“Where is the coward that would not dare to fight for such a land as Scotland?”
– Sir Walter Scott
Edinburgh the heart of Scotland is the place I am privileged to call home for the time being. I have lived in a cosy one bed flat at the top of Leith for 4 months now and i’m loving my time here.
I have had itchy fingers and felt like writing even though I haven’t been able to travel very far since Prague. On the other hand I think that there is no place like home so why not blog about the beautiful and historic capital of Scotland!?
If you have a few days to spare you should visit Edinburgh, it is extremely accessible with the multiple stations and is home to Scotland’s largest airport.
During your stay in Edinburgh of course you will want to explore Princes Street, with all the best high street shops as well as having a tremendous view of the Castle while you do so. However, if you are looking for more designer shops, upmarket bars and restaurants go to George Street which is located 2 streets above Princes Street. If you enjoy the Spanish cuisine don’t miss out on Cafe Andaluz which is a charming Spanish Tapas restaurant offering delicious food (best tapas I have ever had)! If you are looking for something special, The Dome is a very famous restaurant and bar which offers stunning Afternoon Teas and is home to one of Edinburgh’s largest Christmas trees in December. However, The Dome is only for those who have a slightly more generous budget!
Walking down from George Street you will come to Frederick Street and Hanover Street which is home to all my favourite indulgences…what’s not to love about boozy milkshakes, unique bars and irresistible hot chocolate! Yes these small streets have it all! If you enjoy fantastic milkshakes and are eager to shake things up a bit enter down the stairs to the Boozy Cow and grab a burger and a shake…would highly recommend the Reece’s Peanut buttercup shake! Also, if you are looking for a fun cocktail experience then pop into Hoot The Redeemer’s. This bar really is something special…although it’s easy to walk past because it’s an old door which is always open to reveal the stairs down to the bar doors where you will be greeted by the first surprise of your visit. One of the best bars I have ever come across! If all that wasn’t enough to make you head straight to these streets then visit the Hotel Chocolat shop and head to the cafe at the back to order the most indulgent hot choc you have ever tried. They have flavours such as chocolate orange, ginger and chilli!
If you are keen to know more about what makes Edinburgh special visit the Castle and journey back in time or have fun at Camera Obscura which is a whole attraction dedicated to the world of optical illusions. (Fun for all ages)…I promise!
If you do any attractions in Edinburgh it has to be The Royal Yacht Britannia which has remained Scotland’s Best Tourist Attraction for the 11th year. The ship is docked in Leith which is only a 15 minute bus ride from Princes Street. The admission charge is £15.50 for an adult and is very good value for money, as the tour takes roughly an hour and a half to enjoy.
Walk , walk and walk again
Edinburgh is a very easy city to walk around (despite the hills) so whenever you feel like stretching your legs avoid the bus fair and walk! You can easily walk to the Royal Mile from Princes Street via The Mound (steps) and get a beautiful view over Edinburgh. In addition to the infamous Arthur’s Seat you can also enjoy the Edinburgh skyline from the top of Carlton Hill (one of my favourite places). If you keep walking past Waverly station you will see a hill with various monuments, that’s Carlton Hill! It won’t take you long to climb the steps to the top of the hill (best time to climb to the top is to see the sun setting over the city.)
This section is dedicated to the hidden wonders of Leith! Many tourists do not stroll down into Leith from the city centre as they are unaware of the fantastic eateries, trendy bars and quirky gift shops that occupy the area.
You can reach Leith by journeying down the longest street in Edinburgh (Leith Walk) which will take you roughly 20 minutes from Waverly station. If you fancy a tasty cocktail in one of Leith’s coolest bars , The Lioness of Leith, continue down into the heart of Leith. As you are strolling nearer the sea take a minute to enjoy The Shore area where you are spoilt for choice if you want some good food. A personal favourite is The Granary! It is an intimate dining opportunity with a relaxed atmosphere, friendly staff and the tastiest local food. If you are interested on a longer walk in Leith head to the Western Harbour. I love it there, it’s a beautiful location to visit.
If you enjoy climbing or looking for something a little different to do then head to Alien Rock which is a climbing wall and bouldering centre near the harbour.
“Piled deep and massy, close and high; Mine own romantic town.”
Sir Walter Scott