20 Apr Tried and Tested: Edinburgh
This month our Citybase travellers were in the beautiful Scottish Capital of Edinburgh:
Our Citybase travellers this month were Roisin Hine, Senior Account Support at Citybase Apartments, who went with her husband, their five-year-old son, Freddie, and her husband’s parents. Marketing Communications Manager, Victoria Jackson and SEO Assistant Grace Tebbutt who went together and Citybase Apartments Content Writer Anton Constantinou who went with his partner.
First up, Victoria Jackson and Grace Tebbutt headed off to Edinburgh to see what friends could find up in North…
Arriving in Edinburgh from Lancaster took around two hours on the train and with the amazing scenery throughout Scotland it didn’t feel that long at all. We had booked in at Q Residence Apartments by Destiny Scotland and the apartment itself was amazing. It had wonderful comfy beds and fantastic bedrooms , one with an en-suite with heated floor; the other had high ceilings and felt very opulent. Situated in a gorgeous Georgian terraced house, this apartment featured wall-length windows, a grand fireplace, and beautiful decor. These apartments are located on Queens Street, which runs parallel to Princes Street just a few roads away. Overlooking Queen Street Gardens, this area was close enough to the city centre but we also found the peace and quiet very needed in this lively city.
We settled in and then decided to go out to eat, after forgetting to pick up some food on the way there. Around the corner we found a brilliant restaurant, Rabble, with a fantastic selection of food. We each had halloumi salads, calamari, and burgers all of which were fantastic.
In the morning, we decided to be complete tourists and get sight-seeing tickets on an open-top bus. These tickets were hop on and hop off, so after taking us around Calton Hill and Holyrood Palace, we decided to hop off at Dynamic Earth close to Holyrood Park. It sounded like a good idea at the bottom, to climb Arthur’s seat, half way up we realised we were both too stubborn to admit we were wrong. We eventually reached the top, and it was worth it! The stunning panoramic views of Edinburgh stretched before us, sprawling from the sea and through to Edinburgh Castle and beyond. After getting back to the bottom (albeit with a few slips and trips) we jumped back on the bus and headed to The Tron pub for a couple of well deserved drinks.
At six we had booked on to a ghost tour of the old South Bridge Vaults with Auld Reekie Tours, who we cannot recommend highly enough. We were taken down to explore the old vaults, which are allegedly the most haunted place in Edinburgh and cursed! Luckily we survived the ghost tour and decided to go out and discover some hidden bars around Edinburgh which you can read about here. After a brief night in the hidden bars, and a long day exploring, we found ourselves bound by tiredness. Heading back to the apartment we slipped into our pajamas and sat in the separate living area to relax. With so much space we didn’t need to keep the noise down whilst talking or watching TV as you would with other accommodation options, we were free to chill as if we were at home.
In the morning of our last day, we sat having breakfast in our pajamas which was great, we didn’t have to put any make up on or try and dress to impress, we literally grabbed some crossiants and yogurts and sat eating whilst watching the flat screen. We unfortunately had to pack up though and headed down hill away from the city centre to discover Stockbridge Market which was full of fresh food, jewelry, and clothes. We picked up a few bargains and after having food at a local pub we headed back to the train station.
Overall, this city is perfect for a weekend get away as friends, no matter your interests or taste buds there is always something to try and spark your interest.
Next up, Roisin Hine went to Edinburgh to see if the city could accommodate three generations…
“Our journey took just under a three hour drive from Lancaster; the drive was beautiful and very snowy on the way up there. The countryside around Edinburgh is extremely picturesque so the drive went by quickly.
We were staying at Staycity Edinburgh West End Apartments; we chose these apartments for the quiet location. It was wonderful. The apartments are situated on a quiet cobbled street in a residential area so I felt safe to go out at night and have a look around the area. The apartments themselves were everything we needed, very spacious, with comfortable beds and very child friendly. Freddie even had enough room to put all his toys; (he doesn’t travel light and has a lot of them). What also made the apartments perfect was the cheap underground car park nearby which allowed us to unpack and feel our car was safe overnight.
The location of the apartments were perfect we were able to walk to the city centre in under twenty minutes and this walk was just as nice as the city centre, you have to pass by the castle to get to the shops and the old town. All of us had been to Edinburgh previously but we enjoyed it much more this time as we had more space for all of us in the apartment, we also visited way more attractions than usual.
I would personally recommend visiting the Museum of Natural History which is a free entry museum. Freddie loves museums and the whole family enjoyed the day out. They have an interactive floor for children too! The best thing about the museum though, was the secret roof terrace. I don’t think many people know about it so it was quiet, but you have these panoramic views of the city which is incredible. We also visited The Queens Gallery at the Palace of Holyroodhouse. We sat in the café here and had tea which I would highly recommend.
For food on the first night we ordered fish and chips for takeaway and they even gave us a free can of Iron Bru each. As we were in the apartment we could sit around the dining table and eat, it was so nice to have the family together and we all enjoyed the meal. On the second night I cooked an Indian for all of us, then me and my husband explored the city whilst leaving Freddie with his grandparents. Me and Scott visited this really cool bar called the Lebowski. They sell amazing cocktails here and it was the perfect end to our city break.
I would recommend Edinburgh to all people visiting with families. It’s a great place for children and adults to explore, with so much history and so many things to discover.”
And finally, Anton Constantinou went to find out whether the city offered a couple the perfect city break away…
“Our journey up from London took roughly five hours, although a long journey, it went quickly and I was able to catch up on some reading and we watched a good TV series. It was the perfect pre-relax to the weekend.
We had booked our stay at SACO Eden Locke: a design-led aparthotel, right in the heart of Edinburgh’s New Town. Reaching it was fairly straightforward. From the Princes Street tram stop, it was a ten minute walk to the property.
The property was located on George Street, one of Edinburgh’s most fashionable roads. The property itself has a wonderful reception area characterised by bright colours. To your left as your arrive is the lounge area, or Purist Bar as it’s better known, which stocks a wide variety of spirits, wines and craft beers. It’s cool and cosy, with cute Rattan chairs for you to unwind in. Upon checking in, we were given a map of the city, and thought we’d try to tick off a few recommended places.
After a good nights sleep we started the morning by heading off to the Writers’ Museum. Me and my girlfriend are both avid writers and book worms so this was the perfect place to start our weekend. The Writers’ Museum is just off the Royal Mile and was definitely worth a visit. This museum is a free entry museum and taught us a lot about Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson. This place really bring these writers’ to life, and we truly didn’t realise how much Scotland had contributed to the literary world before we went here.
After lunch at a little cafe we decided we would explore the Royal Mile and head down to Palace of Holyrood. This is a stunning building and came highly recommended by a friend, so we decided to visit. No photos are allowed inside but it is worth a visit. You can see Mary Queen of Scots bedroom was and it really brings to life the history of the Royals as well as how the Queen uses it today.
We headed back to the apartment and stopped at a supermarket. Having the apartment allowed us to have a homemade meal, we had lasagna, after a tiring day exploring this wonderful city. We relaxed in the evening having a glass of wine and watching a few films before going to sleep.
On the Sunday we decided to have a look around George Street and then have a walk down to Princes Street and Princes Street Gardens. My girlfriend and I found a great array of shops and had a great time exploring all the little boutique shops and picking up some bargains. Princes Street Gardens were beautiful as well and we ended up just sitting eating lunch in the park, watching the world go by.
We had to head back after lunch but I would absolutely recommend Edinburgh for couples, it offers so much to do and although the weather is unpredictable we always found something to do.
Visiting Edinburgh – Top Tips
- Don’t just visit Edinburgh Castle. The castle is an amazing day out, with incredible views across the city. There is a small whiskey shop and we highly recommend going; but this is not all there is to see in this remarkable city. This capital is full of hidden gems, I mean where else will you find an extinct volcano, perfect for hikes, in the middle of a British city?
- Take a bus city seeing tour. You may feel like a complete tourist but these tours are ideal for seeing the whole of the city and learning about it at the same time. Taking you to all the main tourist spots as well as a little more, this way of seeing Edinburgh is also a great photo opportunity.
- Go off the beaten track. There is plenty to see on the high streets and Royal Mile, but if you head to the back streets you will also find independent shops, restaurants, and a wide range of small and hidden attractions such as the Writers’ Museum.