Edinburgh, the home of haggis, deep fried mars bars, Hairy Coos (Cows) and even more rainy weather was such a beautiful city to visit and one that can easily be revisited with its convenient links from London. It's also a city that's famous for their New Year's Eve celebrations, Hogmany, and although we didn't visit for New Years we hope we can enlighten for what else to get up to!
Not only a beautiful city with a magnificent quaint old town it's also the gateway to the lakes (lochs) around Scotland. Many head up to Scotland to see the infamous Loch Ness although we decided to bypass this particular lake upon hearing how touristy & slightly gimmicky it can be and instead joined a full day tour with 'the hairy coo'. Like one of the free walking tours you can get in most major cities around Europe, this was also a free bus tour where the price of the tour is what you deem the tour to be worth. It took us to the 'Forth Bridge', Stirling Castle, the Lochs (although not Loch Ness) as well as visited some of the world famous hairy 'coos' where we got to feed some of them as well - amazing I say!
That evening we decided to check out one of the city's ghost tours through the underground vaults, which were built around the late 1700s. These vaults were used by various tradesmen as their homes as well as apparently storage of dead bodies, hence the ghost stories that have emerged from these vaults. The tour itself is decent enough, starting on the streets of the old with with varied stories that try and chill your bones (it also could have been the chilly night air!) before descending down into the vaults. One disappointing thing was a bar with live music was right above where the tour took place so the stories the guide was trying to tell were well watered down as the music reverberated through to the vaults.
Dinner consisted of burgers that night and for this we visited The Huxley. It's largely an American diner that serves burgers, hotdogs and all things American fare. Remember to bring ID though as our friend nearly got refused entry to go and eat dinner here because of a lack of ID!
In the morning the next day our first priority was getting up and down Arthur's seat (actually an extinct volcano!) before we needed to check out of the apartments we were staying in (directly off High street). We powered up the quickest route possible while making sure we weren't going to get blown away by the strong ferocious winds at the top! We highly recommend heading up as the views are spectacular at the top!
We stopped by a local tuck shop for a bacon & egg roll after our brisk hike up Arthur's seat to fill up on before we visited the rest of the sights Edinburgh had to offer.
Edinburgh castle, a fortress of the city so not the prettiest of all castles was our first stop after we refuelled! It sits upon Castle Rock, and as it was inhabited for 2865 years it has faced much history over its time. To make your visit more interesting try and time your visit to catch the one o clock gun as this is fired everyday except Sundays.
We strolled along the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, the main drag through the city centre and runs through Edinburgh Castle & Holyrood Palace, 2 very distinct landmarks of Edinburgh. If you still have a bit of time to spare, stroll down to Victoria street and enjoy the vast selection of independent boutiques to go shopping at!
Returning to the airport was an easy 25 minute bus ride away from Waverley Bridge on the Airlink 100 express and undoubtedly we will be back soon.
PS. If you're not convinced Edinburgh is a fantastic weekend break, another great time to visit this great Scottish city is during the Fringe festival, one of the largest Arts festival in the world which takes place every August for three weeks.
We Stayed: St Giles Apartments, We Flew: British Airways