Travel: A Long Weekend in Edinburgh

Olympic Rings in front of the New College on the Mound, Edinburgh.

When an opportunity presented itself to tag along with friends on a trip to Edinburgh, I jumped at the chance. While readers of this blog know that I consider London to be my second home, I’m sad to admit that I’ve never ventured north to Scotland. After a long weekend soaking up historic architecture and gorgeous scenery, I cannot believe I didn’t take the trip up sooner.

The Arrival

Flying into Edinburgh couldn’t be easier. After an overnight flight, I landed in Heathrow and had two hours to make my way through what felt like an internal “maze” involving a tram and lots of walking. Though nervous that two hours might be cutting it close, I made it to my terminal and had plenty of time before boarding the quick flight up to Edinburgh. Once in Edinburgh, the cab fare from the airport into the city is not bad – it’s about 17 pounds. Also nice? The Black Cab drivers in Edinburgh were just as friendly as the ones I’ve encountered in London. My driver was happy to share things to see during our 20-ish minute ride into town.

Exploring Edinburgh

Before the trip, a friend told me that half the fun of wandering around Edinburgh is discovering little bits of history and architecture. He was right! Despite having to put up with the erratic weather alternating between clouds, rain and sunshine everyday (which, FYI, is totally normal…everyone carries umbrellas at all times!), I was fortunate to find plenty of sunny moments to snap photos. Check out the gorgeous mix of scenery and historical landmarks captured below:

East Princes Street Gardens.

View of the Top of the Mound from East Princes Street Gardens

The oh so touristy Edinburgh Castle. Worth a visit, but we were repeatedly told that it’s not worth to pay $$ to go inside.

As far as you’re allowed to go inside Edinbrugh Castle without paying. Don’t be scared off the the entry queue  area – the ticket windows are in the internal area and there’s a gift shop and a few good spots for photo opps before payment is required to go further.

Edinburgh Festival Centre

In addition to a cute cafe and free restrooms, the Edinburgh Festival Centre has this interesting back room.

I loved all of the unique old doors in Edinburgh. This one was spotted near the Edinburgh Festival Centre.

Though St. Giles Cathedral doesn’t look like much from the outside, you definitely should not judge this cathedral by its exterior.

Reason #1: The amazing church organ. I was also lucky enough to visit while the church choir was practicing. Listening to them practice was the highlight of my trip.

Dramatic ceiling at St. Giles Cathedral. Swoon.

My camera did not do the gorgeous stained class windows at the cathedral justice. There were so many of them, each one different.

Spotted upon entry to St. Cuthbert’s Cemetary. Do you think they’re referring to the dead people?

St. Cuthbert’s Cemetery. Lush, green and filled with historic graves.

Final Thoughts

All in all, I really enjoyed my time sightseeing around Edinburgh. It’s definitely feasible to visit for a long weekend and then head on to a different destination. Next time I get the opportunity, I’d like to head further north up to the Herbides and see the Isle of Skye. Until then, stay tuned for upcoming blog entries highlighting the food and drinks we enjoyed in Edinburgh and my trip to London!




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