We split our visit to the United Kingdom between Scotland and England, with accommodations in each of the capital cities. Edinburgh, Scotland's capital, was our first stop on this adventure. It immediately became a favorite with its medieval Old Town and Royal Mile, which offered endless hours of exploration.

Adventures: Scott Monument, Calton Hill, Craigmillar Castle, Edinburgh Castle [including the Crown Jewels, Stone of Destiny, and Mons Meg], The Scotch Whisky Experience, Greyfiars Kirkyard, National Museum of Scotland [Dolly the sheep!], Royal Mile, Holyrood Park, Arthur's Seat, The Real Mary King's Close, Loch Ness, Glencoe and the Highlands Tour 


1) Arthur's Seat has legitimate hiking trails. We did not choose the best trail option for us on that particular day.
2) The city bus was an easy way to get to Craigmillar Castle.
3) Scots spell whiskey without an e.
4) The tourists at Edinburgh Castle were almost out of control.
5) Large museums are overwhelming without a plan of attack.

Memorable Moments:

1) Climbing Arthur's Seat with jet lag.
2) Strolling down the Royal Mile.
3) Eating haggis.

  • Haggis - traditional savory pudding (not the dessert kind of pudding)
  • Neeps (mashed swede/turnips) and tatties (mashed potatoes)
  • Scottish salmon
  • Fish and chips (french fries)
  • Leek soup
  • Scotch pie
  • Whisky
  • Irn Bru - carbonated soft drink
Restaurant Picks:

Oink (hog roast roll)
34 Victoria Street

The Baked Potato Shop (recommend takeaway, limited seating)
56 Cockburn Street

The Fiddler's Elbow
4 Picardy Place

The Theatre Royal Bar (try the traditional haggis)
25-27 Greenside Place

1) Dress in layers.
2) Buy your ticket to Edinburgh Castle in advance to skip the line.
3) Prioritize the exhibits you want to see at the National Museum of Scotland.
4) Check out the view from the roof of the National Museum of Scotland.
5) Buy something cashmere.
6) Take the bus to Craigmillar Castle.
7) Consult a trail map before climbing Arthur's Seat to find a route that best suits you.

Related Posts:
National Museum of Scotland

Helpful Reads:
Earth Trekkers, Arthur's Seat: Climb an Extinct Volcano in Edinburgh (check out their map to help explain the hiking trails)


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