On our recent long drive back from the Scottish Highlands following a family wedding, we took a couple of nights out to discover the beautiful and historic city of Edinburgh. With a few recommendations in mind, we took to wandering the cobbled streets as true tourists before hunting out the hidden gems. Despite visiting for less than 48 hours, I absolutely fell in love with Edinburgh and thought it was only fair to share the places that made our brief city break so enjoyable.
Edinburgh is definitely a walking city. Wondering around on foot allows you to marvel at the historic buildings, cobbled streets and quaint shops from every angle. Despite the tourist dodging it entails, a walk up The Royal Mile comes highly recommended and after battling it uphill for 40 minutes you can truly appreciate the grandeur of Edinburgh Castle when you arrive. That said, the Castle’s watch over the city can be felt from much further afield; it is both intimidating and fascinating.
After the castle, the next place you’ll be told you must visit as an Edinburgh tourist is Scott Monument. It has to be said, the walk up Scott Monument is not for the faint hearted or unwilling. Squeezing past fellow tourists on one of the extremely narrow 287(!) spiral steps makes you value the stunning views from the top. There are multiple stages of the monument, all of which allow panoramic views of the city from a central location. It was most definitely one of the highlights from my trip.
A morning of playing tourist and battling with umbrellas through the crowds necessitated an out-of-way and low-key lunch for which we found the perfect location: Urban Angel Cafe. This place, which is found at the bottom of Hanover Street, was a fellow blogger’s recommendation, most likely because they have green juices and quinoa on the menu. I can vouch for the food first hand, get ready for a good Instagram.
One of the places that I had picked out as somewhere I wanted to take a peek inside was Jenner’s deperatment store. I recommend checking out the foodhall on the top floor and then wandering towards the centre to marvel at the Liberty’s-esque interior. Unless you’re there for shopping, you’ll only need to schedule a brief visit.
First on our list of recommendations for cocktails was Tigerlily. With an unassuming front, we were impressed by the array of flowers, marble top bars and velvet sofas when we walked inside. As early revellers, we watched the place fill as the evening went on and I can imagine that the chilled-out atmosphere would be transformed in a matter of hours.
You’ll find The Dome on many Edinburgh guides and list of recommendations but definitely for good reason. The domed ceiling (would you have guessed?!) is massively impressive and you may feel a little out of place in jeans and trainers, as I was!
A couple of other places worth mentioning for drinks are Chaophraya for their roof-top terrace with castle views, The Cafe Royal for a character-full pub with an iconic circular bar and The White Hart Inn if you want to check the ‘oldest pub in Edinburgh’ off your list.
My list of places to go the next time I’m in Edinburgh is already growing, where should I add next?