First Steps into UK/Europe (part 2) - Edinburgh, Scotland

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Just a few hours away from London is Scotland's capital and medieval town, Edinburgh! It came up at the top of my list after my friend recommended me a few places around the UK, because Edinburgh's old town just spoke to me. The quaint rustic town was lovely, to say the least, with its cobblestone streets, medieval castles and charming architecture.

Never thought I'd get to be at a place that look like it came out from a fairytale, or the books!! But well then again, JK. Rowling did get inspired by this town to come up with Harry Potter's world.

If you like something that's reminiscent of the past olden days, you'll love Old Edinburgh. I have always been a sucker for old towns and historically preserved sites, so I really enjoyed my time and stay here. It is nothing like London, or any of the other places I visited before so this medieval town really did win my heart.

I spent two days here, which were a little too short for my liking. I think three nights would have been more sufficient. I didn't manage to cover some of the popular attractions such as Arthur's seat or take a roadtrip to the Isle of Skye (cause lame me still haven't gotten myself a driver's license lol), but I'm sure there will be a next time!!

For now, these are the highlights during my time at Edinburgh!

Dean Village

Starting with my inclination to more picturesque and rustic sites. Dean Village, also formerly known as the 'Water of Leith Village', is probably the most scenic and peaceful site that is much detached from the Edinburgh city. Think narrow cobbled alleyways, cottages and birds chirping away.

Honestly though, there isn't much to do here at the village other than to taking pictures or going for a leisurely stroll. Even so, there were a couple of visitors while I was there, and many were jogging along the Water of Leith walkway or taking their dogs out on walks here! It is a good respite from bustling cities like London.

There are no entry fees, and it's only about 10minutes away from the main shopping street in Edinburgh city. Consider getting there via an uber (from your hotel or wherever you are) cause it actually isn't too expensive? The public buses are 3.50 pounds per pax and per ride, regardless of distance. So if you have more people travelling Edinburgh with you, consider Uber! It might cost you only 7 to 10 pounds.

Edinburgh Castle

Does this not resemble House of Stark's sigil?? Hahaha.

Paid for the entry ticket here, which is 18.50 pounds (it's cheaper by 1.50 pounds if you purchase in advance), but I definitely had no regrets. Once a military base and defence fortress, it's now mainly a museum with multiple exhibition/memorial spaces. Although the entry fee is pretty steep, I'd say it's worth it!

Royal Mile

Just a super busy street that leads up to the Edinburgh castle, with numerous bars, gift shops and street performers dotting the thoroughfare. It is a tourist hotspot, so expect many gimmicky shops selling cashmere scarfs and snacks. I don't think it's all too bad though, it makes for quite a nice window shopping experience. And I did manage to get nice gifts for my boyfriend's parents and friends!

Something interesting that I came across was an occult and craft store, displaying an eclectic range of items from healing stones to tarot cards and even books on witchcraft. I realised that there were also some posters advertising a nighttime ghost tour. Soooo yeah, if you like that kinda stuff. Royal Mile is just a lively street teeming with people.

St. Gildes Cathedral 

A Cathedral that I happened to stop by because it was along the Royal Mile and I liked the architecture so I thought to take some pictures! The stained glass windows are like, a trademark for the medieval Europe cathedrals. And the ones in this cathedral just helped to brighten up and decorate the otherwise very gothic style of architecture.

No entry fees required for this one, but some of the staff/security may approach you to ask for donations. Since I was holding a camera and was snapping away, I did give a bit of donations.

I missed out on Grassmarket and Victoria Street due to time constraints, but they are also relatively popular tourist attractions!

There are several ways to get to Edinburgh from London, but the most popular option is to get there by train. However, I did manage to find quite a cheap budget flight (which destroyed my luggage ugh) so I took it instead since the travelling time was shorter. Still, I think I'd try travelling on Europe trains next time.

After Edinburgh, the next city I explored was Amsterdam!! Ahhh so much to love about their museums, canals, dutch houses and stroopwafels. More about that in the next post heh.

Check out my other travel posts:
▶ First Steps into UK/Europe (part 1) - City of London
▶ First Steps into UK/Europe (part 2) - Edinburgh, Scotland
▶ First Steps into UK/Europe (part 3) - Amsterdam Central
▶ First Steps into UK/Europe (part 4) - Windmills and Fishing Villages in the Netherlands
▶ First Steps into UK/Europe (part 5) - Bruges, Belgium

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