So, whilst I promise that I will do my best to achieve that, with Edinburgh in particular I would urge you to go and see it for yourself (taking onboard my pearls of wisdom, of course). It is truly the most beautiful city, my favourite that I have discovered so far.
Before I get started I should reiterate how important it is to plan your trip out before you go – we were only there for a long weekend (Friday morning through to Sunday), so it was particularly important that we did our research, knew the places we really wanted to see, and planned out some nice places to eat out. We researched on numerous blogs, as well as using our 36 hours in Europe book to give us a real idea of what we could squeeze in to a small trip. Once we had our lists of things we wanted to do, we used a DK Eyewitness Pocket Map and book to map out locations so that we can pull together an itinerary that would make sense based on locale. Simples!
You will find out all about the culinary delights that we experienced in Edinburgh in a separate post later this week, but to find out where the boy and I stayed on our trip, and what we did there, follow me and explore our Edinburgh city break.
There are lots of fabulous places to stay in Edinburgh, but our focus was on saving pennies to spend while we were there, rather than splashing out on luxurious accommodation.
So we made our first foray into Air BnB. After an afternoon spent trawling the site I came across a beautiful looking one bedroom flat, that boasted a castle view, central location and stylish decor. We weren’t disappointed. The view was absolutely stunning, and you could take it all in from the vantage point of the sofa.
It was small but perfectly formed, and had everything we needed. It was clean, comfortable and made getting around a breeze – we walked everywhere with this as our base, and were never more than 30 minutes or so from anywhere that we wanted to visit.
Emma, who owns the flat, actually has three other flats in Edinburgh, so I would definitely recommend you give them a browse.
If you would prefer to stay in a hotel, we passed Motel One while we were there, it has rooms from £69 and is very centrally located, just up the road from Edinburgh Waverley station. It looked pretty funky from the outside, so if you do go and stay you will have to let me know what it is like ready for my return trip to the Burgh…
We visited Dean Village on our first afternoon in Edinburgh. It wasn’t only the name that drew us in (which the village shares with my boy) but the beautiful photography that we saw when doing our research.
But nothing will beat seeing it with your own eyes. Accessed near Dean’s Bridge, the village is barely outside of the city centre. Within seconds you feel like you are miles away from the buzz of a city.
Dean Village is not only one of the most peaceful and serene places I have ever experienced, it is utterly beautiful and unspoilt.
There is stunning architecture, tranquil spaces and an overriding feeling of community (even when you don’t actually see any people about). If I lived in Edinburgh I am confident that this would be my happy place.
I would recommend wandering up the river towards Stockbridge where you can find lots of kookie shops and delicious places to eat (including a cheese shop and the perfect brunch location…).
Edinburgh’s castle is notorious, so it goes without saying that you should visit while you are there. We grabbed ourself a guidebook so that we had a keepsake AND knew exactly what we are looking at as we wandered the grounds.
There’s lots to do and see. Castles always make me marvel at the thought of those that have trod the same path as you thousands of years ago.
Even if castles aren’t really your thing, it is worth a visit for the spectacular views.
Plus, we got a free sample of the nicest whisky I have ever sampled in the shop there, which thoroughly warmed our cockles as we wandered around in the drizzling rain.
You might start to notice a theme here, a trip to Edinburgh is all about its awe-inspiring views. From the vantage point of Calton Hill you can see the old town in all of its glory.
It’s another view, yes, but Arthur’s Seat really makes you work for a spectacular view. I mean, I’d watched the film One Day and they didn’t seem to struggle to get to his highnesses seat quite as much as I did (though, incidentally it is believe that Arthur’s seat isn’t actually connected to King Arthur at all).
So take your flat shoes and a steady nerve. But 100% make sure you do it. We went up around 3.45pm at the end of October and it was absolutely perfect timing. It took us around 40 minutes to get to the top and not only did we have a panoramic view of the city, we saw the sunset up there. It was absolutely stunning. Don’t linger too long though, I wouldn’t fancy scaling my way back down in the dark…
the stand comedy club
Heading to a comedy club came up frequently in our Edinburgh research, and the Stand came highly recommended by friends. So we booked our tickets for first evening in Edinburgh.
Our lovely friends advised us to get there early, so we dutifully rocket up at around 6.45 (the venue opens at 7) with intentions to have our dinner there. I am really pleased we did as the queue was already snaking back. We managed to get a table when we went in, but it was probably one of the last ones remaining that was a safe distance from the stage (those that brave the front row know they are going to become part of the show).
It was well worth the effort though, the compere alone was hilarious, but we were also treated to four other acts. Silky the comedian was my favourite, but the whole night was a really good giggle.
I really can’t emphasise enough how much you need to add Edinburgh to your travel ‘to do’ list. I have loved everywhere I have visited this year. But this beautiful city is by far my favourite get away to date. Where Paris oozes style and leaves you in awe, Edinburgh oozes character and swallows you. It makes you feel at home but presents news places to explore at every turn. What more could you want from your next travel adventure?