Tuesday, 12 March 2013


So Natalie and I visited Edinburgh last month for a well deserved break, and it really was a brilliant get away and escape from the daily grind, so much so I thought I would write a little spiel about the city.

Natalie had been to the city before, but I've never ventred further than the borders so the excitement and anticipation of a new city was pretty fresh, and I certainly was excited. The train journey from Lincoln was pretty long, (fair play to Nat coming from London!) offering distinctly average views out of the window. But as soon as we past Newcastle the coast started to come alive, dramatic rocks scoring the coast line, facing up to the relentlessness of the north sea, broken only by two very picturesque towns clinging to small hills, with boats dotting the calm waters in front of the towns sea wall. A quick role inland and before you know it the Firth of Forth is to your right and your minutes away from Edinburgh.
Old Town style.

Now I knew absolutely sod all about the city before we arrived so I was more than happy to get right into tourist mode from day one. Hungry from the train ride we ventured out of the station and headed in the general direction of our accommodation which was situated in the 'New Town' area of the city. On the way over we diverted down 'Rose Street' which is full of individual cafes and bars. We hit up 'The Filling Station', and being our first meal in Scotland, went straight for Aberdeen Angus burgers, and scotch...naturally. I can definitely recommend this place for food if you are after good solid food that is going to leave you full to the brim and satisfied for the rest of the day.

Our accommodation was a ten minute walk from the centre, on Eyre place, this little apartment is awesome! It's comes with everything you need, had a mega comfy double bed, and sofa that you can sink into after a long day of exploring the city, and amazing views out of the window of the Castle. There is a Tesco not far around the corner so you can get any items you may need for cooking and there are even some brilliant restaurants near by. If you are going to stay in the city and dont want tobe right in the centre, but still want to be within walking distance and are after something with a bit more rustic style than a Future Inn; then this is the place. Another benefit is that you get to explore the 'New Town' area every time you walk anywhere, so you basically walk around old Victorian roads, cobbled streets and parks, all designed in a typically grand style.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, and the opposite end of the city for that matter, is the 'Old Town' district. The regimented rows of houses with large open streets that make up the New Town are soon replaced with a haphazard layout, small alleys and narrow streets, yet still space for more grand buildings, churches and spires all under the watchful eye of the all seeing Castle. The 'Royal Mile' stretches out from the Castle for, uhh, a mile, all the way down to the Parliament buildings at the base of Arthurs seat.
View North East from Arthurs Seat
This is a great walk, and if you are feeling energetic enough then climbing Arthurs' seat, (which is a large hill created by volcanic activity) you will be rewarded with 360 degree views of the area. It's quite amazing to see the city, how much it sprawls, the vast expanse of the Firth of Forth and the infamous Forth Bridge shining in the distance which is well worth a visit (a short train ride from central Edinburgh to Dalmeny) especially during a good sunset, and there is a good cafe there which we soon discovered did amazing hot chocolate and millionaires shortbread.
Forth Bridge

The Zoo is actually pretty good and well worth a visit, if not just for the Pandas, and the Scottish National Museum is also a must stop, though we were way too tired to really appreciate it, despite the efforts of the guy at the cafe giving me a triple hit of expresso coffee.

There's probably so much more to see and do in Edinburgh, and that's one of the reasons it impressed me so much. I think it's great that you can visit a city for four days and see as much as you can and yet know that next time you go back there is still so much more to see. The city is pretty big, and to get around you will have to pretty much walk everywhere, (granted we didn't really exploit the bus system that much) but a tram system is being put in place right now. The contrast of 'Old' and 'New' split with large green open spaces, topped with perhaps one of the most rewarding view points a city could have; Edinburgh really does have a lot to offer.

So if you are thinking about where to go for your next weekend break, I would seriously consider Edinburgh. But be aware, you will be letting yourself in for lots of walking, it will probably be bitterly cold too, but if you can look past that then the city will reward you with fantastic views, some serious history lessons, and if you know where to go, some divine food. So what are you waiting for?


Forth Bridge


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I started this Blog to document the amazing streak of bad luck I was having throughout 2010, I'd like to think my luck has changed for 2011...time will tell.