First off, sorry for the tardy post; no excuse other than work work work! Find out how to get to Edinburgh and where to stay here; and have a nosey through my Outer Hebrides photodiary here.
I’m writing this from the airport departures lounge, about to take my fourth of six flights in as many days. It’s 5:30am and I’m knackered but so excited to arrive in Stornoway!
But back to Edinburgh. It’s a beautiful city. We spent all of our time in the old town (none of us were much taken with the new town). The buildings are so tall, and as the city itself is so hilly, it looks all higgledy piggledy and cute as hell.
Anywho, here’s a little snapshot of my few days in Edinburgh!
I’m a big fan of brunch (check out my Twitter list of top brunch destinations in London here), so we went to The Huxley to get our mid-morning fill of coffee and haggis. If you’ve never tried it, it’s really nice – just try to forget the fact that it’s made out of sheep’s stomach lining and you’ll be laughing.
See the penguins on parade
There was no way Beth was leaving without seeing the penguins on parade so after having a look-in at the famous pandas, we went to see the penguins. Once a day, they open the gates to see if the penguins want a walk and four kings came out to say hi.
Fun zoo fact: there are more pandas in Scotland than Tory MPs.
Go on a ‘ghost tour’
Seriously, this sounds cheesy and rubbish but it was amazing! The main part of the tour was less about ghosts and ghouls, and more about Edinburgh’s gruesome history.
Our hilarious, knowledgable and charismatic tour guide took us through old streets and gave us a little local history. Because us bloody English wouldn’t leave them alone, the Scots had to compress Edinburgh and build a wall around it for protection. This led to over-crowding, which is why the buildings had to have so many floors. But at the same time, many were pushed underground, where some pretty horrid things happened. We visited underground vaults, with a group of thirty or so squeezed in. 250 people lived in these vaults, and had a life expectancy of about ten months once they were down there. A blind eye was turned by officials as it was seen as population control, and having heard the stories of the pregnant women banished underground and the fates of their babies, I almost cried.
We ended up in a haunted mausoleum in the same graveyard JK Rowling visited to gather names for the Harry Potter series (including Scromounger, Crabbe, Goyle, and Tom Riddle!). Really worth the £13, and I managed to hold my shit together even in the claustrophobic underground spaces, so a pat on the back to little old me.
Take an umbrella
Imperative; standing in the queue for Edinburgh Castle in the wind and rain does not a happy girl make.
Visit Viva Mexico
I was loving the margaritas this trip and feel I have become quite the connoisseur; I didn’t find a better one than in Viva Mexico on Cockburn Street. They even gave us a sombrero and didn’t mind our raucous laughter until closing time.
Have you been to Edinburgh? Let me know your suggestions – next time, I want to do it like a local.