My brother has made his home in Edinburgh. He went to University there and stayed. I don’t blame him. It is one of my FAVOURITE cities. So much history, so much to do and it’s a looker as well in my opinion. And also the people are, in my experience, VERY friendly.
I was also born in Scotland so it has a special place in my heart.
Back at the start of the year I wrote a post about struggling for ideas for my daughter’s 6th birthday. One of the possible ideas was a Mother-Daughter girly shopping trip. Some time with just the two of us, which is very rare. I decided that instead of the shopping trip, we would go up for a cheeky weekend to visit ‘Uncle D’ and his partner. As a family we have visited in the past, of course, but this time it was just the two of us.
After battling through local Goodwood Festival of Speed traffic, and then a fun fun fun 3 hour plane delay at Gatwick, a taxi drive which included a debate with the taxi driver about the Brexit/Remain result, and a climb up to the 5th floor of my brother’s tenement flat (no lift!), my girl and I finally made it to bed at 1.00am. She did SO well. The whole afternoon and evening was a rush but she was brilliant, and didn’t moan once.
The next day a miracle happened – there was sunshine over the city, and it was hot (ok..warm..). First things first was a home-cooked breakfast
lunch of waffles, eggy bread, bacon, scrambled egg, tomatoes. Delish. Then we got the bus into the city centre for a wander around. L had specifically mentioned she wanted to see ‘the man with the bagpipes’ so we headed for Princes Street, the main shopping street, to find a piper. It didn’t take long to find him! Bagpipe music, when played well, gives me goosebumps. It was a very touristy thing to do, but L had her photo for Monday’s Show and Tell at school. Mission Accomplished!
After seeing the Bagpiper, Laila spied a bungee-style trampoline ride which she was desperate to go on. She had fun on that while Uncle D and Uncle A went to get a Costa. After that we asked her what she wanted to do. She said, without much hesitation, ‘Shopping!’ ‘That’s my girl’ I thought, as we all rushed into the 4-floor H&M just opposite…
5 hours later…..!
We then decided to have a drink and snack, so headed to Rose Street (which runs behind and parallel to Princes Street) and stopped at Jamie’s Italian. We sat outside, enjoying a drink in the sun, while a street entertainer sang some ace tunes. It was really nice just sitting and watching city life buzz by.
Afterwards we headed up to Calton Hill. This is situated roughly a 15 minute walk east of Princes Street. Calton Hill was the first public recreational space in Edinburgh, created for residents in 1775 when a public walkway was built for access. It is now part of the Edinburgh UNESCO World Heritage Site.
There are several famous monuments at the top. Arguably the most imposing is the unfinished National Monument of Scotland. Construction started in 1826 after the Napoleonic Wars and was supposed to replicate the Parthenon in Greece. There are also two observatories (built in 1792 and 1818), The Royal High School (built in 1829), Nelson’s Monument, which has a timepiece that ships used to set their chronometers too, the beautiful circular Dugald Stewart Monument, and a monument to Robert Burns.
There are stunning 360 degree views over the main city, towards the famous rock Arthur’s Seat, over the sea to Fife and the waters of Leith. The weather was so clear that the views were stunning. A great chance for me to snap away with my camera. The walk up to Calton Hill was not as hard as I thought it would be. Having spent several years wanting to go up there and viewing it from afar, we definitely chose the right day to go up.
The weather on the Sunday was completely different, much more like what I am used to in Edinburgh; overcast and rainy! We had a lazy one. We ate a late breakfast at Diner7 in Leith, hosted by Uncle A who works there. We then walked to Ocean Terminal, where the Royal Yacht Britannia is moored, for some more sightseeing
shopping, and rounded off the afternoon with a walk around Leith Water.
We had such a great time, but it went so quick. We had a plane to catch on the Sunday evening, and we decided to use the new-ish Tram Service to get to Edinburgh Airport. It was a different way of getting across the city, and I would highly recommend it. Quicker than the bus, and easier to hop on and off of than the train. L loved the way the carriages bent round the corners! We finally arrived back home in Chichester at 1.00am! Needless to say L wasn’t very productive at school the next day!
I really valued the one-on-one time we had with each other, and so did L I think. She is so different when apart from her sister and it melts my heart to see her growing up
too quickly. And getting to see my brother and brother-in-law was a brucey-bonus!
Edinburgh is a really fun city with loads to do and see. Transport around the city is plentiful and good value. There are loads of taxis, buses and trams, and more importantly, the city is so interesting to walk around. Places we have visited over the years..The Castle, Palace of Holyroodhouse, Calton Hill, The National Museum of Scotland, Princes Street Gardens
and the 4-floor H&M. But we have not even scratched the surface of what to see.
Thanks for reading! xxx