Friday, 27 October 2017

Exploring Edinburgh | Sights

 Are you ready for some Edinburgh posts!?!

I spent four days in the Scottish capital with the parents a couple of weeks ago and I want to share where we went, what we did, all of the things we ate so sit down, get a cup of tea (or glass of prosecco, whatever beverage you fancy) and here's part one: the sights.
Note: I'll link the TripAdvisor pages for everything I mention, then it makes it easier if you want to take a look yourself!

Before we arrived in Edinburgh we did a little bit of research on popular places to go and I picked up a Lonely Planet guide to the city which proved to be really useful. So with the list of places we fancied going there were a few which we needed to book and by the time we were on the train heading up there we had a loose schedule of where we were going and a list of places that we could go to fill in any gaps. It worked really well and we managed to fill our day without sitting clueless about where to go next.

Attractions - Things that cost dollar (or scottish pounds)

The first place we visited was Real Mary King's Close. It's an underground history tour that goes through street that's sort of buried underground. It's a strange reason why it's there and to be honest I'm still not 100% sure why but it was really good. The tour lasted about an hour/ hour and a half so not massively long and it was so interesting that time just flew by! The Royal Yacht Britannia is a great way to spend half a day. Based out in Leith (half an hour tops on the bus from the centre) it's the ship that the Queen and the Royal Family used to go on holiday, go on state visits, etc and it's basically a floating museum. It's really interesting, you get something that looks like a phone and it talks to you as you walk round giving you information about where you are on the ship. It's good because you get to go at your own pace. Also, if you're a child like me, there are sometimes like cuddly creatures to spot walking round and at the end you can guess how many there were and get a badge. We did this with corgis and it was literally the highlight of the trip...seriously. There's a car onboard to in case you need a quick scone stop mid trip. Now the final 'attraction' is Edinburgh Gin and I'm not joking when I say you have to go here, it's not an option. For £25 it's an hour and a half (I'm pretty sure anyway) and you have a chat about the history of gin, tour of how they make it and at the end you and the rest of your group get to taste some gins and get a bit merry, what's not to love?! You also get 10% off in the shop and a small bottle of your favourite gin included in the price. Amazing, I totally recommend it!

Freebies - Places that are free (obviously)

If you go to Edinburgh and end up with a few hours to kill, go to the National Museum of Scotland.  It's free and has so much to see and do inside that it's just a good shout. I'd say it was like a standard 'big' museum - very similar to the likes of London's Science Museum with interesting facts and interactive games. You may need to kick a couple of kids off some of the games but it's fine, they'll get over it.

Sights - Places to go and things to see outside

One of the places we wanted to slot in somewhere throughout the trip was Arthurs Seat. It's a 251m high hill/cliff that looks out over the city. It took us about an hour to go up and down so not too long. Now, here's a word of warning. Everyone we passed was wearing giant coats, scarves and walking boots, you know, sensible attire for walking up rocky paths. I was wearing black culottes, a polo neck jumper with no coat (because I'm hard) and my loafers with not form of suitable sock (I'd just like to point out that we were going for afternoon tea straight after, hence the unsuitable walking outfit). Although there was no need for a giant arctic coat and hat like some of the walkers were wearing, more suitable footwear would have been a better choice and may have saved my feet a fair few blisters. A fun thing to do that's not such an intense walking experience if have a wander round Greyfriars Kirkyard. It's where Greyfriars Bobby is buried (if you don't know the story look it up, it's possibly the cutest thing you will ever read) and also it's where JK Rowling got some of her character names for Harry Potter.

Any more Edinburgh places suggestions? Loved it so much I'll probably be taking a trip back!

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