Have you ever visited a place that felt so right, so special that it was almost painful to leave? Love at first sight? That’s exactly how I felt about Edinburgh from the very first moment. I’m not exaggerating when I say my mouth literally fell open with the unique beauty of the city, so when Tim suggested we go back for a repeat visit I was ecstatic and so were our boys!
Having already visited many of Edinburgh’s major highlights on a previous visit, and because we only had one full day, we decided not to plan too much in advance. This worked out to be the perfect mix of old favorites and new discoveries.
A bonus was our meet up with close friends from California! How exciting to meet up with friends in a far away place! Our dinner together and a lovely walk along the Royal Mile to Edinburgh Castle was a highlight of our visit.
First Things First
Our first stop the next day was brunch! I know I said we weren’t planning anything, but there was one exception, our much anticipated repeat visit to Oink, located in the Grassmarket neighborhood. I guess we were excited because we arrived on the early side and they weren’t open yet. Wandering in and out of the area’s shops was the perfect way to pass time while we waited. The above photo of our meal at Oink speaks for itself!
The Palace of Holyroodhouse
After brunch we decided upon a walk along the Royal Mile with our final destination the Queen’s Gallery at the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Simon, always up for anything, accompanied me to the Fashioning A Reign exhibit showcasing a selection of the Queens wardrobe from over the course of her lifetime. Tim and Elliot weren’t as
nice interested, so they waited just outside in front of the new Scottish Parliament building. Cheering on some marathon runners helped them pass the time.
The apartment of Mary Queen of Scots located inside the Palace and the adjacent Abbey were highlights of my last visit and the unexpected revisit to them on our way to the fashion exhibit was a very nice surprise.
Simon thought it would be a good idea to climb up Arthurs Seat, the highest point in Holyrood park and just adjacent to the Palace of Holyroodhouse. An ancient volcano, Arthurs Seat, is 251 meters above sea level, so nothing to sneeze at.
I hate to say no when the kids get excited about seeing or trying something new, so even though we weren’t wearing hiking shoes… we thought we’d give it a try. Turns out the hike was very manageable though not easy by any means. Our hard work was rewarded with incredible 360 degree views of Edinburgh and beyond.
We didn’t spend much time at the top, rain was on the horizon, and we were nervous about a slippery descent. The entire hike took about an hour and a half and we made it down just as the rain started!
St. Giles Catherdral
By the time we finished our hike and walked back to our hotel the rain was coming down quite heavily, so we decided on a visit to St. Giles Cathedral, a place we had missed out on during our last visit. A lovely cathedral and well worth a look around, especially on a rainy day.
The Writers Museum
Although we didn’t have time to go inside the Writers Museum, we did spend time in the courtyard reading the tiles, which are inscribed with lovely quotes written by some of the city’s most famous writers. All of them about Edinburgh of course! Further exploration of this place is on my list for our next visit…
The Inn on the Mile
Our accommodations at The Inn on the Mile were perfectly located right in the middle of the Royal Mile. However, the seven flights of stairs we had to climb each time we came and went definitely presented a challenge, especially after climbing Arthurs Seat. Elliot loved sitting at the bar and watching the bartenders at work… something that isn’t allowed here in America.
The rooms, although small, were lovely. The bathrooms were especially nice and were equipped with GHD flatirons (to combat the Scottish wind), fog less mirrors, and double sinks.
Even though our visit was partially interrupted by heavy rain we still managed to find time for a bit of shopping on Princes Street!
Of course there is still so much to see in this amazing and picturesque city, but this time I have a good feeling we’ll be back…
Here are the Highlights of our 24 hours in Edinburgh:
- A Walk on the Royal Mile – Shopping , souvenirs, restaurants, castles and more!
- Palace of Holyroodhouse – The Queens official residence in Scotland.
- Arthurs Seat – Hike to the top of an ancient volcano.
- St. Giles Cathedral – The High Kirk of Edinburgh.
- The Writers Museum – Celebrating the lives of great Scottish Writers.
- Shopping on Princes Street – Big name stores and beautiful gardens.
- Oink Hog Roast Sandwiches – Get here quick, once they run out that’s it for the day!
- La Garrigue French Restaurant – Good with food and excellent service.
- Wagamama – hot steaming bowls of Ramen. Perfect on a rainy day and our idea of comfort food!
Take Me With You!