As much as I love to travel and discover new places, I’m also a bonafide homebody. Weekends come by and all I want to do is explore my home turf, eat good food and see my favourite people.
When I do get away though, if only for a day or weekend, l always come home inspired. Packing in a day of culture when you’ve only the hills and cobbles for company throughout the week is sometimes a much needed tonic. And it doesn’t need to cost a fortune either.
To kick off this new blog series, here’s my Edinburgh whistle-stop suggestions from a trip in January; I can’t wait to explore again in the warmer months.
People watch at the National Museum of Scotland I love museums not only for the exhibits (and gift shops) but the open space; serving a little respite from the bustling city. One of my favourite things to do once I’ve had my culture fix (this museum has the best natural world exhibtion) is to sit and people-watch. The Grand Gallery at the National Museum of Scotland is the perfect place just for that, the atrium rises over 4 floors and is filled with light; a stunning interior space and a great place to start your trip.
Shop the independent galleries and shops (you can shop the high street any time back at home). Some of my favourites included The Red Door Gallery, The Fruitmarket Gallery, and Hannah Zakari. Oh and there’s a great vintage shop at the bottom of Victoria Street (very famous Street in Edinburgh) that is filled to the brim with treasures, called Armstrong’s Vintage. Not to be missed!
Lose a couple of hours in the Royal Botanic Garden It might sound silly to go somewhere to escape the city when you’re only visiting for the day but with one of the world’s largest plant collections, I cannot recommend a visit to the Glasshouses (£5.50 entry) at the Royal Botanic Garden enough. It’s roughly a 30 minute walk from the north end of Princess Street or you could grab an Uber if you’re struggling for time, and walk back to the city instead. P.S They have really good coffee too!
Walk back to the city via the village of Stockbridge If you’re going to the Botanical Gardens make sure you walk via the area of Stockbridge and The Water of Leith. It’s a beautiful suburb with classical architecture, independent cafes, restaurants and shops and is worthy of a day trip in itself.
Visit Calton Hill during golden hour I’ve been to Edinburgh a few times prior to our trip in January but have never visited Carlton Hill before. Located only 10 mins from Waverley train station, it’s a great place to visit at the end of your trip with panoramic views of the city and Arthur’s Seat.
What would you add in your itinerary to a day trip to Edinburgh? Any favourite restaurants and cafes?