Sunday, August 31, 2014

Bank holiday weekend in Edinburgh

We spent the August bank holiday in the beautiful Scottish capital city of Edinburgh, a city we'd both wanted to visit for sometime. The wait was definitely worth it as Edinburgh is beautiful, a great destination for a short break with lots to do and see. We stayed in the Stay Central Hotel on Cowgate, the location is great as the name suggests its very central and just a few minutes walk from the Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle. So that makes it ideal for seeing the city, the downside is its next door to the Three Sisters Pub which stays open till 3am and specialises in Stag and Hen nights. Suffice to say, rooms overlooking the courtyard are very very noisy, so you have been warned.

Grass Market
The hotel was also very close to Grass Market where you'll find lots of places to eat and drink and a small outdoor market. Our visit coincided with the last weekend of the Edinburgh Festival so it was also busy with street performers. Our favourite act was a 30 piece street orchestra called Journey of a Thousand Wings, we caught the end  of their Sunday night show at the Liquid Rooms which seemed to go down well judging by the smiles on the faces of the orchestra and the reaction of the crowd.


We arrived in Edinburgh on Saturday afternoon so having dumped our cases at the hotel we set out on foot to explore this very walkable city. One of our favourite spots was on the corner of West Princess Street Gardens looking up at a spectacular view of the castle enjoying a glass of Pimm's on a nice sunny afternoon. That evening after a short 'siesta' we headed to Bistro Moderne on NW Circus Place, run by chef Mark Greenaway this french concept style restaurant is great value for money, the food is delicious, the service excellent and the ambience just spot on. Do give it a try if you can.

The Bow Bar
We finished the evening in The Bow Bar on West Bow just round the corner from Grass Market. This is a really nice, relaxed and welcoming bar where you can enjoy a good chat about a great day in Edinburgh. The following morning despite a slight headache we were up and out early and off to Edinburgh Castle, a top tip is to either get your tickets online or get them early, after mid-morning the queue for tickets was enormous.

Edinburgh Castle
The castle is spectacular and it's well worth getting an audio guide as its history is fascinating. As you may already know some of it or can easily find it online I won't attempt to summarise it, instead here are a few images from inside the castle.

After a wonderful morning learning about the Castle's history we spent the afternoon enjoying the area around the Royal Mile where if you like Cashmere you will be in your element as there are a multitude of shops selling Cashmere products.

The Royal Mile

That evening we enjoyed a nice meal in The Atelier on Morrison Street, whilst not quite in the league of Bistro Moderne the food was very good so no real complaints. That bought our short break in Edinburgh to a close, one thing is for certain, we need to go back.