What a birthday to remember in Edinburgh! Travelling to Scotland to visit the capital city was the perfect way to celebrate and the fact that we were absolutely gifted with some glorious sunshine made it that little bit better. Edinburgh is the perfect place for a weekend away and for good reason!
Visiting Edinburgh means another tick on my 2018 travel wish list and it’s been one my best trips of the year so far (Sorry Dublin, you were just a little too wet) Upon arrival, it was a quick tram to the city centre (£8.50 return ticket) before beginning day one of exploration. We had somewhat of an agenda during our stay and it turned out to be perfectly planned as we hit all the hot spots, tried some deliciously tasty restaurants and cafes, explored and photographed thoroughly but all at a leisurely pace.
Edinburgh Castle came first. You can see it from most places in the city due to its high rise location; we viewed it from even higher to begin with as we stumbled upon The Scott Monument and realised you could go to the top. Not being ones to turn down a good stair climb we shot straight up to the peak and got some epic views of Edinburgh. We didn’t stay up high for long, just enough to get a few photos as the wind was absolutely chilling. We had to get back down to ground level quickly to escape getting frozen! Heading towards the castle again we walked up the famous Royal Mile. You can get to the castle many ways, just head towards it basically and you’ll construct your own route. The Royal Mile was however the more pleasant route, it seemed to be the busiest street in Old Town with plenty to see as you walked it.
The castle gave some amazing views across Edinburgh and you could even see Arthurs seat in the distance (We visited this the following day). We however couldn’t get enough of the iconic city views from Calton Hill! Our hotel for the weekend was perfectly placed right at the foot of Calton Hill so it was so easy to stroll up here and gaze down on a bright and bustling Edinburgh. I was fortunate enough to catch a sunrise to remember here on the morning of my birthday, can’t get better than that right?! It’s home to many special monuments and it’s the place often seen in pictures and paintings of Edinburgh, I now know why!
As if we hadn’t already hiked to enough high view points, on our second day in Edinburgh we tackled Arthurs seat, an extinct volcano formed in Holyrood Park. You can get to this by simply walking back down the Royal Mile as this is a connection from the Castle to the Holyrood Palace (Edinburgh really is that simple to navigate). We hiked to two of the main peaks and it was hard work! Mainly coming back down actually as people seemed to be dropping all around us due to the slippy mud trails. Before we started our route back down we spent a bit of time taking in some more insane views of the city. You can see now what I meant when I said we were gifted with good weather, couldn’t of asked for more!
So all of this walking must of given us a good appetite while we were in Edinburgh right?! It most certainly did, we were refuelling regularly at many of the tasty spots that were generously dotted around the city. One of our favourites where we had breakfast on a couple of occasions was Hula Juice Cafe. It was a bright, vibrant cafe offering tonnes of healthy, delicious options which suited us perfectly (The coffee was good also!). Another cafe that was similar to Hula was Hendersons, a lovely cafe serving vegetarian and vegan dishes, all sourced from organic ingredients. I had some pancakes in here (It was my birthday breakfast!) and they didn’t last long obviously. In the evening finding a dinner spot wasn’t hard. I’d recommend heading to Old Town, you’ll be spoilt for choice!
So where was home for the weekend? We stayed at The Parliament House Hotel and it was another gem of a hotel (We have been so lucky with our stays in Europe!) Like I said before, navigating Edinburgh was so easy and even more so because of the location of this place. It was sat right at the bottom of Calton Hill which gave us an easy opportunity to get up there and watch the sunrise/sunsets. A short walk down the road was a great gym (Good to put those birthday pancakes to good use!) and a little further was the main streets of Edinburgh. The hotel itself was lovely inside, the room was large and very comfortable, it just had a great feel to it. It was the perfect base for our weekend.
Will I go back to Edinburgh? Do I recommend you visit yourself? Absolutely! It’s so suited for a brilliant weekend get away; you can simply plan your visit and then enjoy it all at a nice relaxing pace whilst taking in the addictive charm of the Scottish capital. Another birthday trip well spent and some exciting upcoming plans for more travel, keep posted!
Thanks for reading, see you in the next one!