I’ve wanted to venture to Edinburgh for a while now. The only time I’ve been was when I was ten years old so it’s not something I remember very clearly. One of my nearest and dearest friends, Rhona, lives there so I got to stay with her after she managed to get the weekend off. It was also the first weekend of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival which I have always wanted to go to. The drive was just over four hours so I took a half day at work and left early for my adventures in Edinburgh for the weekend.
The drive up to Edinburgh is beautiful and I didn’t even take the scenic route that’s signposted. One of the things I love about doing mini road trips is seeing the different landscapes. The Smokey Mountains in North Carolina will always be a favourite of mine but there’s nothing better than lush, British rolling hills to watch passing you by. As soon as a hit the outskirt of Edinburgh, I knew I was going to love it. It was quirky and even from just looking at the people and the buildings, it gave me the same vibe that Manchester does.
Within an hour of getting to Rhona’s, we were out and heading up towards Arthur’s Seat. It’s a fairly short walk but a little steep. The view at the top is stunning and you can see all of Edinburgh. There aren’t many ugly skyscrapers and everything looks very self-contained with beautiful architecture. You can see how small the city is but how busy and vibrant it is. It even has a beach! Unfortunately, I didn’t take any good photos so I’ve stolen one of Rhona’s from a much nicer day.
We went to watch the Edinburgh International Festival opening ceremony afterwards so that we didn’t have to worry about it the next day. They had projections on a few different buildings around St Andrew’s Square. We had to queue for a while but it was free and we didn’t reserve tickets for priority viewing so I can’t complain. The outdoor light and sound show was created by 59 Productions and was called “Bloom“. It was incredible to watch and showed how the Edinburgh Fringe was started to boost morale after WWII. The installation showed how the festival sparked ones in other cities and how far it has come since the beginning. You can watch it online now so I would thoroughly recommend it.
All great weekends start with a great brunch.
Rhona had told me so much about a brunch restaurant called Loudons so we started our Saturday there. I can never say no to a brunch with avocado and eggs! I’ve tried haggis before but it was a really greasy fry up version so wanted to try another that was good. I went for the ‘Benny Hoots Mon’ which was haggis, black pudding and bacon eggs benedict. After switching the chutney out for a cajun hollandaise, it did not disappoint. I would probably go as far as saying it was one of the best brunches I’ve had. The coffee there was great too and gave us a bit of a boost for the day and set us up for wandering the city and the festival.
We strolled into the city centre and weaved in and out of different shops. It was so busy but with an incredible atmosphere. Something I picked up on; everyone is so happy and smiling in Edinburgh. Whether it’s always like that or just because the festival was on I’m not sure. The buildings are beautiful, I was really amazed. I love Manchester and it’s got some great history, don’t get me wrong, but Edinburgh is something else. The gothic architecture is stunning and I would only dream of owning an apartment in one of the buildings.
Naturally, after living in Disney for so long alongside Rhona, I had to get a castle photo. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get up close because the Tattoo (a military celebration) was on. So, for the next of my adventures in Edinburgh, she took me to a little street that had the castle perfectly in sight. We had our little photoshoot and then headed back to find a show to watch for the afternoon.
Defying the norm since 1947.
The Fringe Festival is one of the main reasons I wanted to have some adventures in Edinburgh. I had planned to go last year but never made it. The city was so incredibly vibrant with people from all around the world. We wanted to see “Baby Wants Candy” which is a long-running, improvised musical but, unfortunately, it had sold out until during the week. If there’s something at the festival you really want to see on a weekend, I’d suggest booking in advanced.
We decided to rock up to one of the ticket booths and see what was available in the next hour. In the afternoon we saw a musical called “Atlantic: A Scottish Story”. Coming away from it, we were incredibly impressed; it was the story of a girl that chose to not go after the boy she loved to America but instead stay on her tiny Scottish island. She longed to travel but tried to find happiness at home.
Later in the evening we managed to get tickets for Andrew Maxwell: Showtime who was an Irish comedian that we had heard of and recognised. His stand-up performance was so clever and made us roar with laughter, bringing lighthearted satire to the last years’ shameful politics.
There’s a line where the sky meets the sea.
To round up my adventures in Edinburgh, Rhona took me to Leith; a beautiful area on the outskirts with the sea and a beach. We had a walk along the promenade to another brunch spot called the Beach House. The decor was really cute and gave me a huge dose of Hygge after being in the chilly wind. They had some beautifully decorated cakes in vintage cabinets but we were too full after our toasties to fit some in! It was a bit rainy by the time we came out so I definitely need to try and come back earlier next summer.
So after an amazing couple of days having adventures in Edinburgh, it was time to head back to Chester. I’d thoroughly recommend trying to go to the Edinburgh Fringe festival for some unique and amazing performances. My plan is to head back in November or December to see this beautiful city at a quieter and colder time. It was lovely to see Rhona and great to meet her other half to finally put a face to his name in person. I can’t wait to visit again for some more adventures in Edinburgh in the winter season.
Other adventures with Rhona: A Scottish Lass in Chester