72 Hours in Edinburgh

Saturday, 24 February 2018

Edinburgh. The capital of Scotland, the home to the Scottish Parliament and the second most popular city in Scotland. I’ve wanted to visit Edinburgh for as long as I can remember so you can only imagine how ecstatic I was when my fiancé surprised me with a city break to Edinburgh for my Christmas present. We both did a ton of research about where we wanted to visit before heading off to the city, just so we felt more prepared within the days we spent there and it also gave us something to look forward to.

We got the plane to Edinburgh from London Gatwick which took roughly 1 hour & 10 minutes. For someone who is terrified of planes, you could probably guess how appreciative I was for this short journey. As soon as we hopped off the plane, I felt the freshness of the crisp cold Scottish air (it was very chilly lol). It took around 45 minutes in total to get to our hotel, we went on a tram to a place called Princes Street and took a 10 minute walk up the hill to the Royal Mile Old Town where we stayed in a gorgeous little hotel called The Inn on the Mile. Now, because Alex booked through the hotel online we were greeted with a complimentary bottle of prosecco, some chocolate dipped strawberries which were freshly made as well as a card wishing us a happy 6th anniversary which was the cutest greeting ever and made us feel welcome.

It didn’t take us long to unpack our bags and head out to explore. As we arrived in the afternoon, we didn’t have much time before it started to get dark so the first thing we did was visit Victoria Street which was J.K Rowling inspiration for Diagon Alley in Harry Potter. The street is on a curved hill and it’s full of little quirky, colourful pop up shops. There was also a very awesome Harry Potter shop that we ended up going in the day after as it was closed by the time we got there. That evening, we visited a place called The Ivy for dinner, we both felt very underdressed as we didn’t quite realise how posh this place was – other than that, it was hands down the best food I’ve had. Alex had the usual steak, egg and chips where as I went for the duck curry. For desserts we both got the chocolate bomb which was essentially a ball of milk chocolate and the waiter poured over hot salted caramel sauce to reveal the honeycomb ice cream which was inside. After a few cocktails later, we headed back to the hotel ready for the next day ahead. 

I was most excited for this day as we had a few things planned. We firstly stopped off for breakfast at The City Café, where we both got a cooked breakfast and we both tried haggis for the first time. The café was a very American styled restaurant, and it was very retro with all the old school pinball machines inside as well as quirky 60’s posters stuck onto every wall.

After breakfast we got the bus to Edinburgh Zoo which is what I was most excited about because if you know me then you’d know I love animals and I love zoos. We knew that we would be doing a ton of walking but didn’t actually realise how steep the hill was. The whole zoo is built on a hill so if you’re planning on going anytime soon, it might be better to start at the top of the zoo and work your way down. We spent the majority of our day here, my favourite animal to see was T H E  P A N D A S. Normally, you need to book a time slot to see the pandas because it gets very busy as you can imagine. However for some reason throughout February we didn’t need to book any time slots so we could just visit as many times as we wanted to. First time we visited, they were both sleeping so we walk around to see the other animals first and came back a few hours later to them awake and running around. It was honestly the highlight of my day. They’re so cute and fluffy and I just wanted to take them both home with me.

That evening we went to Perilous Potions which is a pop up Harry Potter cocktail bar, the pop up bar is there throughout February to April and you have to book in advance. The place was full of Harry Potter themed decorations and our waiter was dressed in a cape. He gave us the book of potions to pick out the cocktails we wanted. The best thing about this place is you get to make the cocktails yourself! They bring you a tray with ingredients along with an instructions list on how to make the ‘potion’ and hopefully something magical should happen. If you’re in Edinburgh and you’re a fan of Harry Potter I’d highly recommend visiting this place as soon as you can. 

Our last full day in Edinburgh we spent just walking around and exploring more of the city and the beautiful buildings they have. We took a trip to the Harry Potter shop which was very cool (but very expensive) we came out with nothing lol. Speaking of Harry Potter, we walked in one of the most haunted graveyards where J.K Rowling got some inspiration for names in this specific graveyard, we saw the grave of Tom Riddle as well as grave for Mrs McGonagall. We then walked over to the Museum of Scotland which actually reminded me a lot of London’s Natural History Museum. My favourite thing about this museum though, was that it had a rooftop view of Edinburgh which was breath-taking.

On the way up to the castle, we came across a place called Camera Obscura which is an optical illusions museum. We bought tickets then and there, and spent around 2 hours in this place. We weaved our way through the world of illusions throughout 5 floors. There is over 150 illusions to see in this place all from a swirling light vortex to a maze of mirrors, it was a lot of fun and occupied us for a good few hours. 

My trip to this beautiful city was everything I expected and more. I’m very much looking forward to visiting again in the near future.

Until next time Edinburgh. 

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