One Week In Edinburgh, Scotland
Almost a year ago (11 months in fact), my fiancé and I planned a week-long trip in Edinburgh, Scotland. Here are a few things we did and where we stayed! Hopefully it’ll give you some ideas for your own trip!
At the time I was still in Dundee working on my master’s degree, but I had the whole month of April off for spring break – which was pretty awesome! I hadn’t seen my family or fiancé in person since Christmas, so I was really excited to have him there in Scotland with me to explore. We settled on Edinburgh, which we had technically been to before, but never actually visited. If you ready my Europe Backpacking Trip : Our 2-Week Itinerary post, then you know we just passed through Edinburgh on our way to other places. I had been before with my mom when I first moved to Scotland for school, and I couldn’t wait to go back!
Edinburgh is so much fun to explore, and there are so many seasonal things to see and do! Around Christmas time, there is a huge Christmas Market right in the city center, and in the fall they have their Military Tattoo which I would love to check out!
The day my fiancé was supposed to leave, he came down with a cold, which resulted in me getting sick a few days in to our trip. If you read my What To Do When You’re Sick post from Monday, then you know I’m under the weather now. I always manage to get sick this time of year – my allergies go crazy with the inconsistent weather! But being sick actually reminded me of this and inspired me to write this post today!
We stayed at the Carlton Hotel, which has since turned into a Hilton Property. It is very close to Waverly Station and central to almost everything, which meant we didn’t need to get a cab at any point during our stay. Waverly Station is the final dropping point and initial pickup for the airport bus, and close to almost everything in Edinburgh, so staying in this area is perfect if you don’t want to worry about transportation!
When I went with my mom the previous fall, we stayed at a cute B&B – Ellesmere Guest House, which was a little further away, but we had no problems walking. Plus, it was right across the street from a huge park, and the walk into town was beautiful! Any flights I took going back home in the US or coming back to the UK from home either started or ended in Edinburgh, so I’ve also stayed at The Inn Place and Jurys Inn. Both are fairly close to Waverly Station, which was great since I always had so much luggage with me!
The day my fiancé arrived, we checked in to the hotel, took a quick nap (since we were both sick and he was tired from the flight), and eventually caught a train heading to Dundee that evening. If you read Europe Backpacking Trip : Our 2-Week Itinerary post or my About page, then you know I went to University of Dundee for my master’s degree. I wanted to show my fiancé around town, have him see the campus and grab some fish and chips from my favorite place in town! The next day we hiked up Law Hill to get some shots of the city, and ended up heading back to Edinburgh later that evening.
The next day we went to Edinburgh Castle, and spent the day walking down the Royal Mile before making it to the Palace of Holyroodhouse. We also stopped in the Scotch Whisky Experience to learn some more about scotch whisky and pick up a few souvenirs!
We made a day trip out to Stirling to visit Stirling Castle, which was the childhood home of Mary Queen of Scots. Stirling is only an hour train ride away, and even though I had visited this same castle with my mom, I was so impressed that I needed to come again. There is so much to see, and the tours are wonderful! The castle itself is about a 15 min walk from the train station, but uphill the entire way there. With both of us being sick, it took us a little longer than usual and we worked up an appetite the time the tour was over. We grabbed a quick early dinner at a local pub before catching a train back to Edinburgh that late afternoon.
We woke up early the next morning to grab breakfast before catching a shuttle for the Glenkinchie distillery for a tour. Thankfully the pickup location for the shuttle was close to the hotel, so we didn’t have to rush. My fiancé loves Glenmorangie, and I read that Glenkinchie was similar so I figured it would be a fun tour. Turns out, he loved the scotch and ended up bringing a few bottles back home! The tour itself was wonderful, and because we were in a small group we were able to ask more questions and interact with the tour guide a bit more. We finished the tour in the early afternoon and decided we would head to the Botanical gardens for a few hours with the weather being so nice, before heading to Edinburgh Zoo. I had purchased tickets for an after-hours event at the zoo, and so had a few of my classmates so we were looking forward to seeing them in addition to all the animals!
We woke up early the next morning to grab some breakfast before heading to Arthur’s Seat. I was feeling extra terrible today, so I wasn’t very thrilled about physical activity. My fiancé on the other hand was pumped and practically running to get to the top and I had to make him slow down so I could keep up. While the giant hill looks pretty easy to hike up, with a cold it isn’t very fun. Thankfully we picked a pretty day to do it – the weather was beautiful! We were both pretty tired after, so we just walked around town for a bit before grabbing dinner and heading to Bramble Bar for drinks. I had read an article listing the best bars in the world, and Bramble Bar was on it! We made it a point to stop here for drinks, and we were so glad we did – the drinks were delicious and the bar was pretty fun to find!
We decided to take it easy today, as my fiancé was leaving early the next morning. We spent most of our day at the Surgeon’s Hall Museum and the National Museum of Scotland before making our way back toward the Royal Mile. I was able to hold some pretty cute (and mildly terrifying) owls, which was also pretty fun!
Sadly, this was the day my fiancé was heading back. We woke up early and grabbed a bus to the airport from Waverly Station. After he made it through security, I went back to the hotel and took a nap before checking out and hopping on my train back to Dundee. It was so nice having him meet me in Scotland, and despite being sick we had a wonderful time! Thankfully I was back home about two months later, and we can’t wait to go back!
Have any questions about our trip or have something to share? Comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!