Weekend Trip: Edinburgh
The Scottish capital is a beautiful city full of culture and acts as the perfect place for a weekend break. Edinburgh tops the list of many people’s favourite cities and for good reason. It has friendly people, lots of places to stop and catch your breath with a tea and a slice of cake, and hundreds of years of history to boot. Here are some of our top suggestions for a city break in Edinburgh…
Visit the Palace of Holyroodhouse
No visit to Edinburgh is complete without a visit to Holyroodhouse, the Queen’s official residence in Scotland. In the shadow of Arthur’s Seat, Holyroodhouse is open for tours throughout the year. The impressive building explores the Queen’s connection to Scotland and provides a potted history of those that have previously lived there. You’ll find it at the very bottom of the Royal Mile.
Live like a king on the Royal Yacht Britannia
Named Scotland’s top visitor attraction 12 times, the Royal Yacht Britannia is a must-see. A “floating palace” that’s now berthed in Edinburgh, the yacht gives a real insight into a very unusual royal residence. You can even sample homemade soups and sandwiches on deck, as the royals would once have done. Chin chin!
Hop on the City Sightseeing bus
If you want to take in the sights of Scotland’s capital whilst saving your feet and avoiding its many hills, the recognisable red City Sightseeing bus is definitely the way to go. The hop-on-hop-off tour takes you around the Old Town and on to Holyrood, via Grassmarket, the National Museum of Scotland and the 15th Century John Knox House, amongst other historic spots.
Drink in history at Greyfriars Kirk
You don’t have to be religious to appreciate the splendour and history of Greyfriars Kirk, the first church built in Post-Reformation Scotland and one of Edinburgh’s oldest buildings. If you’re visiting at the weekend, we highly recommend stopping by the 17th Century church for the Sunday service, held in both English (11am) and Scottish Gaelic (12.30pm). A real slice of Scottish history.
Take a moment at the Royal Botanic Gardens
If you need some respite from the crowds during your weekend city break in Edinburgh, we recommend the Royal Botanic Gardens. With the aim of preserving plant species for the future, the Botanic Gardens have a history spanning 350 years. Make sure you stop by the cafe for a restorative tea after wandering around its verdant 70 acres.
Sample the local tipples at the Scotch Whiskey Experience
Travelling with a whiskey lover? Make sure you stop by the Scotch Whiskey Experience, one of the top visitor attractions in the city. Learn about the much-loved local tipple at the attraction’s Whiskey School, take part in a tasting, or just browse the on-site shop and its wide selection of whiskey-based gifts.
Pick up some cashmere
Head to the Royal Mile, Edinburgh’s most famous street, for a huge selection of cashmere shops to help you wrap up against the cold. With scarves, hats and gloves as well as cashmere jumpers, you can stock up on presents for relatives too. We recommend picking up some traditional Scottish shortbread whilst you’re there.
Find the animals at Edinburgh Zoo
The 82-acre Edinburgh Zoo is found just outside the city centre, with impressive views of Scotland’s pretty, craggy capital. We’d especially recommend Edinburgh Zoo if you’re taking the grandchildren to the city for the weekend: with a Penguin Parade and talks on animals including meerkats and chimpanzees, this is a perfect way to keep little ones entertained for a few hours.
We hope this has provided you with some inspiration for your visit to the bustling, historic Scottish capital. Remember to wrap up warm; it gets chilly up here!