A Festive Day Out in Edinburgh

Since Christmas is almost upon us my girlfriend and I decided to take a trip up to the capital. With the horrendous weather all week and the tickets being pre-booked months in advance we feared the worst. However, we ended up with a perfect day besides two hours’ worth of rain!Awkward couple pictureIf you are wanting to have a perfect day trip to Edinburgh then I recommend you head up early and check out the castle. I hadn’t been in years so the whole experience was completely new to me: It felt as if I was in a Game of Thrones episode at King’s Landing. The views here are incredible and for only £16pp you can be here for the full day.IMG_1567Personally, I’d go on one of the free guided tours if you are interested in the history and importance of the castle. If you’d rather do your own thing though then you can probably see the castle in around 3 hours.

The castle provides majestic views, a terrific insight into Scotland and Edinburgh’s history and is a must see when in the city. If you’re feeling peckish and forgot to bring a packed lunch then check out the cafe. The prices are a bit steep but that is always going to be the case at a tourist attraction. I wouldn’t come here for a meal but for a hot chocolate and a cake was just what we needed.IMG_1583Another must do is going down the Royal Mile, visiting gift shops and taking in the scenery. A trip to St. Giles’ Cathedral wouldn’t go a miss either on the Mile. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to go here this time but from previous visits I highly recommend the place, especially during the holidays.

There’s a massive Christmas market at Princes Street Gardens. I would say go here for the Ferris wheel during the day to get the best views of Edinburgh and beyond. For only £6 for a student ticket you get 4 times round the wheel and in total takes around 10 minutes.

Visiting the Christmas market at night means that there it’s more of a festive ambience. The smell of hot food and warm cider mixed in with the sounds of carollers singing adds in some fantastic Yuletide joy. The stalls vary from Frankfurter Würstchen (German hot dog) to small gifts to various hot desserts. I tried a dessert from one of the European stalls and it was disgusting, just like a thin, crinkled, hardened dough called a churro. So you aren’t always going to get lucky!

 

I decided to face my fear of heights by going on the Skyrider at the market. This is basically a 60 metre high swing than spins you around: I can’t think of anything worse. But I knew how much Ashley wanted to go on it so I “manned up” and went on. As soon as the safety bar went down I wanted off. It was too late. The ride turned on and it started to get higher and faster. The view at the top was spectacular. I always forget how beautiful Edinburgh is; that is for the brief moments I opened my eyes during it. For £6 it was worth it for Ashley but I certainly won’t be going back on it in a hurry.IMG_1608There is no better end to the day than a drink in Edinburgh’s The Dome. It’s price does reflect that but the atmosphere, décor and architecture inside makes The Dome a perfect ending to an amazing day.

 

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