The town that my husband is from sits on the English/Scottish border. So over the past few years, I’ve been blessed to visit Scotland quite a few times. The first time we drove up to Scotland I was struck with a sense of feeling at home. The rugged terrain, the hills, and the clear cold all somehow reminded me of Colorado and made me feel comfortable. It was a nice change from the emerald green of most of England. And after visiting Edinburgh, I commented on how I could move to Scotland in a heartbeat. My husband reminded me of how much I hate the cold, but after living in Colorado and England, I think cold is all relative. Scotland seems crisp and bright to me for some reason, and I love the vibrancy and history of Edinburgh.
During this trip, we only had one day to explore the city, and since we had two boys and two strollers with us, our progress was slower than we would have preferred. We drove up to the city and found that parking in the city centre is difficult and expensive. Parking anywhere in the UK is expensive. So we opted to park a few blocks away from High Street (Princes Street) in order to find a bit cheaper parking. The walk was worth it as it’s so nice to walk along cobblestone streets and to see as much as possible. We headed straight to our favorite spot in the city, the Starbucks that sits directly across from Edinburgh Castle (www.edinburghcastle.gov.uk). However, I will say that we found ourselves quickly overheated and didn’t stay too long. FYI – one common factor you’ll find in Great Britain is that you pile on the layers outside, only to go inside where the heat is blasting and find yourself sweating to bits.
In conclusion, if you happen to visit this lovely city, here are a few things to know:
You must see Princes Street (www.princes-street.com) in order to see the shops, the sights, and to get a feel of the city. If you’re a coffee lover, then definitely visit the Starbucks and from there, wander towards the castle, sit in the park, take in the sights, walk through the cemetery, and then make your way up to the castle. We did not go inside the castle, but I think it’s a must for our next trip when our children are older and can enjoy it. It puts story books and history books into perspective and gives a visual history, which is fascinating. Walk back down from the castle in the opposite direction that you walked up as there is much more to see from there.
Even after 5+ visits to Edinburgh, I feel like we’ve only experienced the icing on the cake as there is much more to see and do. So next time, along with going inside the castle, I think we’ll also visit the Edinburgh Zoo (www.edinburghzoo.org.uk/) as we’ve heard that it’s a good place for families to see.