With so much history, culture and art packed into the crooked cobbled streets and turreted skylines of Scotland’s beautiful capital, you may think that 48 hours just isn’t enough to do it justice; but, thanks to its perfectly petite proportions, Edinburgh is simply wonderful for a 2 day mini break. Just take a look…
Start with a stunning stroll up extinct volcano, Arthur’s Seat, for unsurpassed views all the way out to the wild Scottish seas, followed by a gorgeous breakfast, close by, in the cosy Metropole Café in Newington.
Fuelled up and ready to go, the afternoon requires an obligatory visit to Edinburgh Castle on the Royal Mile. As you make your way down the Mile you can browse shops galore until you reach the beautiful St Giles Cathedral that really deserves a peek inside. Grab a bite in one of the many wee restaurants and trad pubs on the High Street – or if you’re feeling like something a little bigger, Kebab Mahal on Nicholson Square always picks up good reviews – before heading back to your hotel to get glammed up for a night on the town.
Edinburgh nights can be full of tradition or sumptuously modern. The Old Town is packed with tiny tartan lined pubs like the quirky Jolly Judge or the Last Drop in the Grassmarket where many a miscreant was hanged centuries ago. Sandy Bells offers fantastic live music every night of the week. Alternatively head for the Skybar at the Point Hotel for swanky cocktails and views to die for. For exquisite dining in the utmost luxury book a table at the fabled Witchery by the Castle Restaurant. You will not be disappointed.
A word to the wise: Although Scotland may be considered the drinking capital of the world, strict licencing laws for shops and supermarkets mean you can’t buy booze after 10pm (although pubs have later licences). If you are thinking about getting a bottle of wine for the room, be sure to get it in before then and don’t forget to read Regular Wino’s reviews to see which supermarket wines are the ones to look out for.
Enjoy a hearty breakfast in the City Café just off the Royal Mile before heading down to the lush green Botanic Gardens to peruse the palms and languish among the lily’s. There are sometimes exhibitions at Inverleith House that is located on the grounds. En-route back take in the shops of Prince’s Street before climbing the many many steps to the top of the Scot’s Monument.
For an afternoon of art and culture, visit the gorgeous Gallery of Modern Art at the Dean Bridge in the New Town, or head back towards Princes Street for the National Gallery of Scotland, if traditional art is more your thing. The recently refurbished National Museum of Scotland is also close by with an utterly stunning interior. While in the area, don’t miss the statue of little Greyfriars Bobby, the most famous dog in Scotland. Lunch in the Tower Restaurant on the roof top of the National Museum is an absolute must.
Early evening is perfect for catching a film in the art-house Cameo or Filmhouse cinemas just a few yards apart. Or perhaps a romantic stroll along the soft sands of Portobello beach to watch the sunset. On the way back from the beach stop in the Sheep’s Heid Inn, the oldest pub in Scotland, for traditional skittles, fine dining and wine and a unique atmosphere. End the weekend with a theatre production or perhaps a night time planetarium show. Just make sure you book your next flights to the Scottish Capital soon, as there is so much more to do!