Happy Sunday everyone! I hope you’re having a more exciting day than I am – I’ve just spent three hours cleaning my kitchen from top to bottom, only to realise that I haven’t ate yet! So instead of creating yet more washing-up, I’m just going to go hungry.
On a more positive note, I am loving this weather – it makes me want to pack a picnic, jump in my car and drive to the countryside to go on a long, spring-time walk. Although we didn’t quite make it to the countryside last weekend, we did spend the day roaming around the streets of Edinburgh – one of our favourite cities in the UK. A few months back Virgin Rail had one of their seasonal ‘seat sales’, which is always a great opportunity to book an impromptu trip for a fraction of the usual price. We picked up return tickets from Newcastle to Edinburgh for around about £10 each – bargain! We have been to Edinburgh a couple of times before so had done the standard sight-seeing, but I’ll never turn down an opportunity to spend my Saturday browsing shops, eating food, and drinking cocktails – expect many photos to follow.
My boyfriend and I caught an earlier train because the one Rachel and her boyfriend were catching, had all sold out by the time we booked up. This wasn’t a problem, it just meant we had an extra hour browsing the shops… or so I thought until we rocked up at Harvey Nichols to see it hadn’t even opened yet – did I mention I had to set my alarm for 5am that morning?! After being caught in the rain (it is Scotland, after all) we managed to seek refuge in Jenner’s department store. An hour and a half later, Rachel and Joe had arrived so we met up with them on the Royal Mile for breakfast. In the early hours of that morning, Rachel had sent me a Trip Advisor link for the American themed ‘City Café’ and as it seemed cheap and cheerful, we thought we would give it a go. Although I’m usually hesitant when visiting ‘tourist traps’ (this café is smack bang in the middle of the Royal Mile – the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town), we had a delicious breakfast for a very reasonable price. Both Rachel and I aren’t huge meat eaters, so breakfasts like Joe’s salmon and poached eggs didn’t really appeal to us. Instead, I opted for pancakes with maple syrup while Rachel went for waffles. All was right with the world because, after almost six hours of being awake, I finally got my morning coffee fix – Rachel got her Lucozade fix, but that’s just disgusting.
After breakfast, we headed towards the castle where the biggest photoshoot of our lives occurred. Our boyfriends were not only sick of being snapped, but quite frankly embarrassed at the amount of photos Rachel and I were taking. Although it was cloudy, we were able to see for miles across Edinburgh and even without paying for admission into the castle, you’re able to have a good look around before reaching the ‘ticket-holders only’ sign.
We then had a walk down to the Grassmarket before heading to the New Town to browse the now-open Harvey Nicks. By this point, Rachel and I both decided that our feet were hurting and that a drinks stop was in serious need. We stopped to refuel in Starbucks (Matthew wanted some lunch and Joe just needed an espresso) before heading to The Booking Office, Edinburgh’s finest Wetherspoons, for some cheap drinks and a bite to eat. It was rammed, as expected, but we were able to score a table right in the window – we had the perfect view of Princes Street in the New Town and the castle overlooking the Old Town. Two pints, two Hooches, two bottles of wine and a plate of nachos later, we stumbled out and headed for the Hard Rock Café, under Rachel’s
instruction recommendation. It was amazing, we had the best lemon and berry cocktail and I’d really recommend ‘The Texan’ smoked sandwich – like I said, I’m not the biggest meat-lover but the pulled chicken was to die for.
After our meal, we headed to the train station but not before popping into Sainsbury’s and buying a few drinks for the train home. We were sat in different carriages for the start of the journey home (although I didn’t get the chance to miss Rachel and Joe too much because they very kindly sent us drunk selfies the whole way back) and Matthew and I got talking to the couple sitting opposite us. They showed us photos of their trip to Iceland to see the Northern Lights, a place we’ve always wanted to go, and gave us a few useful tips for if we ever decide to make the trip. Does anybody else love people who make conversation on trains?! I feel like there are not enough people who will ask how your day was, what you’ve been up to and make the journey pass by that little bit quicker. After they got off at their stop, a now little-more-sober Rachel and Joe came to join us for the remainder of the journey. Once back in Newcastle, we decided to go for a drink in The Town Wall before ordering a taxi and heading back home at around 12pm.
I would recommend visiting Edinburgh to everyone! It has the perfect mix of historic landmarks, tourist attractions, department stores and amazing scenery for those all-important Insta snaps. We’ll definitely be heading back soon, I don’t feel like I’ve even scratched the surface of what Edinburgh has to offer.
We’d love to see any photos of day trips you’ve recently made and please let us know if you have any travel recommendations, we’re always looking for new places to visit!