We are so thankful that we have finally managed to get away…
… it may be only a few days, and it isn’t Copenhagen or Kiev, but we are feeling very lucky!
Nick and I have had a fabulous 48 hours in Scotlands Capital – Edinburgh.
I’ve been here on work trips, flying in and out for events, but never had time to explore the city so we couldn’t wait to pop on our ‘tourist hats’ and check out what Edinburgh had to offer!
The train journey up from Leeds is a great start – the scenery is beautiful, travelling along the coastal track, whizzing past Alnwick and Berwick On Tweed, spotting the Angel of the North and arriving at the very central Edinburgh Waverley Station.
Of course like all our journeys, we always have a drama! We travelled from Leeds to York in plenty of time to catch our connection train to Edinburgh. We’d treated ourselves to first class tickets and had a good 40 minutes to spare to relax in the LNER lounge and have a coffee. Strolled along to the platform (so let me plant the seed – I don’t travel lightly, especially in the UK, 3 pairs of shoes, an outfit for everyday, an outfit for every evening, make up etc etc – Nick is exactly the same, minus the make up 😉 so the case is massive!) 2 minutes before the train arrives there is a platform change. Those of you that know York station will remember there is lots of steps and those of you that know me, know I can’t run, so we ‘run’ (with the giant bag- poor Nick) up the steps along to another platform and jumped on the train to Edinburgh- the wrong train!
With 10 seconds to spare, ran to another platform desperately pressing the open button on the train side, to be told by the station conductor to stand back as the train was leaving – thank goodness, it was the London train! As we turned around in dismay, luck was on our-side. In a haze of light, glowing on the tracks was our train! It had been delayed by 2 minutes and like something from a superhero comic, Nick threw me, the bag and himself on and we were Scotland bound!
We met our lovely friends on the train, had a few drinks to celebrate our arrival and a good catch up. We’d booked into the Motel One – it was the perfect location for us walk to all the sights and from the train station. It’s a gem of a hotel, really clean, great service, fabulous breakfast and lovely bar area. Fab price too.
First stop was Edinburgh Castle, wandering through the narrow cobbled streets, walking up ancient steps and passing through hidden closes, we really began to get a feel for this old city. As we arrived at the Castle and looked over the whole city, the Firth Of Forth and Arthur’s Seat we definitely had a wow moment – what a view!
The castle was really interesting with stories about bygone days, baronial halls, tales of the Jacobite Rebellion and beautiful portraits. The National Scottish War Museum is also here and well worth a visit.
That evening we headed for a bite to eat and booked into a cool pub with live Scottish Folk Music. These guys were so talented, fiddle, flute, and guitar- absolutely great!
After a leisurely morning with a long breakfast (something we never really get time for) we were excited to be spending an hour or so in a bubble. I’ve wanted to do this for ages, ideally looking up at the stars in the wadi rum, but over looking the Edinburgh Skyline was good enough for today! It was pretty cool (well boiling inside) and a really unusual concept.
We then headed to Mary King Close. Bea and Will had recommended this! It was mega interesting. I won’t tell you the whole story – “Experience over 400 years of history, and discover the stories of your character guide. From myths and legends, to the deadly plague epidemic, and a famous royal visitor – there’s a myriad of tales just waiting to be told on this one hour guided tour” The tourist in use could resist the photo fridge magnet and matching key ring!
We couldn’t visit Edinburgh and not walk the Royal Mile, armed with our new found knowledge from the tour we wondered from the Castle to Holyrood Palace, there are some beautiful building and lots of shops, including a Christmas Shop!! Unfortunately we ran out of time to go into the Palace but there is always next time.
Tonight was date night! It felt so good to get dressed up (Top Tip don’t wear high heels!) We had booked in for cocktails at Cocktail Geeks – this is a very quirky concept, originally a pop up company around Edinburgh this brand is now based in the arches of the train station and changes it’s theme, decor and cocktails every 4 months. For us it was hero’s and villains and we felt very adventurous with our cocktail choices, a big difference for our usual expresso martini and amaretto sour!
It’s beautiful walking through the city on an evening, wonderful architecture lit up with warm lighting, log fires burning brightly in traditional pubs and laughter and chatter coming from bars and restaurants. It’s definitely a feel good city. We strolled through the old town to Cafe Andaluz for our Tapas (another Bea recommendation) we couldn’t wait to taste the culinary delights of Spain and boy did we indulge! I could list and list what is on the menu, but the Padron Peppers, Chorizo and Paella were delightful – as were the Churros and melted chocolate, ohhh and a bottle Tempranillo 😊 After chatting with the waiting team about how fabulous northern Spain is, we’ve now added that to our list of ‘must visits’
There are loads and loads of restaurants, all sorts of varieties. Our friends ate at Indian restaurant ‘ Ronaq Restaurant Waverley’ claiming it to be the ‘Best Ruby Murray’ ever!
We finished our evening in a cosy and characterful bar, hidden down an old town close called – Half Way House. This pub is a must visit!
And that’s that, I’m now sat on the train writing my blog, with a coffee and cookie looking at the views of Durham Catherdral and watching the deers playing in the fields.
We’ve had a wonderful weekend and look forward to visit again soon. ❤️