I recently spent a week in Scotland’s capital – the intriguingly beautiful and always vibrant Edinburgh.
It’s a pretty special place. I know many others agree by the response I got when I posted a photo on Facebook announcing my arrival in the city! It was my second visit, so there was less visits to top tourist attractions and more wandering around the city taking it all in.
The trip involved some last minute planning. I didn’t want to to spend a small fortune on accommodation so decided to look for a place to stay on airbnb. I have used airbnb to search for properties to stay in before but circumstances have never aligned, so this was my very first time staying in an airbnb property. And the experience has ruined me for all future experiences… because I was lucky enough to have the most amazing hosts!
Mary and Donald are live-in airbnb hosts and take bookings for two of their rooms. My room and the facilities were very comfortable, but what will stay with me was how welcoming and helpful they were throughout my stay. Upon arriving Mary made me a cup of tea and we had a lovely chat. We discussed what I would like to see and do while I was in Edinburgh. When I asked where I could hire a bike Mary volunteered that she and Donald could take me on a cycling tour if I was interested (they are in the process of setting up their own cycling tours). Heck yes I was! They decided we should head to the Forth Bridge. Before that I had no idea what the Forth Bridge was and was happy to go along with anything! And I’m glad I did, because we had a fantastic day. Read about our cycling adventure here.
The location of their property was also great – it’s in an area/suburb called Leith which is about a 25-30 minute walk north of Edinburgh’s city centre. As well as being a nice walk into the city, it was about a 10-15 minute walk to the dock/shore area. Originally it was quite an industrial area (still is a shipping port) but you can see that it’s changing. It still has an industrial, and in some spots grungy, feel (which give it character) but what excited me was the abundance of great little cafes, restaurants and pubs on offer.
Speaking of food. Those of you who know me won’t be surprised to hear that, as per usual, I tried to sample as much local deliciousness as possible – from the Edinburgh Farmers’ Market, to hidden bars and a Michelin-star experience. Plus this year is Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink 2015 so I had no choice in the matter! You can read about my favourite Edinburgh culinary experiences here.
As well as getting my food and drink on, I had a lovely time wandering around the city and visiting some great attractions. Some highlights of the trip were:
- walking out of Edinburgh Waverley railway station upon arriving and immediately being wowed by the Scott Monument in Princes Street Gardens
- walking to Arthur’s Seat again, for a brilliant 360 degree view over Edinburgh
- cycling tour to the Forth Bridge in Queensferry and back
- discovering a variety of statues and sculptures around the city
- watching the sunset over Edinburgh from Calton Hill
- trying lots of different food and drinks
- all the beautiful buildings by night and day
- the random bits and pieces!
As always, there wasn’t enough time to see and do everything. What a shame that I’ll have to go back again one day!!
Have you been to Edinburgh before? What did you love the most? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!