Thursday, 28 September 2017

Edinburgh: Things To Do, Where To Eat & Harry Potter



Once upon a time I picked out the cutest Air BnB, embarked upon a 4 hour train ride with a hot chocolate in hand and arrived in the beautiful and magical city of Edinburgh.

I know I say this about a lot of cities, but this really was one of those cities I fell in love with the moment I stepped off the train. I want to move there, I need to move there, please, someone, take me back there, please!

I stayed there for three nights, which was just enough for a little trip away. I got to do a lot, drink a lot and eat a lot.

So here’s a little, or actually a somewhat large, round up of everything I got up to. I’ve split it into three sections - What I Did, Where I Ate and Harry Potter.

What I Did

Old Town

Old towns are usually my favourite part of a city break and Edinburgh did not disappoint. I could wander those cobbled streets for hours and I did, several times. There’s so many winding streets, charming shops, independent cafes and hidden alleyways.

Royal Mile

This sits within the old town and is impossible to miss. It stretches all the way from Holyrood Palace to Edinburgh Castle, with a million and one things to do and see in between. There’s plenty of shops, pubs, street performers, museums and, of course, tourists. Have your camera ready because you’ll be taking a lot of pics along here.

Underground Spooky Tour

Along the Royal Mile you will see lots of guided tour groups moving around. We went with Mercats Ghostly Underground Tour after reading some good reviews online. It is a little overpriced for what it is, but still lots of fun and I’m glad we did it. The tour guide stayed in his spooky character the entire time and engaged well with the group, getting everyone laughing. It was also really interesting to learn the dark history of Edinburgh’s underground system.

Grass Market

Another thing I like to check out when visiting a city are the local markets. Grass Market is in the old town at the end of Victoria Street. The space is lined with even more shops, places to eat and pubs. In the middle there’s market stalls and live music. You can also get a really great view of the castle from down here!

Greyfriars Bobby

I had no idea who this little guy was before I went. I was looking for a Graveyard when i saw a small crowd around a statue of a dog. The story goes that in the 19th century Bobby spent 14 years guarding his owners grave until he too died. What have we done to deserve dogs?!

Botanical Gardens

The botanical gardens was one of my favourite parts of Edinburgh. It’s located in Stockbridge which is just a short walk from the old town. My Air BnB was actually in the beautiful Stockbridge. I’d highly recommend staying there, it’s just a 20 min walk to the old town or like a £5 uber. Anyways, the stunning and spacious gardens are free to explore, you’ll just have to pay to go into the Glasshouses. I went in the glasshouse, they’re very hot so wear layers! 


Where I Ate

Civerinos

A tasty pizza place just off the Royal mile. The pizza bases are thin and crispy and there’s a decent amount of choice. I think I read that this place stays open quite late, so it’s a good one when you need a pick me up after a couple at the pub. They sell whole pizzas as well as slices. I find some pizza places can let you down when it comes to chips but they were cooked perfectly here and had lots of seasoning and flavour.

Pantry

What holiday is complete without a little brunch, am I right? As I said we stayed in Stockbridge, which apparently is a big brunch loving area. The Pantry was so good, I had the Bennys with kale and the boyfriend had LA Eggs, both were scrumptious. They make a mean hot chocolate too!

Mary’s Milk Bar

Before I went somebody told me that I had to find this place, it does the best ice cream ever. It’s in the Grass Market area, so you can enjoy your ice cream and the views of the castle simultaneously. I’m a big ice cream fan and I loved this. It’s more creamy than ice and packed full of flavour. I went for a double scoop, one chocolate and one raspberry.

Eat Something (I can’t remember the name but it has ‘eat’ in it somewhere and is on the edge of Grass Market)

Just as I was in the middle of a vegetarian rant (I was getting hangry and had just been somewhere where they ran out of the only veggie option I liked, which happens a lot as there’s usually like only 3 choices) the boyfriend pointed as this place and said let’s check it out before going home and cooking our own food. They have the biggest selection of veggie panini I have ever seen, with just as much meat options too. 

Soderberg

As well as brunch you have to have at least one pastry per holiday, thems the rules. Soderberg is a cute little cafe on the Stockbridge high street with a delicious array of pastries available. I got a jam and cream pastry with a hot chocolate, both were delicious.

Stockbridge Food Market

Thanks to the boyfriend for finding out this was on. Another reason to stay in Stockbridge is the lovely food markets it hosts on Sundays. It seemed like everyone there was queueing up for the paella stall!

Chaophraya

There is no shortage of Thai restaurants in Edinburgh, they’re everywhere! We booked a table at Chaophraya after it was recommended to us by a friend. They have a glass rooms seating area where you can get great views of the city. It’s a little pricey but perfect if you want to splash out on a romantic or celebratory meal.


Harry Potter

(yes I am watching Harry Potter whilst writing this and yes I watched two of the movies while in Edinburgh)

Greyfriars Kirkyard

It has been said JK Rowling took inspiration for characters names from many places, including graveyards! In Greyfriars Kirkyard you will find Riddles and McGonagalls graves, if you’re prepared to do a bit of searching! Cue flashbacks to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

George Heriot’s School

You can’t actually go in the grounds of this school but it is right next to the graveyard and visible from the Elephant House cafe. It is said to be the inspiration behind the structure of Hogwarts and the four school houses.

Diagon House

There are actually two Diagon Houses’, one on Victoria Street and one on Cockburn Street. if you are a Harry Potter fan you will absolutely love them, it sort of reminded me of being in Weasley Wizard Wheezes. Although it was fun to look around I didn’t end up buying anything, the products were way too overpriced. 

Victoria Street

This winding street is thought to be the inspiration behind the famous Diagon Alley, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s bright and colourful and full of all sorts of shops selling all sorts of things, including the Diagon House I mentioned above. 

Elephant House

I saved the best until last, in my opinion at least. The Elephant House is where the talented JK Rowling wrote much of her first Harry Potter book. Naturally it has now become a big tourist attraction and we had to queue a little bit to get a table, but in my biased opinion it is well worth the wait. I sat down at a table in the back room, looked at the castle from out of the window and almost burst into tears. No joke. I was so emotional, I couldn’t believe I was sat where JK Rowling once sat writing the book I love so much. Then there’s the famous toilets, where almost every inch of the wall is covered in graffiti from fans of the series. I loved it so much I visited it twice!







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2 comments

  1. That Diagon House looks amazing!!!! <3 Great photos. This post makes me want to visit Edinburgh!

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    1. It was amazing! Edinburgh is my new favourite city ❤️ Thank you! Xx

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