This Summer in July I spent amazing 8 days in beautiful Scotland, one of my favourite countries. Besides being exciting and wonderful, it has also been an emotional trip for me as I used to live in Scotland about 10 years ago in what seems like a totally another life. It was 2 years of my life that I spent living in Glasgow and I have many beautiful but also difficult memories from that time so it was kind of a big deal for me to be back after so much time.
I’ve been planning that trip with my friend who is also photography obsessed lol so we knew that we wanted to use the time we had in the best possible way to take as many photos humanly possible in the most wonderful locations. We also wanted to enjoy our holidays and that means eating delicious food, drinking lots of coffee and black tea and possible a whiskey (or gin!) or two, driving through the remote locations with only green hills and sheep to keep us company and so on… Scottish Highlands were kind of a priority on our list. Also enough time in Edinburgh to explore and take lots and lots of photos of one of the prettiest cities. Oh well, priority was also Isle of Skye, magical island with ‘out of this world’ scenery. So as you can see we had a lot of priorities, busy schedule but we also wanted to be spontaneous and not plan every single thing because where is the joy in that, right!? 😀 Not an easy task to do all that in just 8 days but I’m happy to report that we DID IT! And we had the best time ever, definitely one of my favourite trips I took…
We started our trip with 3 days in Edinburgh so this post will be about that part of our Scottish adventure. I’ll write another shorter one about Glasgow and than one larger again about Scottish Highlands, gorgeous nature, Isle of Skye, cute animals (read: cows and sheep!) etc.. 🙂 Scotland is amazing country, believe me!
The Royal Mile is the most popular street in Edinburgh with lots and lots of souvenir shops, cafes and restaurants. It’s beautiful and full of wonderful details but be prepared to share it with a lot of tourists any time of the year. Take your time to explore the small alleyways (called ‘closes’) and courtyards where often there won’t be as many people as on The Royal Mile what is specially useful if you want to get away from the crowds and take some nice photos too.
Also, before starting your Edinburgh tour I suggest having breakfast in one of the streets a bit away from the crowds, you can discover many charming cute little cafes like this one where we had an amazing breakfast on our first morning: ‘Fig Tree Bistro” (https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g186525-d12453716-Reviews-Fig_Tree_Bistro-Edinburgh_Scotland.html). Guess who had a giant crêpe? 😀
Let’s stay on the food theme just for a moment and talk about ‘haggis’. Haggis is traditional Scottish dish and it’s a savoury pudding containing sheep’s pluck (heart, liver, lungs), minced with onions, spices, oatmeal etc.. Obviously it’s not for everyone and certainly not for vegetarians but it really is so much more delicious than it sounds when you read about it, it’s comforting, served with a creamy whiskey sauce and I honestly really like it and I’m so not a ‘meat eating person’. So I hope you’ll give it a chance next time you visit Scotland! Also let me know if you’ve tried it already and what do you think!
Obviously there are many interesting museum and churches to visit in this city but we haven’t had time for that and it was not on the priority list this time but we did visit and spent some time in St Giles’ Cathedral and it’s definitely worth a visit, the architecture is gorgeous and you are allowed to take photos too inside so that’s another bonus. The ceiling and stained glass windows are breathtakingly beautiful!
One of the prettiest streets in Edinburgh is definitely Victoria street with its colourful buildings, gorgeous architecture and such a charm you simply will want to capture every single detail both with your eyes and camera. You could see some of it already at the beginning of this blog post and here are few more…
Obviously if you visit Edinburgh, you should visit Edinburgh castle. It’s the most famous and popular attraction in the city and it has been home to royalty for hundreds of years including Queen Margaret, Mary Queen of Scots and James VI. However, since I already visited it years ago and I knew there will be soooo many tourists there, if I was alone I wouldn’t go again but since it was first time there for my friend, we decided to go. We went in the earlier morning hours and booked our tickets online but still we had to wait in the line for quite some time and as I expected there were too many tourists there for my taste. But you should definitely see it if it’s your first time visiting Edinburgh…Honestly I enjoyed much more photographing the castle from far away! 🙂
One of the experience that I highly recommend is having a proper High Tea afternoon in some fancy beautiful place. Even if that means you will eat soup and sandwiches for the rest of your trip, it’s so worth it paying some more and enjoying a fancy treat like that. Both me and my friend agreed straight away when we started planning our trip that this is something where we want to splurge a little and we definitely haven’t regret it! We treated ourself with a High Tea at the Scotsman Hotel and it’s Grand Cafe (https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g186525-d14210282-Reviews-Grand_Cafe_Edinburgh-Edinburgh_Scotland.html ) and I won’t even try to talk about how much we enjoyed it, you can look at the photos instead! Oh and in case you are wondering where are all the people, we came early in the morning, just after the opening to take the photos of the interior and than the photos of food later in the afternoon, we are crazy that way! 😀 Another tip is that whatever fancy place you choose for your High Tea experience definitely book it at least a day in advance because you won’t find a seat…
If you want to get a good view and panorama of the city, I suggest climbing the Calton Hill that is set right in the city centre. It’s only a short climb and well worth it as the views are very rewarding. This one I climbed myself as my friend went on a spooky ghost tour and that’s not really my thing. So I spent an early evening there photographing and admiring the views, it can get pretty windy though even in summer but that didn’t stop me for sure.
It might sound a bit weird but graveyards are another beautiful thing to see in Edinburgh, specially if you are into photography. The mood there is ethereal and peaceful, we enjoyed it even if I had my doubts at first. One of the most beautiful is Greyfriars Kirkyard so if you visit only one, that’s the one I would choose…
If you have enough time while you are in Edinburgh, another place worth visiting is Dean Village, a charming and very pretty part of the city away from the centre with tranquil stream, beautiful gardens, 19th-century buildings & a museum. It was the only sunny few hours while we were there but honestly I don’t mind at all dark and moody rainy weather when I am in Scotland, it just adds to the whole gorgeous atmosphere! But still, it was nice to have some warmth and sunshine while wandering in this charming little village. I even had my sunglasses on for a few minutes lol! 😀
So I think you got an idea how much I love this city and I think you can see why, it’s simply gorgeous! Love, love all the pretty little details and the mood and vibe of Edinburgh, I hope I inspired you to visit it as soon as possible and I honestly can’t wait to go back! 🙂
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