A WEEKEND IN EDINBURGH: Beautiful views and rainy days

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I have a good friend in Edinburgh, so I’ve been there a few times to visit. It’s a beautiful place and very close to London, so it’s perfect for a weekend trip.

Here are some good things to do in Edinburgh:

1. Wander around the Royal Mile

Edinburgh’s city centre is very pretty and it’s always bustling with life. A great place to walk around and explore. And the impressive Edinburgh Castle is right nearby and definitely worth a visit.

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2. Hit the bars

Edinburgh is great for pubs – there’s just too many to choose from! Sample a few to find your favourite!

3. Go to the beach

If the weather is good, it is a good idea to explore some of the Scottish coast nearby. We went for a walk in Aberdour, which is a quaint little town 30 minutes from Edinburgh.

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4. Visit a museum

Edinburgh has some great museums, and the National Museum of Scotland is one of the best. Besides the impressive permanent collection, the terrace on the 7th floor has great views over the city.

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HOW TO DO IT:

  • Go: There are lots of flights from London, but taking the train is also a good alternative – the journey takes about 4h40.
  • Stay: Staying close to the city centre is the best option as most of the sights are within walking distance.
  • When to go: The weather in Edinburgh can be positively dreadful in the winter, so avoid going between November and February. In August the Edinburgh Festival is on with lots of amazing art and comedy.

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DRINKING IN STYLE: 3 pubs to visit in Edinburgh

Edinburgh is full of great pubs, and as it turns out I spend a lot of time in them every time I’m in the city. On my last visit I went to these three cool places:

1. THE GROSVENOR

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This pub is located about 15 minutes from the city centre, and although it’s still very close, it’s much less busy than pubs in central Edinburgh. A good option if you want to avoid the tourist crowds.

2. BOW BAR

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This traditional little bar is centrally located and had great atmosphere. Friendly staff and a great range of beers on tap – that’s all you need really!

3. CASTLE ARMS

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Located very close to Edinburgh Castle, this pub is a good option for a break while sightseeing. I didn’t try it, but the food looked delicious.

HANGING OUT WITH USAIN BOLT: A WEEKEND AT THE COMMONWEALTH GAMES

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We got tickets to see the final of the athletics at the Commonwealth Games, so we hopped on a plane to Glasgow.

I’ve been to Edinburgh many times, but this was my first time in Glasgow.

We have friends living nearby, so we met for lunch at Mono, a nice restaurant and music venue that serves delicious vegetarian food. We then spent the rest of the afternoon around some of the many bars in the city centre.

THE COMMONWEALTH GAMES

glasgow08_for webScottish summer weather meant the athletics session we saw was very wet. The women in the pole vault struggled to get any results, as did the men in the triple jump. But the atmosphere was great and we had lots of fun.

But the definite highlight was the men’s 4X100 relay. Not only did we get to see Usain Bolt competing, but he was right in front of us! We were immensely lucky with the tickets.

Bolt is extremely powerful, and I was really impressed at how he controlled the crowd. And he also seemed to have fun in the process, even dancing to Scottish classic ‘500 miles‘. The Jamaican team won as expected, and this was a climatic finish to a nice day.

 HOW TO DO IT:

  • Tickets: I’ve said this elsewhere, but the key to going to any major sporting event is planning in advance. We applied for a whole bunch of tickets and were lucky to get these.
  • Stay: Glasgow doesn’t actually have that many options, and because this was a busy time we ended up staying at a rented room we found through Airbnb. Aimee‘s flat was ideal for us – a spacious flat close to the stadium and with good links to the city centre.
  • Go: The main airlines fly to Glasgow, but for more options consider flying to (and staying at) Edinburgh, which is quite close and offers more choice.

THE 5-MINUTE TRIP PLANNER: A WEEKEND IN EDINBURGH

I go to Edinburgh on occasion to visit friends. It’s easy to get there and it’s always fun.

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HOW TO DO IT:

  • Go: there are lots of flights from London, but you can also take the train, which takes a bit less than 5 hours. Book in advance as prices can get quite high.
  • Stay: I always stay with friends, but Hostelworld has many options available. Accommodation is not particularly cheap in Edinburgh, but it’s worth paying more to stay in the city centre.
  • Do: On a nice day, hike up Arthur’s seat for a great view of the city. Recover with a nice beer in one of the many great pubs around the city centre.
  • Shop: Ness has lots of nice bags and jackets, with a modern Scottish feel. I always find it a bit on the expensive side, but they often have sales on.
    Easy!

The 5-minute trip planner: Planning a short trip in no time.