November 11, 2017
Edinburgh is one of our favourite cities for a short break, and Hannah and I have often gone together for a girls’ shopping trip or to take our girls to the beautiful Edinburgh Christmas Market for ice rinks and hot chocolates.
The best way to get here is by train, as you can hop off at Waverley and emerge right in the heart of the bustle with Prince’s Street shoppers and trams nearby, the lovely gardens and art galleries and the castle looming above you on the skyline.
There are no shortage of great places to stay in Edinburgh, from the Fraser Suites suites on Royal Mile where you can explore the castle and old town to the beautiful Lane Hotel in trendy Morningside, which has lots of independent shops, cafes and a great pub The Canny Man's on the corner (which just happens to be run by the same friendly owners Mark and Amy) – I took over the whole hotel for a work trip recently and each of the six bedrooms is luxurious and comfortable – although it is a 10-15 minute taxi ride back into town for anyone keen to make the most of their trip.
The choice of shops in Edinburgh is really great – from Jenners and Harvey Nichols for all their department store glamour to all the usual high street names along Prince’s Street. We like George Street (because it has an Anthropologie!) and the Grassmarket has some pretty little boutiques amongst the pubs and cafes.
But there is much more to Edinburgh than retail, if the weather is fine head down the royal mile to the bottom to the imposing Scottish Parliament and Holyrood Palace, and take one of the routes up to Arthur’s Seat for the views for miles and miles. Tip, take a picnic and enjoy the views along the way, and allow yourself 2 hours and good shoes.
Edinburgh has some fabulous art galleries, and the Scottish National Gallery is well worth a visit when in town but if you are happy to head out of the centre Edinburgh Zoo is a great day out, and Leith is a great area for a walk by the quay, a long lunch in one of the quayside seafood restaurants and a look around the Royal Yacht Britannia (Note there is a Malmaison hotel here too, which is typically great).
For evening entertainment we went to TigerLily on George Street – one of the most stylish cocktail bars we have ever seen. The staff were great, and the cocktail list as impressive as the interiors.
Later on, we ate at Scran and Scallie restaurant from the team behind the popular Michelin star restaurant The Kitchin – it is very popular so book early. The fish pie was an entire meal in itself, and the sticky toffee puddin’ rounded off the day nicely.
If it’s a special occasion, head to The Witchery on the Royal Mile for a setting and menu to die for. It also has beautiful rooms for that special weekend away.
And at this time of year, it’s worth saying again the Edinburgh Christmas is stunning – from the German market and the Ferris wheel to the beautiful ice rink outside Harvey Nichols, which just happens to have a cosy mulled wine shack in its centre to keep you warm!
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