“This was a townscape raised in the teeth of cold winds from the east; a city of winding cobbled streets and haughty pillars; a city of dark nights and candlelight, and intellect.”
It’s been a dream of mine to visit the Isle of Skye in Scotland. Since it’s January and far too windy and frigid to cross the choppy waters to Skye, I settled on visiting Edinburgh instead. Plus tickets from London are only 40 pounds–that might be because WHO goes to Scotland in January. Freezing!
A few of my favorites from wandering the city’s spooky streets:
1. Arthur’s seat looms over the city just begging to be climbed. After so much time cooped up in London, the crisp air and muddy path was just what I needed. It isn’t a hard hike and there are several paths to choose from to get to the top. In January it’s a bit windy. That’s an understatement. I was nearly blown off the hill. It’s worth it though because at the top you can see all of Edinburgh and beyond.
2. Edinburgh Castle sits on top of an extinct volcano high above the city. From so many of the alleyways I would look up and the giant dark structure was looking down at me.
3. Calton Hill is another good spot to get a nice view of Edinburgh. There are lots of buildings and monuments to explore at the top.
4. Find one of Edinburgh’s haunting graveyards and read a few of the old tombstones. In January it’s a creepy experience walking down the muddy paths past aged tombstones and barren trees that are being knocked about in the bitter wind.
5. LoveCrumbs for a slice of cake and a warm cappuccino before heading over to Camino for a movie. The picture house is one of Quentin Tarantino’s favorite places to catch a flick. It’s got plush couches and a good selection of beer and treats.
6. Beer(s) at BrewDog and The Hanging Bat.
7. Tea at Eteaket.
8. A baked potato at The Baked Potato Shop. Order the small, the large is 3 potatoes!
9. Brunch at Hemma. The French Toast! It’s also a chance to try Haggis that doesn’t seem so scary.
10. A hip take on Scottish comfort food at Mum’s. Prepare to eat pie the size of your head, and wash it down with some local beers.
Edinburgh was exactly as I had imagined it would be–a magical, vibrant, windy, ominous city of castles, cobblestone streets, and haunting stories. I can see now how JK Rowling imagined the Harry Potter series in this eerie town.