Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Scotland Mini Tour Pt.1 - Edinburgh Photo Diary

This is a photo of the Edinburgh skyline taken from Calton Hill

I really don't know why I waited so long to visit Scotland.  It is a long journey from south Wales to Scotland but if I can get a 24 hour flight to New Zealand then there is no excuse for not visiting a part of the UK that has so much to offer. It is filled with castles, beautiful lochs and mountains, whiskey and a rugged landscape. Martyn and I had wonderful time in Scotland and we are already planning our next visit for our honeymoon. My trip with Martyn included stops in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Oban, Isle of Mull & Fort William and we travelled over 1000 miles throughout our holiday. The first port of call was Edinburgh and I've shared some of my favourite photos below (I took over 500+ throughout my trip) I'm pleased with how much we managed to cram into just 24 hours without feeling rushed. 

this is a picture of the edinburgh skyline

this is a picture of the national monument on Calton Hill

This is a picture of a sunset over buildings in edinburgh




This is a picture of the curved victoria street in edinburgh

This is a photo of graves and monuments in greyfriars kirkyard in edinburgh


This is a photo of the central all in the national museum in edinburgh

this is a picture of the lewis chessmen on display in a museum

This is a photo of edinburgh castle taken from grass market


Stay

We only had 24 hours in Edinburgh as we wanted to cram as much into our Scotland tour as we possibly could. After a mammoth 7-hour train journey from Newport to Edinburgh with CrossCountry we needed a hotel that was conveniently located so we opted for the Premiere Inn City Centre Royal Mile. It was only a few minutes walk from Waverley railway station and all the main sights, it was perfect for us. We dropped off our cases and headed straight up Calton Hill to take in the sights of the city. It was also easy for us to leave our bags there once we had checked out, do some sightseeing and pick them up again before getting our train to the next destination on our trip - Glasgow. The bed was comfy and the breakfast was tasty, not a cool apartment but it certainly did the job for one night.

See & Do

Calton Hill - The first thing we did we we arrived in Edinburgh was drop off our bags and head straight up Calton Hill. The panoramic views from Calton Hill were very impressive. We were able to 
see major landmarks such as Arthur’s Seat, Holyrood Palace and the Parliament, Leith and the Firth of Forth, Princes Street and the Royal Mile leading up towards the castle. Calton Hill is also home to lots of historic monuments including the National Monuments which was inspired by the Parthenon in Athens, the Nelson monument and the Dugald Stewart Monument.

Ghost tour - Edinburgh is known as one of the most haunted cities in Europe with a history of witchcraft, grave digging and the plague. There are lots of free tours in Edinburgh where you tip your guide the end and this one was the perfect way to get a feel for the city and its ghostly tales and rich but gruesome history. Who wouldn't want to spend their Saturday night lurking around a graveyard with a group of strangers?

Greyfriars Kirkyard Greyfriars Kirkyard has been the resting place for some of Edinburgh’s most well-known residents since 1562 when Mary Queen of Scots granted the use of the former convent garden as a burial ground. Greyfriar’s is known for its grave robbers but also a faithful Skye terrier, Greyfriar’s Bobby, who watched over his master's grave for fourteen years after his death *sob*. The graveyard is full of hauntingly beautiful monuments but it has also served as inspiration for characters created by J.K. Rowling. Look out for the grave of Thomas Riddle (Thomas Ridell)  - You-Know-Who! Visiting the graveyard was the highlight of my trip to Edinburgh, what does this say about me?...

Victoria Street - This narrow curved street with historic high-rise buildings has an air of Diagon Alley about it. There are lots of shops with pretty, colourful fronts, cafes and restaurants that wind their way down from the Royal Mile to Grassmarket. This was a great place to get a coffee and browse some independent book shops and boutiques. 

The National Museum of Scotland - This really was an impressive building, the original Victorian museum is Grade 1 listed with a breathtaking central hall. Ten new galleries opened in 2016 to celebrate its 150th anniversary year and the varied exhibits suited Martyn and me perfectly. Martyn enjoyed the interactive exhibits focussed on science, communication, and transport (for a couple of train lovers it was exciting to see the two oldest railway locomotives in the world) and I loved the design and Scottish history galleries. VisitScotland has shared some highlights of the collection here but my favourite items were the Lewis Chessmen and panels designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

Eat

The Food + Flea Market - Food + Flea is a 7 day a week street food market in the heart of Edinburgh, just off the Royal Mile. The market hosts a rotating roster of street food stalls and there is also a flea market on Saturdays and Sundays. I had a delicious honey chipotle buttermilk-fried chicken burger from the Buffalo Truck and it was a great place to escape the crowds of tourists and chain restaurants on the Royal Mile. 

I would love to return to Edinburgh as there really is too much to explore in just one day. I was able to get a good overview and feel for the city but if I return I would love to visit the castle, climb Arthur's seat, experience the local nightlife and stroll around the tranquil Dean Village on the Waters of Leith. 

Gemma
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33 comments:

  1. I'm hoping to explore more of the UK this year too! Scotland looks lovely.

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  2. Scotland is on my bucket list and will be ticked off real soon. Thanks for the guide

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  3. Oh wow!! really gorgeous photos! Love the skyline one and the one with the pink clouds, so pretty

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    1. thank you, I was really luck with a nice sunlight and stunning surroundings. I don't have much of a natural eye for photos so I have been trying to improve my skills :)

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  4. absolutely stunning photographs!! even though it looks like it's freezing, you've really captured it in a great light.

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  5. It looks like you guys had a LOT of fun!

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  6. Edinburgh looks amazing and looks like u have a great selection of places and things to do there.

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  7. I never realised how good Edinburgh looked! It's definitely on my list of places to go this year... If I can understand the accent that is. It's a bit too much for my foreign ear. Haha!

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  8. Holy cow, 7 hours journey that is insane! Still it is worth it, I like the sound of the ghost tour x

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    1. It was so chilled out but a really long journey. I read my guide books, listened to some music and enjoyed the stunning scenery on the way.

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  9. I'd love to explore more of Scotland! I've only been to Edinburgh and each time I've got the coach which has taken 10 hours overnight!

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  10. Your photos are simply stunning! I would love to visit Edinburgh, the architecture of these historic buildings is just gorgeous.

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  11. Wow your Scotland trip sounds amazing, I've only done Edinburgh and a quick stop off in Glasgow but I have to admit Edinburgh is one of my favourite cities x

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  12. Such amazing pictures. Scotland is such an amazing place.

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  13. Oh wow looks a really gorgeous place, it's always been on my to do list, hopefully soon!

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  14. Wow such gorgeous photographs...Edinburgh is a great city!

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  15. Sounds like a fab trip - i love scotland and visit often as all my friends live there. Glasgow is fun to go shopping and visit :) you've seen more of Edinburgh than i have visiting a few times :)

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  16. Wow great pictures and post. Hope to explore it some day

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  17. We're guilty of not visiting Edinburgh yet! But it's on our list of destinations in the U.K. Fab photos and so much history!

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  18. Stunning pictures, I've always wanted to go to Edinburgh but have not made it there yet

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  19. What a great tour. I love the photo's. I haven't been to Scotland yet but it looks great there.

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  20. Your photos are just beautiful and I hope to get back to Edinburgh at some point x

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  21. Wow these photos look amazing, I haven't been to Edinburgh in ages will have to go back one day

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  22. Edinburgh is one of my favourite cities and your pictures are beautiful by the way! x

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  23. I went to University in Edinburgh and lived there for 4 years and your photos have taken me on a journey down memory lane. It's such a beautiful city and so historic. I can't believe I've not been back for 10 years - decided I need to go back now!

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    1. It would be an amazing uni city, lots of green space and galleries. I really needed more time to explore, think I'll head back up next year and squeeze in a day trip to Sterling too.

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  24. I've been to Edinburgh once and it was a couple of years ago, but you just reminded me of some of the places I visited then.

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  25. Edinburgh is one of my favourite places, it's just so beautiful. Sounds like you had a great trip and got to visit lot's of the city's sights! xo

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  26. Gosh, what great photos! I really want to visit Edinburgh, it's been on my to visit list for ages xx

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  27. Your pictures make me miss Edinburgh so bad!

    hejnerissa.com

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  28. Ah I really need to make a return trip back to Edinburgh!
    Sophie
    x
    A Story of a Girl

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  29. I love Edinburgh, it is one of my favourite places!

    Maria xxx

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