City trips are one of my favourite things in life. I love exploring new cities, wandering about through (fairly) unknown streets with a surprise hiding around every corner. There are also a few cities that can’t get enough of and which ask for repeat visits, either because time didn’t allow to see everything, or because the atmosphere of a city just appeals to you and makes you feel at ease. Edinburgh definitely belongs in that last category for me. Exactly 10 years ago I was invited on a trip here for work, it was one of my first business trips and I loved it.
I’ve been back a few times since. I don’t exactly know what draws me to the city, but I like the dramatic scenery in and around the city (that’s probably one of the reasons why it’s on the Unesco World Heritage list)…
… the mysterious (sometimes spooky) atmosphere…
… the dark, old buildings that show they’ve been there for a while …
… Or the pubs which brighten up a grey day on which Edinburgh may look somewhat sombre.
One of the striking features of Edinburgh is Edinburgh Castle
… which is hard to miss as it’s dominating the city from a hill top
Edinburgh has something to offer for every one: whether you like history, old buildings, shopping (there even is a Long Tall Sally branch here, tall ladies), nature or food; every one can get their fix here. Just make sure you bring decent footwear as the Scottish capital is very walkable, yet quite hilly.
Luckily, they have built a few stairs…
I walked all the way up to Calton Hill which is the headquarters of the Scottish Government, based at St Andrew’s House. It’s also close to the Scottish Parliament Building, and at the foot of the hill, Holyrood Palace.
If you want to see a different side of Edinburgh, take a 15 minute train ride to Dalmeny to have a closer look at the Forth Bridge. It’s quite an impressive structure.
There is not a lot to see apart from the bridge so I’d suggest to go around lunch time and to have a bite at the cosy Hawes Inn, overlooking the bridge.
On a cold, windy day in Scotland, nothing beats a hot, hearty soup …
… in front of a fire place.
Other nice places to eat in the city centre, tried and tested by yours truly over the recent years, are Castle Terrace and The Witchery for fine dining. Not tested myself, but recommended by a very reliable source: Galvin Brasserie Deluxe and The Scran and Scallie are doing amazing pub food.
You will also find some very good hotels in Edinburgh. During this stay, we stayed at the Sheraton hotel. In all honesty, the exterior of the building itself does not have the wow-factor that, for instance, the Waldorf or the Balmoral in Edinburgh both do have. However, they do make up for that on the inside where you’ll find a spacious, modern hotel with everything you need for a comfortable city trip or a business trip.
The reception area was Christmassy decorated already, really adding to the atmosphere…
The rooms are spacious and up-to-date. I love it when a hotel bathroom has a separate shower and when there are no shower curtains to be found. It instantly gives it a much more modern feel.
The location is perfect too: within walking distance from the famous Princess street, castle views if you are on the right side of the hotel, and close to bus and tram links to the airport or other places.
Unfortunately, we did not experience breakfast as we had to rush out due to the weather (it was the weekend Storm Desmond hit Britain, and we had a train journey ahead to the Lake District, so we decided to leave a few hours earlier), but the restaurant based in the Sheraton, called One Square, certainly looked nice and crisp.
Luckily, we did get to taste a lovely gin tonic with locally made gin.
I guess we have to go back at some point to experience all facilities of the hotel, including the amazing spa with rooftop pool!