Our weekend away in Edinburgh

Back in October Richard and I got the grandparents to doggy sit Seymour whilst we went on our jollydays up north, way, way up north to Edinburgh.

Over a year ago now Richard won 2 first class Virgin rail tickets to anywhere in the UK so we decided to make the most of this and head to the furthest destination possible.

So we started our trip early on a Friday and enjoyed a real treat.
Travelling first class meant 4.5 hours of sitting back, relaxing, extra leg room, wifi, free food and drink…I could get used to that!

It started our holiday off rather well and by the time we got there we were rearing to go so we made our way towards the hotel through the city centre.

On our walk through the city we went into St Giles Cathedral. St Giles being the Saint of Edinburgh, and cripples and lepers… What a beautiful and impressive piece of gothic architecture with its crown steeple dating from 15th century.

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We carried on towards our hotel, The Edinburgh City Hotel.
It was great value for money I felt with a good breakfast, comfortable rooms and within 10 minutes walk to the main roads in Edinburgh. After dropping the bags off I had originally said about going to the Dungeons but after reading that there was a ‘drop ride’ I just felt I couldn’t go (I get far too worked up about drop rides that I cannot see, don’t start me on Pirates of the Caribbean at Disney). So I googled what other ghostly things there were to do.
I found the ‘City of the Dead Tours‘ and knowing that one was about the start at 3:30 we hot footed it down to where it would start, just outside St Giles Cathedral.
For £10 each it was well worth it and what I liked was we always have good intentions of doing one of these walks at 9:00 but end up in a restaurant instead (or asleep), but at 3:30 it was a perfect time for us and given that most of it was underground it didn’t matter that it wasn’t dark outside, it was still spooky. We learnt about and walked through the city and then the underground city vaults hearing stories of ghosts but also about the history, filth and violence of the city. Well worth a tour!
After that, some more wondering and shopping, and finished the evening off with dinner in The Cellar Door a traditional Scottish restaurant where we ate haggis and I had one of the best fish and chips I have ever eaten.
The next day we walked up to Edinburgh Castle. On top of a cliff, the highest point in Edinburgh  it seems, what an impressive castle. Not as big as some but many different things to see in there including the Scottish crown jewels, war memorials and even a whiskey shop. Get there early to avoid the queues and bring your debit card as at £16.50 per adult it isn’t cheap, and I wouldn’t say it was a full day out either, but it was worth seeing.
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Edinburgh Castle is at the top of a long road, The Royal Mile, and either side is shop after shop and restaurant, many repeats and lots for the tourists but its worth a mooch.

Just outside the castle is a Tartan weaving and Mill shop. Plenty to buy there but also to see with many floors of tartans and some of the machinery on display. I was able to buy a ‘Smith’ tartan scalf for my Dad’s birthday which he loved.

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We wondered through the streets all the way down the mile to The People’s Story, a museum about social history and working in Edinburgh and then onto Museum of Edinburgh, a vast museum with lots of things to see including actual skeletons! Both museums were free and I thought were excellent! I only wish I hadn’t walked so much before hand as by then my feet were so painful I could only manage a quick walk around.

We did see though the famous Bobby Greyfriars dog bowl and collar in the museum and whilst walking back and forth from the hotel we passed his statue and even saw his grave where people still go to lay flowers!  I definitely felt a bit emotional thinking about Seymour.

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Another evening meal and another traditional Scottish meal…erm I mean, a Mexican…but it was fantastic and I do love Mexican so why not!

We ended the trip with yet more souvenir buying and a relaxing journey back on the first class train. Though weekend service wasn’t as fancy we had an excellent time still.

Edinburgh is an awesome city to visit for shopping, restaurants, ghost walks, history, architecture, tartan,  castles and of course Bobby.

 

 

 

 

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One thought on “Our weekend away in Edinburgh

  1. Pingback: My awesome 2015 | mybarefoottrail

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