Edinburgh Charm

I've only ever heard good things about Edinburgh so I was super excited to see what the hype was all about.

Before going to Edinburgh I thought, "How different can it be? We're still in the UK (for now)," but how wrong I was. As soon as I stepped out from Edinburgh Waverley station I was in awe... Edinburgh is SO. PRETTY. 

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And I mean, take-your-breath-away type of pretty...

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Majestic medieval buildings with sensational spires as far as the eye could see and charming streets with so much character, it was impossible to walk by without stopping to take it all in.

We took a leisurely stroll to our hotel and admired the quaint cobblestone streets and beautiful Georgian terraces - it was like being transported back in time if only the cars were horse-drawn carriages!

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Even our hotel was gorgeous - a boutique-y feel B+B which didn't break the bank - we were in love!

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As tempting as it was to fall into bed, we dropped off our bags and headed straight out.

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First stop of our whistle-stop tour was The Scottish National Portrait Gallery.

We opted for an Uber rather than walk back to the City Centre and discovered that Ubers are so much cheaper here, and drivers much friendlier!

Upon walking through the Gallery's grand double doors, you find yourself in the Great Hall - elegant arches and intricate detailing, we were mesmerised by the space.

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Done admiring the actual building, we enjoyed the riveting art on display.

From contemporary portraits of key Scottish individuals to traditional paintings of historical figures and landscapes, we couldn't have asked for more.

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Feeling a little hungry, we ventured to find food.

Chez Jules was recommended to us by a friend for its delicious, yet inexpensive lunch menu - 3 courses for £9.90 and boy was it tasty - the terrine was the best I've had!

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Fuelled up, we were ready to recommence the exploring - onwards to Calton Hill!

For breathtaking, panoramic views of Edinburgh, go here! You feel like a bird soaring over the skies of this dazzling City.

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Content that we had made a good first day of exploring, we set our sights on dinner. 

In Edinburgh, good food is not hard to find. We stumbled across Rick's on our walk back to the hotel and couldn't resist trying their 2 courses for £10 dinner menu - we weren't disappointed!

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Obviously I chose to have a big glass of G and T to reward myself for all the walking (Edinburgh really keeps you fit with its impressive hills).

Knackered, we returned to our hotel and rested up for our main adventure day tomorrow.

***

Up bright and early, we enjoyed a full Scottish breakfast at the hotel to make sure we had lots of energy for the day we had planned - Arthur's Seat and Edinburgh Castle!

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So, let's say Calton Hill was a warm up for what was to come. Arthur's Seat was the real deal with a peak of over 800ft.

And so we began our trek... Don't be fooled by the picturesque rolling green hills, this was no easy feat (well at least not for me anyway!).

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Deciding to go for the harder but more scenic route to make the most out of our trip, we stopped at numerous points on the way to admire the view (and to catch our breath)...

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Having rained the day before, the path was muddy and we were grateful we had suitable footwear as even so, I was often close to face-planting in the mud!

At the top, the winds were epic...

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But the view, even more so...

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We had made it!

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After obligatory victory photos of our conquests...

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We headed back down (the easy route this time) for food.

After such a physical morning, we wanted to treat ourselves to something special and Michael Neave Kitchen and Whiskey Bar was the answer!

Having booked prior to our trip, we went for the Express Lunch for Busy People menu which meant 3 courses for £9.95!

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Highly recommended - the food was divine and the staff beyond courteous.

Having wined and dined, we trundled to the magnificent palace that is Edinburgh Castle.

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A ginormous fortress full of grandeur which so finely showcases Scotland's compelling history.

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My favourite part was the Scottish Crown Jewels (which couldn't be photographed) and of course, the epic views...

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All explored-out, we headed back to the hotel with every intention of going back out but instead, picked up food and wine on the way home and spent the night in.

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***

With half a day left in this incredible City we had already fallen in love with, we set out to visit The National Museum of Scotland.

Fun would be an understatement.

This enormous building houses plenty of amusement for all ages, including interactive educational exhibits to life-sized models of every animal imaginable!

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And even a Lego model of the Museum itself!

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My favourite part? A roof garden with yep, you guessed it, incredible views of Edinburgh (surprise, surprise!)...

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Especially of the Castle nearby which so kindly posed for a selfie with us!

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Buzzing from room to room, we hadn't noticed how quickly the time had flown by and hurriedly grabbed food at BRGR (scrumptious £5 burgers) which I scoffed down before taking a photo, sorry!

Zooming back on the train, I felt sad to leave behind this magical City but happy knowing I'd surely be back to discover more of its charm.

Thank you for having us, Edinburgh!

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