🇬🇧 Edinburgh

We drove the short distance over the border and we were in Scotland!  We stopped across the border and admired the view (and the beautiful flowers!).  Then we continued on our way to our first stop – Edinburgh!  Our accomodation was a beautiful Airbnb in Leith (to the north of the city).  This cute apartment had spectacular views back across the city, including Arthur’s Seat (a cliff that protrudes over the edge of the city).

When we are in cities we love to try and find an area that is a bit out of the city to try and avoid the hustle and bustle but still within easy commuting distance.  Hence, we stayed in Leith which is along the water and around 45 minutes walk (or an easy bus ride) into the city.   The great advantage of this area was the fact that it was quiet and on the water with a beautiful walk alongside the canal.  We loved meeting all the birdlife residents as well as seeing the street art.  It was interesting at this stage of our trip to see the cygnets more grown up.

 

Royal Yacht Britannia

Our first day trip we decided to go and explore the Royal Yacht Britannia.  This was the last of a long line of royal yachts and was permanently docked in Leith.   It looked like a unique experience so we paid our entrance fee and went on a self guided tour.  You are given an audio guide and you make your own way through the four levels of the ship.   We thoroughly enjoyed this experience as it was a unique way to see such an amazing vessel but also how the Royals unwound and a little of their day to day life onboard.  We were fascinated by how the crew had to work in silence outside the Royal apartments, the decks had to be hand polished, the number of bars, the different dining rooms depending on your rank and the different sleeping quarters (and how confined they could be) and how polished the engine room was.   All in all this was definitely a highlight.

 

The Royal Mile

The next day we grabbed a coffee and hopped on a local bus to go into the city.

We arrived at one end of the Royal Mile.  This is named the ‘Royal Mile’ because it is a long street that the king used to go down on his horse from his castle (Edinburgh Castle) to his palace and abbey (Holyrood Palace).  We started at the abbey and palace.  We noticed that the weather was very volatile – sunny and warm followed quickly by drizzly and cold!!  When it was sunny it was nice to see the warm hues come out in the honey coloured stone of the buildings.

One of the things that the mile is famous for is lots of little alleyways (called a close) that branch off.

About halfway along we came across the Museum of Childhood.  This was a free museum that was full of interesting toys, games and clothes from the past.  We really enjoyed exploring this space.  Some of the dolls were a tad creepy!

 

We made a short detour to see the Scott monument (world’s largest monument to an author) and then climbed up to the top (it was stairs so not too bad) of Calton Hill to see the spectacular views of Edinburgh (and we heard the 1pm cannon from the castle).

On the way back to the Royal Mile we stopped at the flower clock – this was very cool.

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We then stopped to see St Giles cathedral before we arrived at the steep end – Edinburgh Castle.

We then did the 45 minute trek back to Leith-  this was very enjoyable as it was through a green corridor alongside the river.  We said hello to our feathered friends before collapsing at the end of a big day.

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