Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Travel: Edinburgh Day Out

The spending money was gifted to me by Hotels.com, but all views are my own.

I love a good staycation and we have stayed in some lovely Edinburgh hotels before, but last Saturday we headed to the capital for a day trip, with our fingers crossed for good weather. We were really lucky, as the whole car journey and the time we spent in Edinburgh were filled with sunshine and we had a fab day taking in the architecture and views. We also indulged in some yummy vegan food and delicious mocktails and checked out some shops we don't have in Glasgow (Anthropologie, Harvey Nichols etc). Perfect! 

We started on the most instagrammable street in Edinburgh and the inspiration for Diagon Alley in Harry Potter - Victoria Street. It is a curved cobbled street with an array of independent shops painted in rainbow colours and it is honestly magical! You can get a fantastic view of it from a terrace above and it is the perfect spot for a photo.

 A visit to The Boy Wizard was obviously a must. If you're a Harry Potter fan, you will be tempted to spend a fortune inside on all sorts of merchandise! 

 It would be impossible to miss The Royal Mile, leading to the Edinburgh Castle. It is packed with beautiful buildings, restaurants, pubs, shops, buskers, street performers, bagpipers and more. It is the busiest street in the full city.

 There is plenty of whiskey and gin shops around at every corner. I would definitely recommend trying Edinburgh Gin - so good! I even found some Game Of Thrones whiskeys on display too. There is so much choice!

 The streets are full of Scottish souvenirs, from kilts and tartan scarfs to little bits and bobs like magnets, postcards and Scottish treats like shortbread and tablet.

 The pubs were on every corner and you could sit in beer gardens outside to enjoy the weather.

 For lunch, we headed to The Baked Potato Shop, which is a tiny little gem serving vegetarian and vegan baked potatoes. I do love a baked spud, so I had to try it! You can get a regular size (1 potato) or an extra large (2 potatoes) and choose from a variety of toppings. I opted for a fruity vegan coleslaw with celery and a spinach salad with olives, chickpeas and seeds. It was epic! And the portion was massive! Affordable as well.

 We found a quiet place to eat at the City Chambers, as the potato shop only has 1 sitting area and it's basically takeout, so keep that in mind.

 I also wanted to see this beautiful building - The School Of Divinity, part of Edinburgh University. 

 The Princes Street Gardens are located in the heart of the city and always bursting with people on a sunny day. I love strolling through this stunning park and Spring is the perfect time to do it, as it's cherry blossom season and Edinburgh seems to be full of it!

 I was very excited to see the beautifully renovated Ross Fountain. How gorgeous does it look? I love how bright it is, as it really makes a statement and adds a pop of colour to the park.

 I have to mention that Edinburgh is packed with stairs! We kept going up and down and according to my iPhone, we climbed 20 flights, but I can assure you - it was more than that, haha. We did over 16 000 steps that day which was a great workout, but I wore cheap Primark flats and my legs were killing me the next day.

 I was hoping to go to the World Of Illusions as well, but we can do it another time. Definitely worth checking out, if you are though.

 The main place to visit in Edinburgh is obviously the Edinburgh Castle. It is incredibly busy, with queues and crowds of tourists, but it's magnificent!

 I was a bit worried I might fall down here, as you could sit on that wall easily. I always freak out with things like this. See all the coaches parked on the street - full of tourists. It's amazing to see how popular Edinburgh is around the world.

 The views from the castle are amazing, but I would definitely recommend climbing Calton Hill as well. I just wasn't wearing the right shoes for it and we have been previously, so we gave it a miss this time.

 We also visited the Scottish National Gallery which houses Scotland's national collection of fine art, spanning Scottish and international art from the beginning of the Renaissance up to the start of the 20th century.

 After a day of exploring, we headed to Tigerlily for some mocktails. I have always wanted to visit this gorgeous restaurant/bar and it was even more beautiful in real life than on Instagram, which is very rare, haha.

 We had  few delicious mocktails,. Yum!

 There's loads of different rooms inside, each one decorated beautifully! An instagrammer's  paradise! If you love a good photo location, you have to visit!

 I also had to pop into Anthropologie, as we don't have one in Glasgow and I am a big fan. I treated myself to a new initial mug as my Edinburgh souvenir.

 As mentioned before, Edinburgh is full of cherry blossom, especially Princes Street. It adds even more charm to the beauty of the city!

 One of my favourite Edinburgh landmarks, a gothic masterpiece - the Scott Monument. Isn't it majestic? I absolutely love it!

 For dinner, we headed to a small independent vegan restaurant - Holy Cow. It is situated on Elder Street, close to Waverley Station and right in the middle of city centre. It's a 100% vegan restaurant offering delicious homemade burgers, soups and amazing cakes and coffee.

Scott opted for a BBQ burger and I had a celeriac 'fish' burger with kimchi, both served with the most delicious homemade chunky chips. Amazing flavours and you can tell it's all homemade with local organic ingredients. 

 The cakes were incredible too. We had the Bounty Cake and a Strawberry & Lemon Cheesecake and I am still dreaming about these! Yum! If you're vegan and visiting Edinburgh, this is the place to go.


I do love a good staycation and I feel so lucky to live in Scotland, one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Edinburgh was busy and packed with tourists, but it's a city you have to visit, if you're ever in Scotland. 

Sandra xxx


  
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