Updated: Jan 24
Visiting Scotland and the Highlands has been on my travel list for a very long time, probably ever since I’ve moved to the UK, therefore this trip seemed like an opportunity I would not want to pass up.
Scotland definitely gave the impression of being a friendly, passionate and innovative country, with lots of history and welcoming towns and villages.
Our trip started in the early morning at 6:30AM in Coventry, where we got picked up by our bus driver and Kevin, our tour leader. We have stopped in Birmingham and Wolverhampton along to way to pick up the rest of the students taking part in the trip.
There were plenty of seats on the bus as there were only about 30 of us in a 50 seater bus. Lots of space for us to stretch our restless legs.
Our first stop was Glasgow, where we got to spend around 3 hours, which was enough to visit the main sights of the city, such as the Glasgow Cathedral, George Square, the Glasgow City Chambers and Glasgow Necropolis.
Once we have finished our Glasgow tour, we headed towards Edinburgh, the one that I was mostly looking forward, having heard amazing things about the city previously.
As we have arrived to our hostel, our check in went like a breeze and we were ready to explore the beautiful Edinburgh. The first night was open for everyone to do whatever they felt like doing, so James and I went to an amazing Italian restaurant, Bar Napoli, that I can’t recommend enough. The quality and the quantity of food for the price was incredibly worth it, we both had some amazing spicy prawns and fresh mussels in their delicious white wine and garlic sauce both hit the spot alongside the amazing pasta dishes we had for our mains.
I can’t even remember the last time I felt so full, didn’t even have space for dessert, but definitely had the craving for a nice cocktail and luckily our uber driver recommended this bar called, Tigerlily and told us to sit by the fireplace while sipping on a delicious cocktail. I wonder if he recommended the same thing to all of his passengers that night because we didn’t manage to get a spot close to the fireplace so we decided to sit in a quieter corner and try a couple of their most popular cocktails. Our favourite was the Greatest Adventure, made with Whitley Neil Rhubarb & Ginger, Cointreau, Coconut, Cherry, Sicilian Lemon.
The next day we started by having the most delicious breakfast at Brochan, which is a porridge and grains café and in all honesty, they serve the best oatmeal I’ve ever had! If you love a hearty meal for breakfast, I’d definitely recommend you going to this place.
After we filled out tummies with all the delicious porridge and coffee, we made our way towards the Edinburgh Castle, where we were supposed to meet the rest of the group, but unfortunately, due to miscommunication and lack of interest from the other members of the group, it was probably only James and me that visited the castle. . . and oh boy, did it look absolutely gorgeous?
The scenery from the top of the castle was absolutely stunning. We also got to taste some of the most delicious whiskey varieties while up in the castle.
After visiting the castle we took a nice stroll on Princes Street and then headed to the Edinburgh Christmas Market. One thing I was looking forwards was mulled wine and crepes. We luckily found of the best little stalls for both of those and ate our way through the market.
It might sounds that the only thing we were excited about was the food, but we took our time to savour Edinburgh’s classical architecture, characterised by ancient Greek and Roman buildings built with one of the finest sand-stones in Europe.
We booked dinner at Fisher’s restaurant for Saturday evening; which was a wonderfully comprehensive seafood restaurant with an eclectic wine list. It’s one of those places that gives you a homey feeling, a restaurant where there are no expectations. You can have dinner here dressed like you just got out of work, wearing something casual or dressed up all fancy for your anniversary dinner.
The last day of the trip was supposed to be a visit to the Highlands, which unfortunately got cancelled due to the low number of people interested in visiting the beautiful Scottish mountainous region.
Thankfully, there was a lot more to see and do in Edinburgh, so we decided to start our last day with breakfast at one of the hidden gems of the city, Ink Café, which is located in Castle Mills, the new home for Edinburgh Printmakers.
Their avocado toast was delicious and the freshly ground coffee made such a difference on our tired eyes. I definitely enjoyed the plating of both of our dishes and the vibe of the café. An open space, with smaller tables, designed for a more intimate experience and big wooden tables for friends and family or even work catch ups/meetings.
After a hearty breakfast we hopped in an Uber and visited The Palace of Holyroodhouse, which is the official residence of the British monarch in Scotland, Queen Elizabeth II.
My favourite part of the palace tour were the romantic ruins of the 12th-century Holyrood Abbey and remarkable royal gardens. Even though it was the middle of November, the garden still looked fabulous and the views from it to Arthur’s Seat were incredible.
One last thing that I wouldn’t want to miss out doing while in Edinburgh was a visit to Café Royale, lofty and lavish tile-adorned Victorian bar offering real ales, whiskies and the best oysters in town. I unfortunately, didn’t go for the oysters but had a delicious Irish coffee here.
We still had time for a quick stroll around the Christmas Market’s stalls before we had to head back to the hostel, and guess what we found when we got there? A Hungarian stall, selling lángosand chimney cake. I don’t think there’s anything else that could have been a better highlight of the trip than this was, a little piece of home.
Having finished the trip on a high note and with a full stomach, I can easily say that Edinburgh is one of my favorite cities in the UK, not only because it’s so lively, but it also has amazing food and coffee shops with so much to do and see in the city.
I will definitely be back, Edinburgh!
Thanks ILuv Events and CovBloggers for making all of this happen!