Back in January we booked to go to Edinburgh for Lucy’s birthday and we couldn’t have been more surprised with it’s beauty, history and general vibe. We packed jumpers, scarves and woolly hats thinking we’d be bitten by the Scottish winds but it was gloriously sunny with blue skies every day. We managed to pack a lot into our city break, and one thing is for sure, all 3 of us want to head back, ASAP.
DAY 1 (or more like evening) – The Thursday
We arrived at 7ish and got shown around our Air BnB by the owner. It was the cutest 1 bed flat just 15 minute walk from the city centre with everything we needed. We hot-footed it to the Sainsbury’s local across the street to stock up on prosecco, wine, pizza and cake. 4 vital ingredients for a great night in. We stuffed our faces, got tipsy and sung happy birthday to Luce. A cute evening all round.
DAY 2 – The Friday
We braved the walk into the city centre thinking it would be chilly, but we packed our hats for no reason. We were headed for the Dungeons because I am a top adult and got us 3 tickets using my clubcard points. (I know, adulating success). As we approached the dungeons from the other side of the road we read the sign saying opening times for Saturday’s, Sunday’s and Wednesday’s. WHAT. We literally flew all the way to Edinburgh to be told that the Dungeon’s were open for 3 days a week? It actually said ‘Weekdays’ not Wednesday’s. Panic over (and with me making a mental note to get my eyes checked) we went for a cuppa quickly before it opened at 11am. This is where Karolina’s addiction to Irn Bru started.
The Dungeons were creep AF. I mean, we were scared just walking into the loos beforehand and seeing the tap already running. Yup. The whole thing lasted for about an hour and twenty minutes, and went through periods of Scottish history with a couple of rides thrown in. Us 3 held hands throughout, not ashamed.
After successfully not cacking ourselves, we headed towards the general direction of food. We stumbled across Fleshmarket Place (lovely name) where we had a mini photoshoot on the steps leading to the Halfway House Pub – voted Edinburgh’s best pub in 2009 people – FANFAIR PLEASE. It was here I was to try haggis for the first time. I actually loved my haggis, neeps and tatties (that’s haggis, turnip and potatoes to us southerners). Karolina and Luce went for a northern favourite – the pie – and we all tried 3 of their ales. The regulars were friendly, especially Matt, who told us the owner was from Welwyn Garden City in Hertfordshire (small world) and gave us all a hug and a kiss when we left – he wanted me to take a photo of him to “pop on Trip Advisor” so I’ma insert that candid shot here…
Then onto our walking tour. It was a Sandemans tour which is where the tour guide does it for free, and you tip them what you think the tour is worth at the end. Karolina did one in Berlin and loved it so we really wanted to do this one and it didn’t disappoint. Our tour guide was actually from Middlesborough (voted one of the worst places to live in England) and had been in Edinburgh 3 years, but you’d think he was a true Scot with how knowledgable he was. We went to all the top sites of the city including Parliament Square, the Royal Mile, outside of the Castle, Grassmarket and Greyfriars Cemetery. If you’re going on a city break, check out if there is a Sandeman’s tour. It’s a really casual, informative and interesting way to see a city.
We spent our first night out between Princes St and George St, enjoying cocktails at Candy Bar first of all. This was where we met a couple of girls who taught us some Scottish vocab:
- Blether – a chat/catchup (e.g: “we had a wee blether”)
- Jobby – a big shit (pronounced jaw-bee, e.g “I went for a massive jobby earlier”)
- Shneckin’ – kissing (e.g. “Ew look at that guy shneckin’ that girls face”)
- Dreach – drizzly/gloomy day (e.g. “it’s such a dreach day outside”)
TA-DAH you are now fluent in some Scottish. We went to a club called Why Not, because why not? Drinks were cheap which was amazing but dangerous. When Lucy realised her new shoes were rubbing, we got in a cab and made him take us to McDonalds’s drive-thru. After Karolina questioned the cashier on why Fillet-of-Fish don’t have monopoly stickers on but all the other burgers do (seriously though, why is that?!) we staggered up the stairs to the flat and got comfy. It was then that Lucy realised she had grown 2 extra toes in the form of blisters. When you’re really drunk and crawling around your flat from the pain on your feet, it seemed really bloody funny. Especially as we were throwing the word jobby into the mix too. Mayhem.
DAY 3 – The Saturday
This wasn’t such an early start. We all felt delicate and Lucy’s toes needed their own splint they were so sore. At about midday we got the bus into the city and slowly made our way to the castle. We walked through Princes St gardens to get there and it was beautiful. The walk up to the castle was prettier and quieter than if we had gone up the Royal Mile. The castle is around £16.50 to go inside and roam around, but you can’t go to Edinburgh and not see the castle. We just posed on big black canons (ahem) and Karolina bought herself a crown in the gift shop to wear around the castle. Absolute Queen. It was when we noseyed around the chapel and the words ‘wee bitch’ and ‘jobby’ slipped out that we thought it best to leave…
We headed back to Greyfriars Cemetery to check out the gravestones that inspired J.K. Rowlings characters – Mad Eye Moody, Professor McGonagall and Tom Riddle to be precise – then actually lunched in the Elephant Cafe where she wrote parts of the first 3 books. People just want to go into the cafe to see the toilet shrine to JK, but the food and drinks are actually really good value and so tasty. So don’t be a dick, actually go in and buy a coffee rather than just nipping in to take a picture of a picture of JK on their wall and see the bog.
The pub crawl we signed up for on our last night was a bit of a damp squib so we bailed at 10pm and I bought a Malteser Easter egg and chocolate digestives at the Sainsbury’s local. Standard Saturday night!
DAY 4 – The Sunday
We needed to do some souvenir shopping so we went back to the Royal Mile to buy our shortbread, magnets and postcards. The girls even bought me some Whiskey flavoured condoms which I am super excited to use…
Karolina found a cute coffee shop online called Cairngorm Coffee Co where they apparently did the best toasties. It was true. So. Much. Cheese. And you can never have enough cheese. By the time we finished tucking in, we had to make our way to the airport on the tram. Edinburgh, you were full of cute lanes, beautiful buildings, historic stories and sunny scenery. We can’t wait to visit again!
You can check out the video I made of our trip HERE – please subscribe to my YouTube channel whilst you’re there!
I urge you to go! If you’ve been before, what were your favourite parts? Comment and like to let me know you’ve had a read.
With love and dreaming of haggis,