Scotland absolutely shocked us. We had no idea how beautiful it was! If you love nature, Scotland needs to be on your list of places to visit. Here’s what we did in our 3 days in Scotland.
-Arrived in Edinburgh
-Checked into Ibis Hotel
-Lunch at The Tron ($)
-Hike to Arthur’s Seat
-Drinks at The Brass Monkey ($)
-Dinner at Yocoko ($)
-12-hour bus tour to Loch Ness, Glencoe, & the Highlands
-National Museum of Scotland
-Whiskey Tasting at The Albanach
-Dinner at The World’s End
–The Three Sisters
Our morning started with a 4-hour train ride from London Kings Cross Station to Edinburgh Waverley Station. The train ride was beautiful with scenic views of England and Scotland. We both took a little nap on the train since we woke up at 6:00 am to get to the train station.
Once we arrived in Edinburgh, we made our way to our Ibis Hotel. We mistakenly walked into a different Ibis hotel not knowing there were multiple in Edinburgh. A receptionist gave us some quick directions and we checked into the right hotel a few minutes later. We arrived about an hour before check in, but luckily they had a room available for us. It was a beautiful sunny day and the weather forecast looked like that would change in the next couple days, so we decided that we needed to do Arthur’s Seat asap. It was early afternoon and we hadn’t eaten much, so we looked for a place to get some cheap lunch before the hike. We stumbled upon The Tron and ordered a meat pie and a burger with chips. These huge portions came out to only 9 pounds! We were surprised at the low price compared to what we had been paying in London.
After eating way too much, Aaron navigated and led us to the bottom of Arthur’s Seat. We looked up and debated if we really wanted to do the hike. We were both out of shape, full from our meals, and extremely tired. After some mental preparation, we started up the trail. About five minutes later, we were breathing pretty hard and needed a water break. Meanwhile, there were all kinds of people passing us. Yeah, we felt pretty old. The lack of exercise, and excessive eating and drinking had been catching up with us! We eventually got into a nice rhythm and made it to the top. The view along the hike and at the top were absolutely stunning. I can’t imagine a better view of Edinburgh. The hike took about 2 hours round trip with all of our breaks and stops to look at the view.
We enjoyed walking through the streets of Edinburgh on our way back to our hotel. Once we got back, we got cleaned up and took one of our daily naps. Honestly, we probably could’ve slept through the whole night, but we woke up around 9:30 pm feeling very hungry. We walked around looking for some food and the first few places we checked stopped serving food at 10:00 pm (at this point it was about 10:20, so we just missed food service). We took a look inside a pub, The Brass Monkey, that is frequented by university of Edinburgh students and known for their mini Mary (bloody Mary) shots. Of course, we had to try them and loved them (especially because they are really spicy). After this, we came across Yocoko, a noodle bar that was completely empty. We ordered curry with rice and some yakisoba. Since the food was only about 10 pounds, we each ordered a beer. After again eating too much food, we walked back to our hotel and passed out for the night. Hotels feel so luxurious compared to hostels.
We woke up bright and early because we signed up for a 12-hour tour around Glencoe, Loch Ness, and the Highlands. You’re probably thinking 12 hours??? That’s insane! Yes, it was insanely long, but we loved every hour of it. We met at Rabbie’s Cafe around 8 am. There was a large group of people split up onto 5 small group tour buses. Our tour guide was Matt and he was a quirky, entertaining man. He was a “wee bit” chatty throughout the entire tour and shared some very interesting stories. When he wasn’t talking, he played Scottish music for us. The tour had more beautiful stops than I could have imagined and Matt gave us just enough time at each stop to stretch our legs, get some pictures, and take in the scenery. If you enjoy beautiful scenery, learning some history, and meeting new people, then we highly recommend this tour if you visit Edinburgh!
We made it back from our tour around 8:00 pm and felt extremely tired. After a long day of beautiful views, history, and Scottish music, we were ready to eat and go to bed. Since we were craving pizza, we stopped at a nearby restaurant to eat and were very much ready for bed.
We chose to spend our last day of Scotland walking around the city. We started at the National Museum of Scotland and primarily visited the Natural World and Science/Technology sections of the museum. Most of the exhibits were interactive so we were entertained for a little while.
We left the museum after about an hour and headed to Elephant House, the cafe where JK Rowling wrote Harry Potter. We sat down and had the Scottish breakfast tea with a shortbread cookie. The restrooms were probably the coolest part of this cafe because there are hundreds, maybe thousands of people’s signatures and favorite HP quotes written all over the walls. Reading through the quotes and letters to JK Rowing made us nostalgic about our favorite movie series. After feeling energized from our tea, we walked towards the Edinburgh Castle. On the way, we passed through Victoria Street, the street that is said to have inspired JK Rowling’s Diagon Alley. By the time we made it to the castle, it had just closed so we just enjoyed the castle from the outside.
Next, we walked down the Royal Mile. We bought some souvenirs, got to hold a beautiful owl, and stopped at a bar called Albanach for some whiskey tasting. It was interesting because we both are not fans of whiskey but we had to try it in Scotland. We probably could have used some soda to wash it down but we didn’t want to look lame.
The last activity on our list was to try Scotland’s traditional food, haggis, so we went to a restaurant called The World’s End. We weren’t sure how we would feel about it and just wanted a little taste. Fortunately, we saw something called “A Wee Taste of Scotland” on the menu. For about 5 pounds, it came with a serving of haggis, mashed potatoes, bashed neeps (Rutabaga – Swedish turnip), and whisky gravy. We both really enjoyed haggis and recommend trying it at least once!
With full stomachs, we headed back to our hotel and went to bed. It was an amazing last day exploring Scotland!
We hope you enjoyed this blog on Scotland. Next up, Barcelona!
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