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Friday, 13 April 2018

Edinburgh Travel guide x



I recently ventured across the pond to the land of the scots and I could not wait to share this one.
I promised myself that this year I would become more adventurous and plan a couple trips abroad. Edinburgh was always a city I wanted to visit and what better way to kick off the new year than with a trip! I enjoyed Edinburgh so much and I instantly fell in love. From its beautiful architecture to its lovely people and its homely feel, Edinburgh has it all and is the most perfect city for a quick weekend away. Its narrow and cobbled streets are steeped with history and magic and the beautiful castle towers over the city providing a constant reminder of Scotland's beautiful heritage. It truly is breath taking and the pictures below don't do it justice.

From the minute I arrived in Edinburgh I felt safe and at ease and I couldnt wait to explore in the daylight. It reminded me so much of Ireland, green, beautiful and submerged in history everywhere you go. Edinburgh was one of those places that caused me to leave a little bit of my heart behind.  Its my idea of a perfect city and left me wanting to experience more.

~ Day One ~ 

Having our hotel based on the Royal Mile it was the perfect place to start off our tour of the Old town.  Edinburgh's Royal mile is one of the cities most iconic streets. Its long cobbled pavement stretches through the heart of the beautiful city almost appearing to reach Scotland's rugged coast. Its teeming with beautiful tourist shops, selling everything from dainty souvenirs to Scotlands gorgeous cashmere.  Its well worth a visit. I managed to catch the most beautiful sunset here and Its a view I will never forget. 



One of our very first stops was St. Giles Catherdral. Whats a city tour without visiting its cathedral right ? Although in my opinion all of Edinburgh's buildings were just as pretty as its churches.
Another must see in the royal mile area is Cockburn street. This was by far one of my favourite streets in Edinburgh. Its home to some of Edinburgh's most quaint shops and the sound of men playing the traditional Scottish bag pipes and singing old Scottish songs echoes the streets. It is truly magical! 



Edinburgh is known for its incredible castle. It can be seen from so many areas around the city and has played a very significant role in Scottish history. One interesting fact is that it is home to the oldest crown jewels in the world! On recommendations from other people I never actually went into the castle. Many people have said that the Castle is far too overpriced for what you get to see, so I settled for the exterior and it was just as beautiful. The area around the castle is a perfect viewing point for seeing the city from a height. No trip to Edinburgh is complete without a trip here, thats for sure. 




Just like Ireland the rain poured in Edinburgh causing us to run for shelter to the nearby Camera Obscura. I had heard of this place from many people and had to give it a try. It was incredible. It basically consisted of many stories and rooms of optical illusions. From a mirror room to a tunnel of light, it has every optical illusion you could ever imagine! If you want to have a good laugh Camera Obscura is the place for you. 

Although the rain poured and poured and I literally looked like a drowned rat haha i refused to let the rain win and I continued to wander the beautiful streets. I can tell you not many cities are as stunning as Edinburgh in the rain. Although it was grey and dreary, Edinburgh continued to shine and no word of a lie I felt more at home there than Ive felt in any Irish city! 


Whats a holiday without eating every sweet treat in sight ? Having watched Zoella's Edinburgh vlogs I was on the hunt for one specific cupcake shop in Edinburgh and my god did it live up to the hype. We made a quick pitstop at Cuckoo's Bakery for a cute little cupcake and a warming cup of tea and chatted to the locals like we were one of their own! It was great to get out of the rain and the cupcake was one of the nicest I've ever tasted. Be sure to check out their Instagram for some drool worthy cupcake grams! 



~ Day Two ~ 

After spending the night before frantically looking up all the Harry Potter related places in Edinburgh, I was on a mission to tick every single one off my list. What many people don't know is that J.K Rowling was living in Edinburgh during the writing of her famous series. After visiting Edinburgh I can now see why she chose that beautiful city for inspiration. Its magical streets and its mystical and haunting architecture have Harry Potter and Hogwarts written all over it! Rumour has it she sat for days inside the 'Elephant House' coffee shop, beside a window overlooking Edinburgh Castle and an old school which looks exactly like Hogwarts. It still baffles me that I was in the same place where one of the most iconic series of all time was written! 



My first stop was to the beautiful Victoria Street, which supposedly gave J.K Rowling the inspiration for the famous Diagon Alley. The street is lined with colourful shops and houses and there is for sure a magical atmosphere! 



My last Harry Potter related spot was the graveyard that J.K Rowling supposedly got the names for many of her books characters. Including the most iconic name of them all... 'He who shall not be named' ( Voldemort ). Just behind this graveyard is the iconic building that looks like Hogwarts and after seeing these two places side by side I can see how it would set her imagination alive! Its mysterious, creepy and magical all in one! 



Being the big tourists we are we hopped on the 'Hop on, Hop off tour' which allowed us to see the remaining sights that we missed along the way. As I am a huge fan of the Royals there was no question about it I had to go see the Queen's Scottish residence 'Holyrood Palace'. If your a big fan like me I couldn't recommend it more. It gives a great history of the residence and what it was used for, and you can even go into the rooms that the queen spends time in when she is in Edinburgh! 




Another must do if your in Edinburgh is the 'Edinburgh Dungeons'. I can honestly say that I hadn't laughed like that for ages. They are equally as terryfying as hilarious and well worth a trip. 
And lets not forget about the shopping fanatics! If your a shopping fan Princes street has it all from high end to lower end stores, to satisfy your inner shopaholic! Arthurs seat is perfect for the outdoors'y type that want to fit in a bit of holiday exercise. Do you believe me now that Edinburgh has it all ?

I can honestly say that my trip to Edinburgh was one of the best trips I have ever taken. Although it was short and sweet, I got a real sense of the place and I cannot wait to return someday. Forget Paris, or Barcelona, Edinburgh should be the top European city on your list.


Lots of Love 

Rach x 



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