At the beginning of the year I decided to go on a little Adventure on my own and to head to Edinburgh for a few days. It was my very first time travelling completely alone and I was truly excited to be exploring one of the cities that has been on my bucket list for a very long time.
It has been a trip of a lifetime that I won’t never forget and I will always think of it as one of the most beautiful times I have ever had.
Edinburgh is an amazing city full of history, friendly people and incredible nature. I have to admit the only downside of Scotland is: the weather. It. Is. Flipping. Cold. But if you go prepared and once you get used to it, you are fine! 🙂
It is time to discover the beauty of the city so sit down in your favourite cozy spot with a cup of your favourite hot drink and get ready to find out my top places you cannot miss while visiting this magical city! 🙂
1- Calton Hill: From this spot you will find incredible and mysterious views over Edinburgh. What I love the most about this place is that you can see the whole city from the perfect distance being able to recognise so many iconic spots: from the Castle to Princes Street, the main shopping street of the capital.
My top tips are: visit it during sunset time and don’t stop only where the Observatory is but spend enough time wondering around. Stunning and unique views will leave you speechless and I am pretty sure you will want to go back the next day again! 🙂
2- Dean Village: A super charming and very peaceful spot in the west end of Edinburgh. Cobbled narrow alleys, ancient buildings and colourful flowers make this place a must-visit. It definitely doesn’t seem to be in the city centre at all but far away in the countryside instead. The fact there are not too many tourists around makes this little gem even more special and definitely a site you need to explore. No excuses. 🙂
3- Arthur’s Seat: Situated just East side of Edinburgh, this majestic hill is definitely one of the most famous spots of the city. If you are a trekking lover or if you want to turn into a “trekking lover” just for a day (like myself 🙂 )- *this* is the spot for you. I have to confess the thing I remember the most of the day I decided to climb this gigantic hill (closer to a mountain to me! haha!) is that it was super tiring climbing it. My fault though as I took the wrong way going up, so please, be extra careful to any sign at the bottom and just make sure you are going in the right direction.
Once you get a the top, apart from being a bit out of breath, you will be amazed by the unreal views over the capital. Top tip: don’t go on a windy day. Wind can get very strong up there and it can turn into a very dangerous place.
4- The Royal Mile & the Old Town: I still have in my eyes those never ending and magical cobbled alleys. When in the Old Town of Edinburgh it truly feels to be in Harry Potter land: everywhere you turn you see a building, a detail, you hear a sound, a music that takes you back to the world of the most famous wizard of our times. The Castle itself is definitely worth a visit, a couple of hours is the perfect timing to take some pretty shots and to learn everything about this historic fortress that dominates Edinburgh’s skyline.
There is a lot to discover in Edinburgh itself but definitely a day trip out of the city is a must. Spending a whole day surrounded by the wild nature of the Scottish Highlands, its post-card sceneries and majestic castles are memories I won’t never forget – This was Rabbies Tours for me. I highly recommend to check them out if you are looking for day trips (or more than one day even): the tour guides are extremely well prepared and always happy to share their infinite knowledge with you.
But where to stay?
This was the question I was asking myself over and over again while organising the trip. As I was travelling with public transports (with Virgin Trains from King’s Cross directly to Edinburgh) I really wanted to stay in a place that was right in the city centre, not too far from the station and possibly with some incredible views over Scotland’s capital. I know, it seems I was asking too much but when I came across the Grand Sheraton Edinburgh I knew I found the place I wanted to be. The service, the staff and the property itself made my stay a truly unforgettable one. As soon as I entered in my room Edinburgh Castle was there, just in front of my eyes. The bathroom was spacious and a huge and incredibly comfortable bed was waiting for me – exactly what you need after a long day of adventuring around the city.
To re-energise after a few days of nonstop exploring, I took advantage of the One SPA, the in-house spa that offers so many treatments and where you will be able to enjoy more memorable moments. Top tip: make sure to check out the rooftop Hydropool. It is just insanely beautiful and I am sure once you discover it you will spend a whole day just in there! 🙂
Where to have your afternoon treat?
I have a confession to make: I have an extremely sweet tooth. I simply can’t stay without a piece of chocolate or a small dessert, not even for a day – reason why I had to do a little bit of research on where to find the best afternoon treat. Easy task though as the Grand Sheraton has literally everything, including a beautiful brasserie, the One Square. It offers all you need: from drinking to dining and one of the nicest afternoon tea I have ever had too. The taste of those freshly made scones is still in my mind: I remember being there, all by myself enjoying the yummiest clotted cream and strawberry jam ever, turning my head and seeing Edinburgh castle standing high and tall right in front of me. I was living what I was dreaming just a few months earlier, when I was trying to plan everything out. It all felt too good to be true but as Walt Disney one said “All of our dreams can come true.”