We left Dublin on a prop plane, and 45 minutes later we landed in Scotland!
You can’t go to Edinburgh without seeing the Castle. Actually, that will won’t be an issue – its the first thing you see when entering the city! There is no way of missing it. The castle sits high up on a hill and lights up at night. The site of the castle has been occupied since the late Bronze Age and the buildings of the present castle date from the 12th to 21st Centuries. From the 15th century the castle’s residential role declined, and by the 17th century it was principally used as military barracks with a large garrison. We enjoyed exploring the castle – especially the Great Hall and the Prisoners of War Room. Try and get there earlier in the day as lines tend to form towards 11am.
Royal Mile Edinburgh
The Royal Mile is the name given to a succession of streets forming the main thoroughfare of the Old . It’s the place you find your bagpipers, tourist, kilts, pubs, restaurants, history or your Harry Potter scene! It was a fun street to stroll during the day and walk from the Castle all the way to the Queen’s residence – Palace of Holyroodhouse.
Torchlight Procession / Hogmanay
We celebrated the New Year while in Edinburgh. And I have to tell you, Edinburgh does it right! Hogmanay is what they call it over there – it’s the Scots word for the last day of the year. It’s actually celebrated for a couple of days – starting with the Torchlight Procession on December 30th. We were happy that we were able to see it – 30,000 people walking through the streets of Edinburgh with burning torches….talk about a procession! The next day events involved street parties, music and fireworks. January 1st was the polar plunge into the ocean – we didn’t participate in that. Burrr! More to come in the next post about our Hogmanay!
St. Giles Cathedral
St Giles’ Cathedral, also known as the High Kirk of Edinburgh, is the principal place of worship of the Church of Scotland in Edinburgh. Located on High Street (aka – the Royal Mile) this church is absolutely amazing. Its free to walk in – so go check it out! When we visited, there was a group of musicians playing classical music which made the whole experience breathtaking!
Calton Hill, is a hill in central Edinburgh, situated beyond the east end of Princes Street and included in the city’s UNESCO World Heritage Site. Views of, and from, the hill are often used in photographs and paintings of the city. We hiked up here on a cold, windy day and got our photographs. It’s pretty, but Trigere was frozen from the waist down, so not sure if she had the best experience. Dress warm!
Thistle Street (New Town)
Thistle while you work! Well we didn’t work, we played on this street – food, boutique shops and cobble stone. We stumbled upon this street and were happy we did. Kakao by K is a great boutique with a great style. We spent some money here and probably could have spent more! Cha Ching £, Cha Ching £ !! In the next post we will highlight our favorite restaurants on this street – there were a lot! New Town was really fun and we spent more time here than in the Old Town since it wasn’t highly concentrated with tourist. More locals – more our style!
Palace of Holyroodhouse
The Palace of Holyroodhouse, commonly referred to as Holyrood Palace, is the official residence of the British monarch in Scotland. We walked from the Castle down the Royal Mile to the Palace. We didn’t tour the inside since it was pretty pricey and didn’t feel it was worth it. Sorry Queen. The outside was pretty though!
A historic architecture, elegant curve and colourful shop fronts, Victoria Street is one of the city’s most picturesque locations in the city. There is a cute cheese shop, bakery, pubs and clothing stores to stop into on this street.
Princes Street + George Street (New Town)
This is the street where all the shops were – and shops like Lululemon. Yep – and they had a sale. Kind of funny, we got better deals over there on Lulu then there were back in the States – even with the conversion.
We had a great time strolling through the Christmas Marketing located in New Town. It was the perfect place to grab a hot chocolate, a crepe or pastry and shop around the booths. Tis the season!!
Though, weather didn’t permit, we would highly suggest doing this to future travelers. Arthur’s Seat is the main peak of the group of hills in Scotland which form most of Holyrood Park. It has amazing views of the city and would be a great morning workout!
Looks like it would be in a Harry Potter movie, right??? Se the castle in the background?