Scotland

Updated: Aug 30


📍Scotland - Edinburgh

✈️BHX to EDI

🛌£140 Flights and Hotel

 

Scotland 2020


It may sound silly but the main reason why I wanted to go to Scotland was to taste some authentic Shortbread. I'm a big fan. Before departure I was a little bit nervous about shall we say... the diversity levels in Scotland. This is something one should always bear in mind when travelling alone. All the Scottish people I encountered were super friendly and I just loved the accent.


I stayed in a 4* Hotel in the city centre, walking distance to lots of tourist hotspots including the historic Edinburgh Castle. I got a free upgrade to a superior room when checking in which was a nice bonus.


The majority of my time was spent in Edinburgh but also I spent a day further afield in the Scottish Highlands. One thing I can tell you for free is that Scotland is COLD. I went in August and although the weather forecast was screaming 14-17°C whilst in reality it honestly felt like -20 degrees.

 

Airport to the City

Flying from Birmingham to Edinburgh was absolutely beautiful. The flight was supposed to be 1hr 15mins, but we were only up in the air for about 45minutes. Astonishingly quick! I got a cab from the airport to my hotel in Edinburgh city centre which took around 20minutes.


At first, I was a little saddened when I saw regular chain supermarkets throughout the cab ride. It dawned on me how similar Edinburgh looked to London or Birmingham 😂. This was my first visit to Scotland, the image I had created in my mind beforehand was shockingly different to the reality of my first impressions.

 


Edinburgh

I truly loved staying in Edinburgh. My hotel luckily, was in a great location so I was able to explore the local area on foot very easily. (Hotel also had lots of nice free shortbread biscuits too!) I'm a big fan of walking at night (don't ask me why) and I found the area relatively safe.


There is so much to do in Edinburgh, something for everyone. There are some great museums in the old town. "World of illusions" is definitely worth checking out. It's full of great optical illusions and interactive exhibits. Type it in your search engine, it's really cool. Very Instagrammable.

 


The Royal Mile

The Royal Mile

One of the first places I stumbled across on one of my walks was The Royal Mile. A picturesque maze of independent cafes and shops littered the cobblestone streets. The Royal Mile is a long stretch of road connecting the famous Edinburgh Castle to the Palace of Holyrood House, which is the Queen's official residence in Edinburgh. I really enjoyed exploring this area, I would definetly recommend coming here if you're a fan of shopping. Not for clothing per se but random odds and ends.


There's a strong nod to Harry Potter along the royal mile and you'll find a vast number of themed shops. Rumour has it JK Rowling found inspiration for "Diagon Alley" at Victoria Street (pictured below). If you're a fan of the novels/movies have a nosey down there; I certainly did get a lot of Harry Potter vibes. In terms of food there's a great selection of eateries. I'm not a big burger fan but I ate some of the best in Scotland, they were delicious, didn't taste processed at all.

Victoria Street The Royal Mile

Edinburgh Castle

 


Holyrood Hill Edinburgh

Holyrood Park

If you follow the Royal Mile from the old town towards the Palace of Holyrood House, you will stumble upon Holyrood Park. You can't miss it. As you approach you'll see huge hills across the horizon. The contrast between this place and the city centre is astonishing considering how close in proximity they are. The park is simply stunning. There are a few paths you can roam along and after a few minutes, you'll certainly feel like you're in the countryside.


Hiking up Holyrood Hill isn't too strenuous and therefore this activity can be easily completed by most ability levels. (Takes about two hours to get to the top if I remember rightly.) Be sure to pack sensible footwear and waterproof clothing as it likes to rain in Scotland. A lot.



Holyrood Hill


Holyrood Hill Edinburgh

 


Glencoe

The Scottish Highlands

On one day during my trip I visited the Scottish Highlands. I won't lie to you this is a LONG journey from Edinburgh. Probably spent about 8 hours driving that day, including the many stops. If I knew how to take photographs properly and/or had a good camera, you'd really be like "wow this place looks amazing." 😂😂😂 However, I'm not a photographer and here we are.


The Highlands are stunning. I love being outdoors. I love nature and greenery. Even the air tasted different up there I swear. I saw a few different places including Ben Nevis ( The highest peak in Britain), Fort William (where the famous Hogwarts Express train is seen travelling on a bridge in the hills) and the Trossachs National Park.

 

Loch Ness

Loch Ness

Sometimes I get exceptionally random ideas in my head that don't make any sense. So, I wanted to go to Loch Ness and see what it was all about. This was mainly after hearing old folk tales of the Loch Ness monster as a kid.


To my disappointment, when I arrived at Loch Ness I was simply staring at a large body of water. I don't know what I expected to see but travelling all that way to see a big lake? I was thinking, is that it? 😂

Random fact "Loch" is Scottish for the word "Lake"

So yes, Loch Ness is fairly pretty although I didn't see any odes to the monster. There are quite a few shops in the local vicinity. Several cafes serve proper fish and chips, quaint tea rooms offer a lighter snack as well as places to buy shortbread. As this is a heavily tourist populated area; it is quite hard to find a spare table inside these establishments.


 
"Yay or Nay"

I loved what I saw of Scotland and I'm planning to go back again to visit more places. I think there's something there for everyone. There's Edinburgh city centre for the shopaholics and the Highlands for the nature lovers. Be sure to check out Holyrood Park, you'll love it!


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