We got to see a lot more of Edinburgh on our first full day there. We really liked what we saw! I like to call it London Light. It has all the charm of London, but is smaller and more doable. It is a beautiful city and with so much to see and do.
After spending nearly three weeks in Ireland, we were excited to hear the Scottish accent, in contrast. I find it to be a bit more difficult to discern than the Irish one, but equally charming.
It has been wonderful to have the extra space of an Airbnb and to eat "at home" for a few days (except for lunches out).
We had a great day!
We were so excited to sit around a dining table at our Airbnb and have a light "Scottish" breakfast. Well, it wasn't exactly Scottish, but it was purchased at a Scottish market and it was light. We had fresh fruit, yogurt, cinnamon loaf, cereal with milk, orange juice and hot tea.
Our first stop of the day was Edinburgh Castle. Edinburgh Castle is a world famous icon of Scotland and part of the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site. It was a long hike up to the castle with not only hills but multiple sets of steep stairs. But once we arrived to the top, the view of breathtaking Edinburgh was well worth it! To learn more about this historic castle use this link: https://www.edinburghcastle.scot
We worked up an appetite climbing up and down all those stairs to the castle so en route to our next destination, we stopped in and had lunch at McGonagalls Gin & Whisky Emporium. Not to worry, the kids did not partake in either gin or whisky at lunch. However, it is so clever that in both Ireland and the UK they allow children in pubs. The pubs have great food at fairly reasonable prices so they're always a good option for family dining. Our lunch was delicious and the atmosphere was so Edinburgh.
After lunch, we headed back to the National Museum of Scotland, where we had been the day before. There was still so much to see. We only had a few hours which allowed us to make another small dent in this massive collection. Catherine and I especially loved the fashion exhibit in addition to home decor. We also returned to the wing which houses the Scottish history and finished that up. We hope to return someday and finish seeing the rest. My estimation is that you could spend a week there and still not see it all.
Our next stop was Palace of Holyroodhouse, which is the official residence of the British monarch in Scotland. Located at the bottom of the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, at the opposite end to Edinburgh Castle, Holyroodhouse has served as the principal royal residence in Scotland since the 16th century, and is a setting for state occasions and official entertaining. Being the royals fan that I am, I was so excited to visit. The tour was thorough and extensive. We were permitted to see so much more of the palace than I had imagined. We even sat in the room where The Queen lay in state after her passing last September, which was meaningful to me, given my great admiration and affection for The Queen. To learn more about this special place use this link: https://www.rct.uk/visit/palace-of-holyroodhouse
As it turns out, the royals had been there just a few days before our arrival for the annual Holyrood Week in Edinburgh. Admittedly, it would have been fun to hobnob with them while in town, but then we would not have had the opportunity to see this special place, so it all worked out. To learn more about Holyrood week and see some great photos use this link: https://www.royal.uk/news-and-activity/2023-07-03/holyrood-week-2023
After a long day, we were happy to return to our Airbnb and have our favorite European dinner of fresh bread, cold cuts, cheeses and fruit.