UK Series: Edinburgh

A breathtaking place to be!

One place I have always dreamed of visiting and has been on my travel list is Edinburgh. Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland.  It has a medieval Old Town and elegant Georgian New Town with gardens and neoclassical buildings.

It’s been almost 5 years now since I moved to Great Britain but I have never been to Edinburgh. But one autumn getaway this year was to this beautiful place. When I set foot there, I had told myself, why didn’t I visit sooner? I was fascinated and it was truly dreamy.

Here I have listed places you should visit in Edinburgh:

The Ross Fountain is a cast-iron structure located in West Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh. It truly is beautiful plus the view of Edinburgh Castle from by the fountain is absolutely gorgeous.

Greyfriars Bobby is a Skye Terrier who became known in 19th-century Edinburgh for supposedly spending 14 years guarding the grave of his owner John Gray until the dog itself died on 14 January 1872. Here you can see the life sized statue of the known terrier.

Calton Hill is a hill in central Edinburgh, situated beyond the east end of Princes Street and included in the city’s UNESCO World Heritage Site. Situated here is the National Monument of Scotland, which is Scotland’s national memorial to the Scottish soldiers and sailors who died fighting in the Napoleonic Wars.

The view from Calton Hill was magnificent! Plus, we made our way there during sunset, just breathtaking!

Dean Village is a bucolic village abutting a tranquil stream, with gardens, 19th-century buildings & a museum. I thought it was one of the most beautiful villages I have ever seen!

Circus Lane is a picturesque cobbled street in Edinburgh. This residential street with pretty flower-covered terraced mews houses is a great place to enjoy a short walk and take some photos. It is truly instagrammable!

Miller Row is a unique walkway along the Leith Water from Dean Village.This location was attractive for the milling industry, with a fast flowing river provided power, and two areas of flat land were suitable for mill sites.

St Giles’ Cathedral, or the High Kirk of Edinburgh, is a parish church of the Church of Scotland in the Old Town of Edinburgh. It is called “the Mother Church of World Presbyterianism”. St Giles’ is one of Scotland’s most important medieval parish church buildings.

Inside St Giles Cathedral was spectacular!

The Heart of Midlothian is a mosaic located outside St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh. The heart marks the location of the entrance to Edinburgh’s Old Tolbooth which was demolished in 1817. Locals will often spit upon the heart as a sign of good luck.

Victoria Street in the Old Town is the most photographed street in the city. Its gentle curve and colourful shopfronts make it a favourite spot for tourist photos, postcards and TV adverts.

Located very close to Victoria Street is The Elephant House which is known to be where J.K. Rowling created many of her works. It is tagged as the birthplace of Harry Potter although it is currently closed.

Museum Context is great little Aladdin’s cave where you can get everything witch and wizardly. Although there are plenty of Harry Potter shops to visit in Edinburgh, the most famous is Museum Context also known as Diagon House.

The Potterhead in me was very delighted!

The Vennel Viewpoint is a landmark sandstone stairway between tenement buildings, with views of Edinburgh Castle at the top. The perfect place for a fantastic view of the castle and surprisingly quiet, in an old town alley. 

Armchair Books is a cozy, family-run bookstore with a quirky vibe offering a huge selection of rare & secondhand titles.

This library is definitely such an aesthetic place to be and made the bookworm in me extra happy!

The National Museum of Scotland was formed in 2006 with collections relating to Scottish antiquities, culture and history. Explore the diversity of the natural world, world cultures, art and design, science and technology and Scottish history, all in one amazing building.

I enjoyed the different exhibits plus there is a viewing point at the top.

The Royal Mile runs through the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town, connecting the magnificent Edinburgh Castle, perched high on a base of volcanic rock, with the splendorous Palace of Holyroodhouse, resting in the shadow of Arthur’s Seat. Its detailed medieval architecture, stunning castle views and dynamic atmosphere make it one of the city’s most-loved areas, frequented by tourists, students and professionals alike. You can even watch and listen to bagpipers here.

The Balmoral Hotel is a luxury hotel and landmark in Edinburgh. The outside already feel so grandiose.

The Scott Monument is a Victorian Gothic monument to Scottish author Sir Walter Scott.

Being just in the city center would already impress you. Edinburgh is such a beautiful city!

No trip to Ediburgh is complete without a visit to Edinburgh Castle. Edinburgh Castle is a historic castle in Edinburgh, Scotland. It stands on Castle Rock, which has been occupied by humans since at least the Iron Age, although the nature of the early settlement is unclear. Edinburgh Castle is one of the oldest fortified places in Europe. With a long rich history as a royal residence, military garrison, prison and fortress, it is alive with many exciting tales.

Edinburgh Castle is one of the oldest fortified places in Europe. With a long rich history as a royal residence, military garrison, prison and fortress, it is alive with many exciting tales.

There castle is indeed majestic! There are also several viewpoints and each one wouldn’t disappoint!

Here are also places to eat in Edinburgh:

Chop House is a steak house which does amazing steaks. Whenever I’m on a trip, there will always be a steak night so I made sure to reserve dinner here. They have 3 branches you can choose from, wherever is closest to you, this one we visited is in Market Street.

Laila is a very aesthetic and cozy cafe serving mediterranean classics for brunch & lunch. They made a few fun twists to classic brunch menu and the interior is really cute.

Mary’s Milk Bar is a simple, retro ice cream parlour for homemade gelato, plus coffee and hot chocolate. It is both a gelateria and a chocolaterie. The gelato was so good, no wonder it is known as the best gelateria in Edinburgh, if not, in Scotland.

The Milkman is an independent speciality coffee shop in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town; the perfect place to relax and escape from the hustle and bustle of the city centre to enjoy a delicious cup of coffee and some scrumptious cakes. The Milkman would most likely be the best coffee shop in Edinburgh for me. I loved the coffee and the cakes were so lovely too.

Saboteur offers Vietnamese street food in a cool, contemporary space with a buzzy atmosphere. A fantastic mix of Asian cuisine in a laid back dining room setting. My Asian tastebuds always gets me craving whenever I’m on a trip and having a meal at Saboteur totally helped me satisfy my cravings.

Edinburgh Larder is known as a hidden gem and renowned for great breakfast and lunch, which are all made in house using locally sourced ingredients. It is a relaxed cafe for artisan coffee, and local, seasonal produce for breakfast & lunch. Having breakfast here definitely completed the Edinburgh experience. I loved the atmosphere and the food was amazing.

(Bonus)

The Cornerstone is a family owned restaurant in Mallaig. During a day in the Scottish highlands, we visited this restaurant for lunch and I must say we were given the best restaurant service during this whole trip. Most importantly, the food was delicious!

(Featuring)

Whenever you’re in a trip to Scotland, a visit to the Scottish highlands is a must so I have added this experience here as a feature. The whole theme for this trip was Harry Potter related and thus, I and a friend decided to experience something unforgettable, getting on the Jacobite. The Jacobite train ride is actually regarded as one of the most beautiful train rides in the world. It’s one of the last steam trains in the UK. The whole experience was so awesome.

The Scottish Highlands is another adventure to take but still very happy to have visited the gorgeous highlands, from Glenfinnan to see the famous Viaduct, to a lunch in Mallaig and the train’s last stop in Fort William. We also dropped by to see the Three Sisters of Glencoe. For my next trip to Scotland, the highlands would be the next adventure!

This short break and trip to Edinburgh was incredible!

Be pretty, be happy, be you! H~

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