We’ve been back for just over a week now and I think everything has calmed down. Settling into married life took no adjustment at all and apart from 2 new rings on our fingers, nothing has changed! However, that doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy the day because I did; it was magical. I was going to do a blog post on how we kept costs low but because our wedding wasn’t traditional, I’m not sure it would be of interest to anyone. If it would be, please let me know in the comments because weddings are expensive and there’s no way we’d have been able to afford a traditional one.
Anyway, back to our honeymoon. When we booked it back in December, we were torn between York and Edinburgh. We decided on the latter because Gareth wants to take the boys to York and teach them about Vikings as he does his reenactment. Originally, this post was going to be a “What To Do In Edinburgh When You Have No Kids” post but it turns out that everything we did, we could have done with the boys (except for one restaurant I think). I will say that more than half of the money we’d saved to go went on food and I’ll try to put prices in where I remember! So, here’s what we got up to;
After a 4 hour train journey (which wasn’t too bad), we found our way to the hotel. We stayed at the Grassmarket which is a cute and quirky hotel next to the castle. Our room was perfect for what we needed and the added touch of teacakes being provided with the tea and coffee swayed me when booking. My only issue was that our bed was two singles pushed together which meant sleeping in the middle wasn’t comfortable at all. However, we both slept well while we were there and the staff were so friendly; it was actually one of them which recommended the vegetarian restaurant we visited on Thursday. Once we had checked in, we headed out to explore. We ended up in the main shopping bit, discovering hidden streets and cute shops. We’d already decided that we’d be eating at Wahaca that night which is a Mexican restaurant owned by a former MasterChef winner. We’ve only been once before and that was the one in Soho but it was just as amazing as I remembered. We got the veggie set menu which was £25 and it was amazing. The sweet potato and feta taquitos were my absolute favourite while Gareth really enjoyed the Mexican corn.
After that, we headed down to Holyrood which is overlooked by Arthur’s Seat. If we ever go back, I would love to climb to the top and see the view because I bet it’s amazing.
Our day started at City Cafe which is an American style diner in the heart of Edinburgh. We opted for the large veggie breakfast which also included unlimited refills of tea and coffee but we underestimated how big it would actually be!
After that, we went down to the National Museum of Scotland. It’s definitely worth a visit whether you’ve got kids or not, it has so many amazing artifacts and while they’re not my favourite places, I always come away from museums having learnt something new. It’s absolutely massive though, we spent about 3 hours there! Before we went, Gareth said he wanted to do The Scotch Whiskey Experience. It’s really not my drink but I wanted him to be able to do it while we were there. I ended up really enjoying it and discovered that I have a really good sense of smell! We did the Silver Tour which was around 30 minutes long and we got to taste a whiskey we’d chosen. We even got to keep the glasses as a keepsake. They were so lovely and offered us another “wee dram” because we were on our honeymoon which Gareth took them up on (I didn’t, my throat was burning enough after one!)
I felt like I needed something to soak up the alcohol so we headed to The Baked Potato Shop. It was nice but not worth the £18 we spent! And I got sour cream on mine which went a bit funny on the hot potato. Gareth enjoyed his curried corn though. The Museum on the Mound is where we ended up next, another of Gareth’s choices. The highlight of there is seeing £1m in notes although they’d all been cancelled so a robber wouldn’t get very far with it!
After going back to the hotel to change (Edinburgh is very hilly and it was very warm), our first stop was Camera Obscura. It’s filled with optical illusions, which would be great for kids but I was a little bit disappointed. It cost us £31 to get in and I don’t think it was worth it. It ended with a show of their camera right at the top of the building which was in a hot, dark room. Also because the shows are at set times, you have to wander around until your time and once you’ve seen everything, there’s not a lot to do. However, the view from the top was incredible.
We went for dinner at Paradise Palms, the vegetarian restaurant we were recommended by the hotel. It was the best veggie food I’ve eaten in a long time. It took me a long while to decide what to have even when I looked at the menu before we went! One hot dog, some battered halloumi, dill and spiced fries, buffalo cauliflower and cocktails later, we were stuffed!
Breakfast at the Southern Cross Cafe started our last full day perfectly and I found my new favourite breakfast; Eggs Florentine. I’d never tried it before because spinach isn’t my favourite but when it’s covered in hollandaise, it’s delicious. We were then booked onto The Real Mary King’s Close tour which was something I really wanted to do but I was also terrified at the thought of being “underground” and around old things. I recommend doing it if you’re there but there were a few jump scares. Our tour guide, Tom, was entertaining yet informative at the same time and he really knew how to tell the story and bring it alive.
We stepped out of old Edinburgh into modern day by making a trip to the zoo. It was around £35 for us both and while I enjoy zoos, it wasn’t my favourite one I’ve been to. The star attraction is obviously the pandas which we got to see in their house, it was way too hot for them to be outside. The penguins were my favourite though, they had sprinklers are shelters to keep them cool. It was so hilly though, climbing up to see the lions and tigers was a mission!
Our last day ended with a Wagamamas and late night chips, cheese and gravy which if you haven’t tried it, do!
Edinburgh was amazing and I’m already dying to go back. As well as the touristy attractions, it is an absolutely beautiful city and I can see why so many people are drawn to it. Next time we go back, I want to bring the boys with us. They’d love it and I’d love to share the experience with them.
Have you ever been? What do you love about it and is there anything we missed while we were there?
Disclaimer: we received a small discount to use at The Scotch Whiskey Experience but this hasn’t influenced what I’ve written nor my opinions.