I’m so excited to finally share a bit about our recent trip to Edinburgh! If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve already seen a few snaps of our mini-holiday.
Ryan booked this trip as a surprise for me – and, let’s face it, my camera – and it came at the perfect time. I was itching for an adventure and feeling slight pangs of burnout because of how completely I had been throwing myself into work. We were set to leave early Sunday morning and come back late Monday so we knew that we had a lot to pack in to just a few short hours.
I think we managed pretty well! I’ll share a few tips and must-sees amongst all the photos.
Ready? Let’s go!
One of the best things about Edinburgh is that the city is extremely walkable. We took the Airlink to Haymarket (£7.50 return) even though we were staying closer to the centre so that we could stretch our legs a bit after our flight. Honestly, if you bring a good pair of walking shoes you really shouldn’t need to see the inside of a taxi cab.
If you’re crunched for time like we were, once you get near the castle and The Royal Mile there are so many things at your fingertips.
What to Eat
We ate SO MUCH FOOD. My god. I was in the midst of Whole30 but I had to hit pause because I wasn’t about to go on holiday and not indulge myself.
On our first day, we met up with my friend Xandra and her husband for lunch at Sabor Criollo. Before you get out your pitchforks for having tapas in Edinburgh, it was delicious and I live by food recommendations from friends.
And also I never say no to tapas.
After we stuffed our bellies (the tacos were A+), we headed to Xandra’s favorite bookstore, Golden Hare Books. This bookstore is a designer’s DREAM and I know we’re meant to be talking about food right now but seriously, if you’re a book lover or even just a lover of beautiful aesthetics, make sure that you pop in when you’re in the city. I didn’t want to load myself up with books on a trip but I did end up walking away with four new goodies for my collection, including an amazing edition of 1984 which…seems very timely right now.
Anyhoo…back to food.
We had an amazing dinner at Whiski Bar. I’d recommend making a booking, even on a Sunday. Ryan is allergic to making bookings so we got pretty lucky with an open table for dinner. I’ll say this up front: I did not try the haggis.
I will never try the haggis.
But, Ryan did! And he loved it. He had a haggis starter and haggis on his burger and I heard not a single complaint. The staff was great and the place was lively but cosy.
I think that the city is so fun to shoot in the winter. The sky is cloudy for most of the time, yes, but that just makes Ediburgh into a soft box. Dreamy, right?
The next thing that we knew that we wanted to tackle – aside from gaining 10lbs each – was Arthur’s Seat.
I don’t hike.
I don’t do outdoors.
But I did this!
We got up well before sunrise and made our way through the darkness up to the top. Climbing 893 feet on exactly one cup of just OK coffee with your phone light as a guide? Harrowing. But! Worth it. The freezing cold and lack of circulation to my fingertips was absolutely a reasonable price for some incredible sunrise views.
Tips: Shoes with good soles (especially if it’s boggy) and gloves! All the gloves! And hats and scarves. If you go in the summer this obviously doesn’t hold. Basically, prepare aggressively for the weather and have fun. It’s a gorgeous hike and the expansive view of the city below is something you won’t soon forget.
All the Harry Potter goodness
And, finally, if you’re pinched for time in Edinburgh but are also a die-hard Potter fan…there’s hope! There are quite a few things in close proximity to each other that you can do as a sort of self-guided tour of the world of Harry Potter.
First up is to visit The Elephant House, where J.K. Rowling famously wrote the books. The coffee is good, though that’s not really why you’re there, is it? Even on a Monday afternoon, it’s busy. We got incredibly lucky and snagged the window seat in the front to plot out our next steps. Pop in, grab some shortbread and a coffee, and bask in the bookish history of the joint. Totally worth it!
Next up, and just around the corner, you can visit the graves of a few characters in the Greyfriars Kirkyard, the cemetery that’s said to be the inspiration for Godric’s Hollow. Tom Riddle (with a different spelling) and McGonagall’s namesakes can be found there. We didn’t search for Snape and a few other characters (because at the end of the day it’s a graveyard and not a theme park) but there are said to be more around the grounds.
Because the streets of Edinburgh are seeping with SO much Potter history, you really have to plan a separate trip to see it all if that’s your goal. We were happy with hitting a few hot spots and carrying on but we’ll definitely aim to go back for a bit more exploring.
And that’s a wrap on Scotland, for now!
Until the next adventure!