Solo In Edinburgh: Highlights & Climbing Arthurs Seat

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Happy Sunday! What’s everyone up to this weekend? I have been working hard on my book, writing away and I feel like I haven’t seen much of the outside world lately. But then again, I am currently in London and its winter, so there’s not much of the outside world to see except rain, rain, and well, more rain.

Travel during winter isn’t very appealing to me, unless I’m going somewhere that’s covered in snow and I’m getting the crisp white winter, opposed to a grey, wet day. But winter is three months of the year and frankly that’s too long for me go without exploring a new destination, so I had to find somewhere that could accommodate my wanderlust soul. When doing my research, I discovered that Edinburgh, Scotland doesn’t get much sun throughout the year, so no matter what month it is, weather conditions are relatively the same. And with prices at a mere £32 return the same day, there was no hesitation booking my ticket.

Arrival… Arthur’s Seat

The best way to explore this beautiful city is by foot. But because I knew I had a lot of walking ahead of me, and only a day to do it in, I opted for an Uber to take me to my first point of interest, Arthur’s Seat. Dropping me at the base of the mountain, and unfortunately for me at the steepest point, I made my way up the hill and when I reached the top, it was definitely worth the workout. On average, you’ll want to allocate at least one hour to climb up and down the peaks, more if you’re like me and can’t resist stopping every few seconds to take photos. The trail is easy to navigate and although it’s all uphill, if you go at a leisurely pace, it’s not too difficult to reach the top.

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Midday Exploring… Victoria Street, Candlemaker Row & Edinburgh Castle

After getting my morning exercise in, it was time for the less rigorous part of the day. Exploring Victoria Street and Candlemaker Row. Filled with bright coloured houses, boutiques and pretty cafés, it’s not hard to see why visitors follow the cobblestone pathways to this part of town. Some people say Candlemaker Row was inspiration for Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley, but even if it wasn’t, it’s still a great place to admire the architecture and explore some of the old town.

After grabbing a bite to eat, I made my way to world famous Edinburgh Castle. Perched up on Castle Rock, this beauty is best enjoyed mid-morning when the fog has cleared and locals and tourists alike are still enjoying their morning coffee. You can tour this wonder for as little as £17 for an adult, and you’ll want to allocate yourself a few hours in order to get the full experience. If the tour isn’t up your alley, like me, then simply head down to the street below and marvel its beauty from afar.

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Afternoon Exploring… Grassmarket & The Elephant House

From the castle, I made my way down the nearby steps (I chose the steps rather than the road, as it’s the quickest way down) to the ancient market space that is Grassmarket. Not only does this area showcase great views of Edinburgh, but it has Harry Potter written all over it. If you’re a huge HP fan, then you could spend days visiting all the sites that were inspiration for the books, but if not, this area will do you just fine.

As a writer, I quite enjoy visiting places where well known authors spent time writing, or gaining inspiration. So of course, whist I was in Edinborough, I had to visit The Elephant House, where none other than JK Rowling spent some her time writing the earlier Harry Potter novels. I would say today that it’s a bit of a tourist trap, with a cup of coffee costing more than the average price and Elephant House merchandise available to buy. But in saying this, it’s still nice to check out, and a trip to the bathroom will have you snapping away at the graffiti covered cubicles.

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Departure… Is One Day Enough?

Yes and no. You can definitely see a lot in one day and hit all the highlights of the city, but if you want to go at a slower pace, enjoy a leisurely lunch, etc., etc., then a weekend is definitely the way to go. I feel satisfied with what I accomplished in a day, even climbing Arthur’s Seat, so I don’t feel like I need to rush back anytime soon. And at the price I paid for my airfare, I definitely got a great deal!

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