travel United Kingdom

Exploring Scotland: Edinburgh

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Edinburgh. A city that is now forever a part of my and Ryan’s story. Last autumn during our stay, after 8 years together, Ryan proposed on top of Edinburgh Castle. This city and it’s old, historic charm has stolen my heart. I never had a chance to write about it. We came back and went into wedding planning mode. Now that that’s all done with and there are a few people heading there this fall and winter, I thought I’d recap my favorite places in the city and some things still on my list.

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Recommendations:

Accommodations:
We stayed at the Radisson Blu on the Royal Mile. We had such a lovely experience I’m planning to stay there if I make it to Edinburgh for a design conference next year. Hotel rooms are modern, the staff was incredibly friendly and accommodating. I loved that we were in Old Town as well.

Food & Drinks:
The White Hart Inn. We came down here almost every single day of our stay. The pub is incredibly small and cozy but the staff was so kind, the drinks were good and the food was delicious. I am still dreaming of their mac and cheese with fresh Orkney cheddar, and their breakfast with haggis…so good. They’re also (probably) Edinburgh’s oldest pub and has a very fascinating history.

The City Cafe: It’s an American diner but had amazing breakfast and some of the best Bloody Mary options I’ve ever seen.
The Piemaker Great to grab a tasty savoury pie on the go. We stopped in here a few times.

Greyfriars Bobby Great for a pint, next to one of the most haunted kirkyards and has a heartwarming story with it.

Things to do/visit:

The Elephant House (for Harry Potter fans)
Holyroodhouse + Park
Calton Hill
Edinburgh Castle
Greyfriars Kirkyard
Arthur’s Seat (it’s a hike to the top!)
Underground Ghost Tour
I highly recommend this particular ghost tour. The guide was hilarious and knowledgeable, full of interesting, historical tidbits. And we got to go in the Edinburgh Vaults! Which was on my to-do list.

Places I didn’t visit in Edinburgh specifically, but would like to:

Food & Drinks:
The Witchery at the Castle
The Black Cat
Fredricks Coffee House
Cafe St Honoré

Sights:
Dean Village
Craigmillar Castle
Gilmerton Cove

Honestly we didn’t plan our Edinburgh stay very well. Looking now, it would have been quite easy to take the train out to Stirling Castle and even up into the Highlands for exploring. There are plenty of stops between Edinburgh and Inverness and lots to see within walking distance of the stops. We know for next time.

We did a 12 hour tour up to Loch Ness and back down the west side of the country back into Edinburgh. It was lovely and it was convenient for people like ourselves who didn’t plan very well. We didn’t get a whole lot of exploration time and it was very much the quick tour of the Highlands. We were able to take boat onto Loch Ness and got a glimpse of Urquhart Castle but it just wasn’t enough. I will be doing a separate post on those Highland highlights though.

A visit to the Isle of Sky was recommended by some of the locals and it is still very much on our must-visit list. I personally want to visit the Callanish Stones on the Isle of Lewis. There are many other pre-historic sites near the main set of stones and that sort of history fascinates me. I’m also an Outlander fan so…ya know 😉

More photos from our stay in Edinburgh:

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Tom Riddle’s Gravestone for those Harry Potter fans.

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If you have any questions about where any of the photos were taken, just leave a comment and I’ll let you know!

Overall I can’t wait to visit Scotland again. The locals are absolutely lovely and the country is beautiful in it’s own harsh way. I’m completely drawn to it.

Wanderlust is setting in again.

xoxo

Steph

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  • Erin

    This looks amazing! I remember waiting for your pictures and then life got in the way and forgot that I was waiting. 🙂 Though I’ve always wanted to go to Scotland, these make me want to go NOW!

    • admin

      It is so stunning and there’s so much I still want to explore!

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