I've fallen in love with another city. After a rocky start (read: having to clarify the correct pronunciation of the town with a Scottish co-worker...) I was ready for a long weekend away with one of my favorite travel partners-in-crime Steph!
We were up early (too early) to grab the bus to Stansted. We bumped into some friends though once we arrived at the airport!
The flight to Edinburgh is an easy one: just over an hour and no customs since you are still within the UK. I warned Steph before we got on board that Ryanair (our airline carrier) has the 'brilliant' ritual of announcing your flight has arrived on time with a blaring trumpeting during the descent. My first Ryanair flight was at an ungodly time in the morning and said trumpet woke me up from a nap. Needless to say I've held that grudge against Ryanair for 8+ years!
Once we arrived we took a bus into town. Tickets can be purchased at the time from the ticket stand outside the airport. The ride was about 20 minutes and dropped us off just a few minutes walk from our hotel.
We stayed at Fraser Suites after reading Aspiring Kennedy's travel tips for Edinburgh. This was an amazing spot and I would absolutely stay here again/recommend to anyone visiting. The rooms were luxurious, the staff friendly, the location prime and the price perfect!
It's important to note that the shower was FANTASTIC.
Every room has tea and shortbread. Steph and I became obsessed with the shortbread (Brodies) and tried with no success to find the brand in shops. Every shortbread was compared to this over the weekend!
They change their soup menu daily, always offering an array which includes both creamy and broth based recipes, as well as vegetarian and vegan options. Excitingly they also offer soup flights where you can select three of the soups to have in smaller portions. Steph and I conferred and coordinated our ordering to be able to sample as many soups as possible!
After an amazing lunch our next stop was The Elephant House, where JK Rowling penned the early Harry Potter novels. We ordered hot drinks, and a millionaire shortbread to share.
Steph and I realized we had been in Edinburgh for several hours and all we had done was eat. We needed to remedy this, and trekked up the Royal Mile to Edinburgh Castle for the afternoon!
The castle looks over the whole town and is enriched in centuries upon centuries of history.
It was enjoyable and you could feel the history walking around. That being said as Steph aptly put it when we left "I'm not sure I know anything more than I did when I arrived".
Feeling that we needed a little more culture for the day we made a very quick stop into the National Gallery.
Before we knew it the sun was setting and our tiredness from the early flight set in. It started raining and we made an impulse dinner decision for a pub that wasn't very good. I did however get a bit of Oban scotch which was phenomenal! We returned to our hotel and had a great night sleep to prepare for our full Saturday in Edinburgh!
Logan's Tips and Tricks
- You can book tickets in advance for the Edinburgh Castle online and collect upon arrival. This is especially smart during peak visitor times to save yourself from having to wait in line to buy tickets.
- Wear good walking shoes! Edinburgh is hilly.
- The Royal Mile is a bit touristy, especially when it comes to souvenirs. Do a little research before you arrive if you are eying a cashmere purchase.