The last time I visited Scotland I was 12 years old on my first
trip to Europe with my family. My mom had planned an
incredible trip through France, England, and Scotland.
We loved it all, but Scotland was definitely the cherry on top
that surprised us the most. After the trip we joked with my mom
that she had planned it so that the people got nicer & nicer with
each country :) From French people to British people to Scottish
people, we got an upgrade with each new place we landed!
Since then, I’ve had a soft spot for this country and I was so
excited to return with Chase for his first time here. It lived
up to every good memory I had, from Edinburgh to the
highlands! We flew up for the weekend and packed in a good
portion of the country. This is the biggest perk of living in Europe
right now: traveling around so easily, quickly, cheaply, and
without jet lag! Even getting around Edinburgh itself was easy with apps like Moovit available to help you make sense of the public transport. Here are our two days in the capital!
*One quick note, these are all iPhone photos since my poor camera
got stolen a few weeks ago and i’m still in denial/ trying to
decide on a new camera … so pardon the iPhone photos!
A lassie who loves Scotland! ^^
We landed after a short one hour flight.
I LOVED that the second we stepped off the plane we
literally saw an older local man in a kilt just paying for parking! ^^
We packed a lot into our time in Edinburgh.
Our hotel for the weekend was the Macdonald Holyrood, which
was so cozy and a perfect location at the bottom of the Royal Mile.
We could walk through this tiny alleyway right through to the old town!
**More about the hotel here.
Hello, old town! We had a chilly few days here, but luckily there
wasn’t much rain. Plus, walking the hills warmed us right up!
A little gloomy and grey, but charming all the same ^^
At the top of the royal mile sits Edinburgh Castle.
Entering the castle! ^^
The views from inside the castle are some of the best since
it is perched up on a hill overlooking everything ^^We lucked out by visiting the castle on the day of a 21-gun salute.
It happened at 12 o’clock and it was captivating with the music
and ceremony leading up to the salute. We were in awe!Our selfie stick is still Chase’s arm. ^^Keep an eye out for the little dog cemetery when visiting the castle. So sweet. ^^When the streets of a city look like this, you know you’re in a good place. a quick kiss before leaving the castle!
Next we popped over to Waverely Bridge to get on this green beauty ^^
It was the perfect thing to do once the temperatures dropped! We hopped
on the big green bus for the Edinburgh Tour! Over the past few
years i’ve become the biggest fam of these bus tours in big,
unfamiliar cities. Although touristy, they are one of the best
ways to get around, learn about the city, and have hop on/
hop off flexibility all in one. The green loop ticket is £14
and we loved it. There is a live Scottish guide talking
about every stop and taking questions the entire time.
If anything it’s worth it just to hear that Scottish brogue :)
Our amazing guide as we toured around the city ^^
Some of the best stops included the Palace of Holyroodhouse,
Scottish Parliament, Old Town, National Museum of Scotland,
Grassmarket, Edinburgh Castle, and New Town.
My favorite line of the tour guide’s was “Almost every building I will
be telling you about is said to be haunted in some way or another.
It’s Edinburgh, after all!” Haha, it was so true – he mentioned it
about so many buildings and told lots of crazy stories. We also
saw all of the Harry Potter sights like the Elephant House cafe
where J.K. Rowling wrote the first book! Chase has never read
one word of HP (his loss) but don’t worry – I have us covered.
Pretty fun to drive up the Royal Mile ^^ Not a bad view.
After our ride around the city (which took about an hour and showed us a lot),
we were sufficiently warm enough to walk back down the Royal Mile,
shopping and popping into different museums. We had lunch on the
mind, but got a little bit distracted with some tartan scarf shoppping.
Recently I’ve come to the realization that my husband dresses
much better than I do…?? Not sure how this happened, but he is
just a dapper chap here in Europe and has better taste than me ;)
I can’t be too mad about it…he looks pretty cute in that scarf we chose!
Finally, time for lunch! We had worked up quite the appetite with
all of that castle-ing, hill walking, bus touring, and scarf shopping.
We popped into the famous World’s End pub right on the Royal Mile.
I loved their traditional menu and especially the plaid carpeting ^^
Their “award-winning fish & chips” was calling our name ^^
There was a huge rugby game going on this weekend in Edinburgh:
Scotland vs. England! This made the pub such a fun environment with
a lot of fans crowding in before the game. I laughed so hard at the “joke
of the day sign!” They also had non-alcoholic apple beers for us ^^
A hearty steak pie was also a must ^^ (Chase’s favorite in the UK / Ireland)^^ Patiently letting me take a photo of him before he ate ;)We also tried their famous fish chowder to warm up.
It was yummy & creamy like a clam chowder from home.
This meal filled us right up, as any good Scottish meal should!
Back to the Royal Mile we went. I spy another casual kilt! ^^
I had to pick up a few boxes of Scottish shortbread to send home.
They are extra delicious and my family LOVED them on our visit here.
The best is how it just says “pure butter” right on the packaging!
We had to take a picture at Jeffrey Street for my brother! It’s his name,
and he is 100% thoroughly obsessed with this country. I think he is
the reason my family came on that trip years ago in the first place!
He loved all things Scotland growing up: he had Braveheart
memorized, a Scottish flag in his room, & even played the bagpipes!
The shops along the mile are the cutest..although we were disappointed
there were no nutcrackers at all in this one! ^^ (Chase’s mom collects them)
We always seem to spend a long time in map stores ^^ My favorite.
Along the mile you’ll also find things like the “Museum of Childhood”
and the “Scottish Storytelling Museum” … so much old-fashioned charm.
By the end of our stroll the temperatures had dropped so much!
Chase had to head back to the hotel to get on a class conference
call for business school (he’s doing it part-time on weekends)…
so I met up with a darling friend for tea at the cutest of shops.
She is an expat who has lived in Germany (and now Scotland)
for the past few years and knows all things Europe so well.
Needless to say we had lots to chat about over tea!
Waiting in the freeeeezing cold! ^^
Jordan picked the cutest place possible for tea time.
We cozied up in our hotel the rest of the night and had dinner there,
watched the rugby game, and got to bed since we had an early
morning start the next day to head into the amazing Highlands!
We were enchanted by you, Edinburgh! We will be back!