Through The Local Lens: Why Edinburgh Should Be On Your Bucket List

Isha Mayer , 17 Jul 2019
Edinburgh, Scotland
Edinburgh, Scotland

I wonder why Scotland is such an underrated vacay destination. There is so much to explore historically and culturally and yet I don’t hear too many people talking about it. I recently went to Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, with my sister and I can vouch that the four days I spent in total were unforgettable! The charming architecture and friendly people bring a sense of warmth and homeliness. Here is a breakdown of what to do and where to go if you are ever planning to visit the beautiful city.

The best time to visit Scotland is between May to July. If you are big on exploring the city, then opt for a budget hotel or a hostel to live in and explore the city like a local. Walk around more rather than spending money on the cab rides.

Day 1: Exploring The City

Princes Street

Festival Village on Princes Street, Edinburgh
Festival Village on Princes Street, Edinburgh

On the first day, we walked around different parts of the city. We started with the busy Princes Street, known for shopping and food. We dropped by a cheerful place named Festival Village to enjoy a beer and live singing.

Dean Village Leading Into The Leith Walk

Dean Village, Edinburgh
Dean Village, Edinburgh

The next place you must explore is Dean Village, a beautiful area filled with colourful row houses. Once you keep walking ahead, you end up next to the Water of Leith where you take the 25-minute Leith Walk along the main river of Scotland. I recommend it for those who enjoy nature, greenery, and peace.

Day 2: The Borders

On day 2, we went on a guided tour, ‘Heart of Scotland’ that covered the borders. This tour makes major stops at places of historical importance. Apart from this, enjoy the view of the lush green fields and lots of sheep! Fun fact: There are over 6 million sheep in Scotland, which is more than the population of people there. Surprising, isn’t it?

Stop 1: Rosslyn Chapel

Rosslyn Chapel, Scotland
Rosslyn Chapel, Scotland

True Da Vinci Code fans will surely remember this place. Rosslyn Chapel was built by Sir William St. Clair in 1446 as a place of worship. It gained more popularity after the release of the book, The Da Vinci Code and its subsequent movie starring Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou. The visitors increased from 12,000 a year to 25,000 a month. However, Rosslyn Chapel has been known much before the release of the book and the movie for a lot of mysterious and unsolved theories, which you will get to know once you pay a visit. Here’s me keeping it mysterious for you too!

Stop 2: Melrose Abbey

Melrose Abbey, Scotland
Melrose Abbey, Scotland

Melrose Abbey is known for the point where the heart of Robert The Bruce, King of Scotts was buried. The brave Robert The Bruce is known for leading the First War of Scottish Independence against England. If you have watched The Outlaw King on Netflix, you will know who I am talking about. I recommend taking the audio-guided tour when you get here as it explains the timeline of major historical events that took place.

Stop 3: Border Separating England And Scotland

Border Separating England And Scotland
Border Separating England And Scotland

On this tour, you will stop by the border separating the two countries, England and Scotland. P.S: Make sure you get cool photos as I did!

Stop 4: The Ruins Of Hadrian’s Wall

Hadrian's Wall, Scotland
Hadrian’s Wall, Scotland

Hadrian’s Wall was built to safeguard the North-west frontier of the Roman province of Britain by Emperor Hadrian in AD 122. What you see today is mostly its ruins with a brilliant view. The walk to the wall is a 15-to-20-minute hike up a steep hill and guess what you will see while walking? More sheep!

Day 3: Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle, Scotland
Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

A must-visit for sure, the Edinburgh Castle is a historic fortress situated on the Castle Rock. Opt for the guided tour if you want to know all about the history of this castle as there is a lot to see within it. We easily took 2 to 3 hours exploring it. Don’t forget to check out the live firing of the cannon gun that happens at 1 pm every day (except on Sundays) and make sure you get Instagram worthy photos of Edinburgh’s beautiful skyline!

Day 4: Holyrood Palace

Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh
Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh

When we found out that Holyrood Palace is the official residence of Queen Elizabeth II in Scotland, we had to check it out! The Palace includes an art gallery, a tour showing the different rooms of the Royal Highness including the Queen’s bedroom and dining room and very recently, the palace has displayed the wedding attire of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. So, this should certainly be on your list!

I hope this itinerary will help you plan your trip to Edinburgh. If you’ve been here already, let us know about your experience in the comments below!

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