Destinations UK

Exploring Edinburgh – Whisky And Walks

Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland. It is definitely worth a trip if you haven’t yet visited the city. We are a bit biased as we did spend the first part of our honeymoon here (we were actually married over the anvil in Gretna Green).

Edinburgh is a compact city steeped in a rich history. The architecture varies from the medieval old town with its winding closes to grand Georgian houses.

There are several flights to Edinburgh from many regional airports around the UK. This all helps make Edinburgh a perfect destination for a UK city break.

What To Do In Edinburgh?

What is there to do in Edinburgh? As you would expect from a capital city, there is plenty. It could be simply soaking up the atmosphere of the Old Town or something more energetic, such as walking up Arthur’s Seat. You will find something to suit your tastes.

To help you decide, here are some of the places and attractions we visited during our recent trip To Edinburgh. Why not check our YouTube channel for some more ideas about visiting Scotland.

Edinburgh Castle And The Royal Mile
Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle

One of the oldest streets in Edinburgh is the Royal Mile which connects Edinburgh Castle with Holyrood House. You are guaranteed to find a lot to explore as you walk down this historic road.

As you walk from the castle and past the narrow closes. The route takes through a range of architectural styles.

These range from old medieval to grand Georgian ending up at the new Scottish Parliament building. (Opened in 2005).

St Giles' Cathedral
St Giles’ Cathedral

One of our favourite closes is the spooky Mary King’s Close. The street was closed after the plague of 1645 and now lies preserved under the Royal Mile.

Museum On The Mound
Bank Of Scotland
Museum On The Mound Bank Of Scotland

We stumbled across this interesting museum during our recent visit to Edinburgh. The Museum on the Mound is attached to the historic Bank of Scotland. It takes a look at the history of banking and money; you even get to see a million pounds!

Greyfriars Kirkyard And Greyfriars Bobby
Greyfriars Kirkyard
The famous Greyfriars Kirkyard

Edinburgh is scattered with mysterious, gothic-looking cemeteries. One of the most famous of these is Greyfriars Kirkyard which dates back to the late 16th century. It is rich with stories of grave robbing, plagues, ghosts, and ghouls.

However, it is also home to the story of Greyfriars Bobby immortalised in the 1961 Walt Disney film. He was a Skye Terrier who spent 14 years guarding his master’s grave. A statue of Bobby sits near the entrance to the Kirkyard.

Greyfriars Bobby
The Greyfriars Bobby Statue

As well as ghost stories Greyfriars Kirkyard is also known as the Harry Potter graveyard. It is said that the cemetery was an inspiration for J K Rowling and several character names can be found on the old gravestones.

The Scotch Whisky Experience
Scottish Whisky
The Scottish Whisky Experience

You can’t visit Scotland without trying a whisky or two. If you’re not familiar with the vast array of Scottish whisky then a little tour and tasting at the Scottish Whisky Experience is a perfect option to help you get acquainted with the drink.

The start of the tour is a bit cheesy as you move incredibly slowly on a ride through the whisky-making process. However, once this is over you get to see the collection of over 3000 whiskies. It’s then onto the best part, the tasting itself.

Unfortunately, just as we were starting our tasting the fire alarm went off. Luckily, it was a false alarm and after being evacuated we were allowed to return to our drinks.

Deep-Fried Mars Bars
Deep-Fried Mars Bar
Deep-Fried Mars Bar

Another culinary delicacy you can’t miss when visiting Scotland is the “Deep-Fried Mars Bar”. You can get them from most chip shops but we tried a fancy one in a restaurant. Try one, we’re sure you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Ghosts & Gore Walking Tour
The Cadies & Witchery Tours
The Cadies & Witchery Tours

When you are in the Old Town with its dark history, atmospheric closes and shadowy courtyards you have to take a ghostly walking tour. They may be a little touristy but there’s nothing wrong with being a tourist. The tours are excellent fun and they will definitely make you jump. We took the Ghosts & Gore tour and despite being the summer and still light they did manage quite a few scares on the way round.

National Museum of Scotland
National Museum Of Scotland
National Museum Of Scotland

Finally, if you looking for an indoor activity (it is Scotland so you may get a drop of rain or two) then we recommend the National Museum of Scotland. They have national and international collections ranging from art and design to science and engineering. We saw Dolly the Sheep, the first cloned mammal. The Scottish connection comes from the fact that Dolly was cloned by the Roslin Institute, part of the University of Edinburgh.

So that’s just a few of the things we got up to in Edinburgh, we don’t think we’ll leave it so long until our next trip. Especially as new direct flights have started from our local airport. Next time, we would like to stay longer and really explore the city and the surrounding area. Using a company which provides good airbnb management in Edinburgh to see what it would be like as an Edinburgh local.

By the way, we stayed at the Hotel du Vin Edinburgh which was once the site of “Bedlam” the city’s notorious lunatic asylum, very appropriate!

Exploring Edinburgh Old Town. things to do in the Scottish capital.

Exploring Edinburgh – Pin For Later

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