Travel

Exploring Edinburgh…

This week I’ve let a lot of things fall by the wayside, mostly because my parents were up visiting me so my time commitments went purely to them. Usually when they are here, we go shopping, perhaps drive out of Aberdeen and go and see a castle nearby, and just have a relaxing time catching up. But this time my parents stayed for longer, so I suggested a trip to the Scottish Capital to mix things up a bit!

We drove in on Saturday June 3rd, and decided to use a park and ride to get in which meant experiencing the trams for the first time. Although, once the initial thrill was over, I had to admit this wasn’t a particularly efficient way of getting around because they were actually pretty slow!

My dad is a huge technology lover and couldn’t resist a few tram pictures!

My parents do like a selfie or 2! I like making fun of them for it…

We stayed on the tram until Princes Street and then stopped for a quick Costa Coffee before making our way to the Royal Mile. You can’t be in the Scottish Capital without at least thinking of whisky, so we visited the Scotch Whiskey Experience and quickly went for a Silver Tour!

The tour begins with a barrel ride, as shown by my parents looking very excited! This rolls you around the basic process for all scotch whiskey distilleries and tells you how whiskey is made. You then wait for a few minutes and read some displays about the aging process of whiskey before being shown a little presentation which explains the various whiskey regions, before being given a little glass (which you get to keep) and selecting which region you’d like a sample from. Whilst my not-whiskey-loving mum opted for a lowlands whiskey, me, my boyfriend and my dad all opted for a wee dram of a Campbeltown Whiskey. None of us had heard of or tried a Campbeltown whiskey, and we loved the Glen Scotia we were given to try!

You are given your whiskey sample before taken into a display room of the world’s largest whiskey collection, which is impressive. After being shown how to taste your whiskey, you get a few minutes to take some photos and have a look before being shown into the whiskey bar. In there you can finish your dram, and then maybe try another if you feel up to it. The staff are on hand to help you choose! There’s also a huge whiskey shop attached, so I grabbed a special edition version of my favourite (Highland Park) and my dad grabbed a bottle of the Glen Scotia we’d sampled. All in all, it’s a great attraction for avid whiskey fans or whiskey newbies alike!

Next, we went for lunch in a pub on the Royal Mile; Deacon Brodies Tavern. It was super busy so we had a long wait for food, but the Haggis, Neaps and Tatties, Scotland’s National Dish, I had made the whole wait worth it!

It may not look appetizing but I swear blind it was delicious!

Next up was the most typical, yet my favourite, attraction in Edinburgh; the castle!

I love Scottish history and always have to visit a castle if there is one! In Edinburgh castle you can visit the Royal apartments, which used to house the Stewart Monarchs of Scotland, including Mary, Queen of Scots. You can also see the Scottish Crown Jewels, which are pretty impressive and include the famous Stone of Destiny, which Scottish Kings would sit on to be crowned, until the English king, Edward I, rode off with it in 1296 as punishment for the Scots for rebelling against him. You can also visit various military museums within the castle grounds, and see some spectacular views of the city from the various viewpoints.

After the castle we had a quick cup of tea in a nearby coffee shop and then headed back to Princes Street for the tram. Sadly, we only had a day. This is only my second trip to Edinburgh, and there is a huge host of attractions to see, such as Camera Obscura, The Edinburgh Dungeons, Holyrood Palace and various tours operated. If you want shopping then head to Princes Street for every shop imaginable. Unpopular opinion – I think Edinburgh is better than London! It’s cheaper and usually less busy!

Have you been to Edinburgh? Let me know in the comments!

Rachel xxx

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2 thoughts on “Exploring Edinburgh…

  1. Sounds like you had a great trip! I don’t think I have been to the castle since I was about 10! I love Edinburgh and have just got back from there myself! The national museum of Scotland has some great collections and the botanical gardens are really beautiful too! I have a few recent posts on my blog actually about my trip! 🙂 xo

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