What is there to do in Edinburgh? Strolling through the city & gardens, shopping, exploring the museums, visiting the Palace of Holyroodhouse, and whiskey tasting are just a few of things that can be experienced in Edinburgh. Two of the more common sights in Edinburgh include visiting Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Yacht Britannia. I was most excited to visit the Royal Yacht!
The Royal Yacht Britannia is the former yacht of Queen Elizabeth II. It was built in 1953 and in service until 1997. Members of the royal family used this yacht for foreign visits and for personal use. Prince Charles & Princess Diana honeymooned on the boat. The yacht was even able to be converted to a hospital ship in the event of war. In 1997 it was decided that the ship would be decommissioned and is now an attraction in Edinburgh. The boat is located in the Port of Leith. It is a 15 minute drive from the city center to the port. Christian and I decided to walk from the city center to Leith and it took about an hour, but was a scenic walk either along the streets or the Water of Leith (river).
The Royal Yacht Britannia in the Port of Leith.
You receive an audio set, where you then walk around the boat hearing explanations for what you are seeing and receiving a bit of history. You can move at your own pace and we went a couple hours before closing time in the afternoon, so it wasn’t too crowded.
The Bridge & Bow of the yacht.
The Captain’s living quarters.
The officers living & dining quarters.
The ship’s bell.
The sun lounge room where the royal family would relax.
Queen Elizabeth II’s bedroom.
The State Dining Room where they would hold formal dinners & the State Drawing Room.
The Marine Bandsmen’s quarters.
The officers and men all had to change their uniforms a couple times per day, so they had to do a lot of laundry!
We visited the Royal Yacht on our first full day in Edinburgh. On the second day, we decided to visit the Edinburgh Castle and arrived right when it opened.
Here are all the people ready to go in the castle.
Complimentary guided tours are provided at certain times of the day. You can also pay extra to get an audio guide. We didn’t do that and we probably missed out on some things by not knowing exactly what we were looking at! They do have plaques on the walls stating what everything is but it doesn’t give that much information. We just spent an hour or so wandering around the huge fortress on Castle Rock, which served as the Scottish royal residence for a couple hundred years.
St. Margaret’s Chapel is the oldest building in the castle.
We saw the changing of the guards in front of what now is the Scottish National War Memorial.
The Great Hall.
Views from the castle over Edinburgh are worth the visit alone.
If you are interested in history and the military, then a visit to the Edinburgh Castle is for you and it is probably a good idea to do a guided tour!
So that is the end of our trip to Scotland. I would definitely visit Edinburgh again, I enjoyed it so much & of course, hiking the West Highland Way was a great experience!