I visited Scotland for the first time in June this year, and today I realised I am the worst travel blogger, because apart from introducing you to a little cutie called Bertus, I haven’t posted about it at all and I have no idea why! I spent five days travelling around Dunblane, Falkirk and Edinburgh with one of my best friends. We actually stayed with her Auntie, however you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to hotels, hotels, or even serviced apartments in Edinburgh . It was a lovely chilled out week exploring a country that is so close but yet took me 27 years to get to, I even found some vegetarian haggis so I could try the traditional dish of Haggis, neeps and tatties – which I fully recommend.
Of the places we visited, it was Edinburgh I was drawn into, the Georgian buildings and winding roads, all overlooked by the castle on the hill, a truly picturesque and captivating city. Any Harry Potter fan will know that J.K Rowling spent a lot of time writing the first books here, and it is obvious the architecture helped set the imagination for some of our favourite places in the wizarding world. From the short time I spent in Edinburgh, it was obvious it is a city filled with creativity and bursting with inspiration. With flights as cheap as £30 return from London, here are five reasons to add Edinburgh to your list of travel destinations –
- The views
Being a city with many hills you do need to be prepared for a lot of walking, but it is worth, Edinburgh has some killer views that go on for miles on a clear day. My particular favourite was from the top of Camera Obsercua, as this is the only place that you can get a view down The Royal Mile as well as a 360 panorama of the city. Other breathtaking views can be taken in from the Edinburgh Castle and King Arthur’s seat, unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to hike King Arthur’s seat this time, but I will be making a return visit to do so.
- Harry Potter
As I previously mentioned the Harry Potter stories were first penned by J.K Rowling in the town of Edinburgh, and it appears it is something they have rightly come to celebrate. The Elephant House cafe (21 George IV Bridge) constantly had streams of people outside and queues of people waiting to go inside to see where the magic began, and all over the city Harry Potter walking tours take place showcasing the buildings and streets that helped shape the wizarding world.
3. Fringe Festival
For three weeks every August the Fringe takes over Edinburgh for the largest Arts festival in the world. Although the city will be at its busiest, it is when Edinburgh comes alive as performers take to hundreds of stages across the city, in 2016 there were 50,266 performances of 3,269 shows in 294 venues. From theatre, comedy, dance, physical theatre, circus, cabaret, children’s shows, musicals, opera, music, spoken word, exhibitions and events, the Fringe caters for everyone and showcases talents new and established. If you are planning to visit Edinburgh during August, be sure to book your accommodation far in advance, as it will book up quickly.
4. Edinburgh Zoo
I could not write a post on Edinburgh and not feature its two most famous residents – Tian Tian and Yang Guang, the Giant Pandas that reside at the city zoo and the only two Pandas in the UK. Arrive early to ensure you receive an allocated time to visit these lazy bears, otherwise seeing them is not guaranteed, you can see my full post on Edinburgh Zoo here. An allocated morning or afternoon is probably all that is needed for the zoo if you do not have too much time in the city.
5. The atmosphere
I sometimes find it incredibly hard to describe why I loved a city so much; while it is sometimes a combination of the surroundings and the attractions, a lot of the time it is simply just the feel of the city and Edinburgh has just that. Friendly welcoming people, beautiful buildings and a world of creativity, I feel it would be hard to visit Edinburgh and not leave full of inspiration.
I felt Edinburgh was the perfect introduction to Scotland that has left me wanting to explore of the country, and being such a short distance from England I feel more people should take more advantage of this. Where are your favourite places in Scotland to visit?