After we finished hiking the West Highland Way, we were ready for some city touring, which included sleeping in a real bed! Like I mentioned in my last post, we took a bus from Fort William to Glasgow and then continued on with another bus directly to Edinburgh. I enjoyed Glasgow but didn’t realize the beautiful and interesting city of Edinburgh that was awaiting us! If you can only visit one city in Scotland, let it be Edinburgh. We checked into our hotel (Hotel Indigo), which was booked just one night before and was located in the Georgian New Town, a block from the Edinburgh Playhouse.
We stayed two nights in Edinburgh and the first full day was spent walking through as many parts of the city as we could and stopping into any shops that looked interesting. Edinburgh’s city center is divided into two sections, the Old Town & New Town and they are divided by the Princes Street Gardens. We climbed up to Calton Hill, which provided views of the city and where we were able to see the Old Town & New Town.
The Royal Mile is the main road that makes up the Old Town and it runs from the high-perched, Edinburgh Castle down to Holyrood Castle. in the picture below, you can see the Princes Street Garden and above Edinburgh Castle.
This is a view of the Holyrood Palace. This is the official Scottish residence of Queen Elizabeth and she spends one week at the beginning of summer here.
The Royal Mile and a few other streets in Old Town. Most of the buildings are from the Scottish Reformation era.
Also located in Old Town is the General Assembly Hall of the Church of Scotland.
New Town is comprised of neo-classical and Georgian architecture and north of Old Town. It’s main street is Princes Street and off of this street is the Princes Street Gardens.
Located in the gardens is a monument dedicated to the Scottish author, Sir Walter Scott.
The main shopping area is in New Town. We visited a couple department stores and other shops, bringing home a few souvenirs. Christian thought this department store was called Jennifer. It is really called Jenners!
Church of St John the Evangelist, a Scottish Episcopal Church located off of Princes Street on the edge of the gardens.
I loved the Georgian architecture!
We had dinner on our second night in New Town off of Rose Street at Abbotsford Bar & Restaurant, which was an Edwardian Pub that served typical Scottish fare, beer and whiskey.
Before taking the bus back to Glasgow in the afternoon of our last day in Edinburgh, we had afternoon tea at The Glasshouse Hotel. It wasn’t very crowded and we were definitely the only ones wearing hiking boots! From the restaurant, we had views up to Calton Hill. They served scones, sandwiches, one was with haggis and a few fruity sweets. It was definitely not one of the typical afternoon teas that you would receive in the US or elsewhere, but uniquely Scottish.
On Thursday, I will share two of the main sights to visit in Edinburgh.