Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Edinburgh. Where do I start. What a beautiful city.
Edinburgh has been one of those places, that has slyly always been on my wish list. After returning from my trip to Berlin with friends, my Girlfriend suggested that we possibly get away and spend some time travelling and have a travel experience of our own. She’ll never admit it, but one would say she pleasantly surprised on how open and responsive, I was to the idea. A day or two of researching and conversation, we decide to keep it domestic and go up north to Edinburgh. Two tickets, Gatwick to Edinburgh and back, purchased. Five nights, four days.
I’m going to be honest, as this was the first time we were going away together as partners, from the moment the email confirmation was sent through, I decided it would be best to leave all the potential sightseeing, event attending and other potential venues to her. I had a very simple vision in my head for our first trip away, happy Holly meant a happy Stew. With that being said whenever I travel to new place, I have a personal golden rule. That is to visit the places art gallery. Listen, I’m a gallery head at heart, I’m sure I was famous village artist in a previous life. I wanted to add another place to my list of art gallery visits.
Luck enough, we managed to find a Travelodge on Waterloo street which was perfect in regards to location and the general locality of all our interests. If you’re ever planning a trip to Edinburgh, I would strongly suggest finding a place on or around Waterloo street. You’ll be a stone’s throw away from Edinburgh castle, whilst also staying underneath the famous Calton Hill.
In some parts of the world people are woken up by the sound of roosters crowing, some are woken up by the sounds of several alarm clocks after pressing the snooze button, whilst some are woken up by their body alarm clock but in Edinburgh my good friends, be prepared to be woken up the
irritating beautiful sounds of the bagpipe. I have never handled a bagpipe personally but I’m sure every bagpipe in Scotland has an amplified audio speakers built within each bagpipe in the country.
As planned, the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh was the first point of schedule. I have to be honest, when Holly first suggested that we go to the garden centre, I had the typical macho male response of shrugged shoulders (in my head), happy to go but not totally excited for it. After spending the part of a whole day there, I have to say the place is a hidden gem. Whenever you ear of people’s experience when coming to Edinburgh, they’ll often talk about going through the Royal Mile, climbing up the Calton Hill for the city view, seeing the castle or even like I wished to visit and see the artwork within the museums. After the experience of going to the botanic garden, I now search for the cities botanical garden who spinning the globe for my next trip. The different climates throughout the glasshouse adds to the unique and calming experience.
For those wondering about prices you can enter the garden free of charge, but to have the glasshouse experience you can purchase a ticket in two locations, the first place can be located at the ticket booth at the garden’s gate and the second can be seen at the first glasshouse, the ticket price are for £5.50/concession £4.50. The day at the garden centre outweighs the price you end up paying by ten folds.
Add it to your list and enjoy the day out.
The hill itself is very easily accessible, especially for those who happen to locate themselves within the many hotels within it’s radius. Thankfully for us, we literally just had to leave our hotel and walk a few steps and we were at the bottom of the steps of the hill. The steps are not for the faint-hearted.
Once you reach the top of the hill, the view is rather spectacular. Honestly any picture you take of the city view, doesn’t do it any justice. The camera doesn’t capture what your eyes are able to depict.
Like the garden centre, the zoo experience was a first for me. The meerkats and pelicans will be the very first animals you will get the chance to see, as they’re cutely placed at the beginning of the zoo map.
The main attraction for the zoo are the Pandas, unfortunately if you wish to see the little guys you will need to book in advance. The little guys are the VIP’s of the place, they’ll only see you if you have booked your tickets within the selected time slots. Which also needs to booked separate from the entrance ticket.
Once again, this is another whole day event. If you simple don’t have the time throughout your stay, you’ll have to unfortunately give this a miss. There is simply to many animals and too much to see. If I remember correctly we easily spent the best part of 4/5 hours walking through the map and making a food pit stop.
Personally for me, the highlight of the zoo were the penguins. They reminded me of the guys in the Madagascar movie. If you have the patience and follow the map, you’ll get the chance to see koalas, monkeys, flamingos, rhinos, tigers amongst different types of birds flying over your head.
Museum visit ticked off the list. I’m not going to lie, at this point the trip is complete for me.
I don’t know what it is about art itself, but I have never managed to replicate the peace that I manage to attain whenever I visit a museum for the first time. Whether it be the Louvre in France, Tate modern in England or Museu Sant Pius V de Belles Arts in Valencia, no two galleries are the same.
Every gallery has a persona of it’s own which is then vibrated throughout the rest of the city. Edinburgh wasn’t any different. The rich architecture that is filled throughout the city is matched by the pieces within it’s gallery.
St Giles is located between Edinburgh Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse on the Royal Mile and is rather eerily beautiful. Whilst walking through the Royal mile, you may as well, have a little snoop in the cathedral.
Wherever you seem to be/go in Edinburgh, you can not escape the shadow of the cities castle. Proudly overlooking the rest of the city. Like the hundreds of thousands that are attracted to the city every year, you can’t help but become one of those people who have statistically visited the cities castle.
Travelling around Edinburgh
Edinburgh is a very accessible city. Apart from it’s hill, it’s a easy place to navigate through. If like us, you plan to travel to Edinburgh via a plane, the cheapest way into the city from the airport is the airlink bus, which conveniently runs to Waverley Bridge. Interesting fact for all you Marvel fans, the station also happened to make a movie appearance in the Avengers: Infinity War. The journey from the airport to Waverley bridge costs £4.50 for a single and £7.50 return, takes around 20 minutes and runs up to every 10 minutes, 24 hours a day.
We didn’t use the Ridacard which covers the cities trams, buses and the airlink itself.
Edinburgh is definitely a place that I will have very fond memories of, I do plan to revisit Edinburgh numerous times ahead. A trip that developed into a memorable fascination.
On a side note. As usual you’ll probably be the first person to read this, thank you for the constant support and guidance you provided. The company for this trip couldn’t be topped by no other. Thank you for always bringing out the best in me and being that little force pushing me towards all goals. Love you lots bubba.
Thank you reading my first travel post. Berlin, Paris, Valencia, Port Talbot will all be following in the near future.