year to go as it was relatively quiet but I imagine in the holidays it would be packed. Camera Obscura is basically a house full of optical and light illusions. Afterwards, we walked to find a doughnut cafe that we found on tik tok for quick pre-lunch pitstop and then headed for the National Museum of Scotland. This was absolutely massive and if you looked around all of it, it probably would have taken all day.
We had some lunch there in the cafe before going back to the shopping centre again. We looked around briefly on Monday but we were so tired we didn’t appreciate it so we went back Thursday and had a good wander. At the top was a market of restaurants called Bonnie and Wild where we found the best ice cream stand called Joelato – possibly the best ice cream we have ever tried. In the evening we went to Cold Town Pizza for some food and we got to sit in a really cute little gondola!
On our last day, Friday, we headed back to Bonnie and Wild as we loved it so much and had breakfast (and more ice cream) there. We then had a stroll through the Old Town before going to the Scottish Whiskey Experience. We booked onto the Silver tour where we got a full tour and a tasting on one whiskey. I loved this as it was so different and as an ex-bar maid, I found the history really interesting. You learn about the different whiskeys and the blends and then get to try one they talk about.
After the whiskey experience, we hopped on a bus tour and went around the whole of Edinburgh. I really recommend this if you want to see all parts of the city! We had some lunch at the Edinburgh Gin festival on Princes Street and then in the evening went to an Italian called Amarone. Highly recommend it to pasta or pizza lovers!
We flew home early Saturday morning but the hotel was lovely at checkout offering to book us transport. I have left some photos below – let me know if you have been to Edinburgh and done any of the things that we did!
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