I recently travelled to Edinburgh for my friend’s 21st birthday, and decided to make a mini-break of it since it’s so far away and I had never visited before. I got a FlyBe flight from Cardiff which was so convenient (despite it being delayed by an hour both ways!) and stayed for 5 days. I met up with my boyfriend, Matt, who had just been on a road trip called the North Coast 500 with some friends. We stayed with another friend who lives there, Max, who acted as our tour guide for the long weekend and really packed in the sights for us!
On the first day, we just went for a wander to the town centre to meet up with some friends who were also in town for the party. We walked down Princes Street which had a stunning view of the Hogwarts-like castle, and popped into Yo Sushi for lunch (not really soaking up the culture here but we couldn’t help ourselves). Top tip: UNiDAYS gives you a HUGE 25% off Yo Sushi which brought our bill down a lot!
We went on an afternoon dog walk with Max’s GORGEOUS Labrador, Rory, to Eagle Rock, which is a lookout point on a beach near his house. I loved that the countryside and coast were so easily accessible from the big city – it really is the perfect place to live!
Matt and I completely fell in love with Rory, who got a lot of attention over the course of the days we were there.
We got an Indian takeaway that evening which, due to great planning by Max, was located right next to the Forth Bridges viewpoint! We went down a little earlier than our pickup time to have a look around and then rushed back to gobble up our food.
The next day, we went on a full tour of Edinburgh with Max. He took us up to Calton Hill which had great views of the city, then we visited Scottish Parliament and the Palace of Holyrood house. We then walked up the Royal Mile, stopping off at a Fish & Chip shop to get the mandatory deep-fried Mars bar. We also got a drink at the World End pub. We walked up to Edinburgh castle at the top of the Royal Mile but after hearing of the £19.50 entry fee, swiftly exited and instead walked down to the Grassmarket. We bumped into some GORGEOUS Samoyed puppies here with @edinburghsamoyedrescue – go give them a follow on Instagram!
We had another drink at a Brew Pub called Cold Town House (which reminded me of the song Old Town Road, unfortunately for Matt & Max).
We had a beer on the roof terrace in an old ski lift cabin and then headed down to the first floor to explore their Pizza & Prosecco bar where we shared some light bites and had another drink.
That evening, we had a lovely BBQ with Max’s parents and sister, getting through a good few bottles of red wine!
The next day, we went for a walk at Dalmeny Park, a stately home and grounds just a short drive away from Max’s house. There, we saw Highland cows and sheep (much to Rory’s delight)!
The house had absolutely stunning grounds and overlooked a golf course and beach which we went down and walked along.
One thing which really upset us was the amount of plastic all over the coastline. We see it pretty much everywhere we go now, but it still frustrates me every time and I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it. Rory helped us with a bit of beach clean-up as you can see below!
That evening was Laura’s 21st birthday party, which was located at the Royal Botanic Gardens. It was a beautiful event and really well organised by her mother, Rosie! We had drinks outside and then went into the Caledonian hall for dinner, which was decorated with lanterns to match the “Asian twist” dress code. We heard some lovely speeches from her family and friends and then did a Ceilidh! I had never done one before but there was a great caller who kept reminding us of all the moves and it was a lot of fun. I didn’t quite make it to the nightclub after the party but it was a great night all the same and I have some memories with my friends which I’ll have for life! Unfortunately this was one of the last times we’ll have everyone in one place because some people have graduated university now, which was very bittersweet.
The next day was a bit of a write-off so I don’t have much more to report other than lots of cuddles with Rory! We flew back to Cardiff early the day after to get back in time for another VERY exciting trip which will be coming to the blog soon! In the meantime, please enjoy the below photograph of Rory with a lion’s mane costume on, turning him into ROAR-y.