I completely fell in love with Edinburgh. We got so lucky with the weather – after leaving at 6am from the station in quite heavy snow, and trudging through more snow at our change – it was glorious sunshine the whole three days until a sprinkling of snow right as we left on Sunday.
The buildings are really what caught my attention first. Most of the old town in Edinburgh is made with the same dark stone, although the city itself didn’t feel dark, narrow and tall stretching up above you. Although some streets are beautiful, narrow and twisting up and down the hilly city, lots are very wide and elegant. I felt very relaxed and at home in Edinburgh; the whole place had a friendly, alive buzz. If you’re a Harry Potter lover, and even if you’re not to be honest, the city definitely has a magic to it.
For shopping head to the Grass Market area just below the castle. It may not be the cheapest place to shop but it’s a wonderful place to window shop, with old hat shops, artisan food, trinkets and bookshops. I loved walking the cobbled streets down here. We also spent hours in the greatest vintage shop I’ve ever experienced – W. Armstrong & Son – had there been a bar or cafe, I would still be there now. If you have a bit of time spare in Edinburgh, definitely stick your head round the door of this place.
The castle is also, of course, a must see. We didn’t pay for entrance tickets, we just wondered around the little bits you can see without a ticket and took some nice photos. Perched right on top of the hill at the heart of what would have been the old city, the castle is stunning, set on Edinburgh’s jagged base rock and made out of the same beautiful dark stone as the other buildings. It looks stunning from all angles too, whether you’re down in the park, craning your head up from the grass market, or gazing down from Arthur’s Seat, the castle is a really iconic part of Edinburgh’s skyline.
So on the subject of Arthur’s Seat, if you’re looking to escape the city in the city, there was never a better place to do so. It’s a brilliant walk up, the sun was beating down and it seemed like half of Edinburgh was out either running or walking around the huge green area that sits unassumingly in the middle of the gorgeous city. There’s so much to explore beyond Arthur’s Seat too, but for a crystal view of the city and over to the highlands far beyond, on one side, and across the sea on the other, the Seat is definitely the place to be. In the sunshine, with a little picnic, it was idyllic and blissful, and would definitely be a romantic escape.