Why not visit Edinburgh during your stay with us? Edinburgh is of course Scotland’s historic capital city. It’s the second most popular tourist destination in the UK (after London), and is an easy day trip from our homestay.
Edinburgh’s medieval Old Town is a maze of ancient cobbled streets, narrow alleyways and hidden courtyards. The Royal Mile leads from Edinburgh Castle (perched on the remains of a volcano) down to the Palace of Holyroodhouse (the Queen’s official residence in Scotland). You can take also take a tour of the very modern Scottish Parliament building, and if you time your visit well you can even listen to a parliamentary debate.
This is also where you’ll find King Arthur’s Seat – an impressive hill in the centre of Edinburgh. If you have the energy to climb it, there are great views, and it’s a good place for a picnic.
There’s a lot to do in the Old Town. You could visit the excellent National Museum of Scotland, Dynamic Earth, or the Camera Obscura and World of Illusions. You can see Greyfriar’s Kirkyard, where the famous small dog Bobby spent the last years of his life faithfully guarding his master’s grave. A statue of the dog commemorates his great loyalty.
Edinburgh is JK Rowling’s home town. Keen Harry Potter fans can visit the Elephant House cafe, where she wrote Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. And you can do some Harry Potter themed shopping in Victoria Street – the street that inspired the magical Diagon Alley.
Edinburgh’s New Town is not so very new – its beautiful streets and squares were built in the 18th and 19th centuries.
It’s a great area just to walk around, and for shopping and restaurants.
My tip for when you visit Edinburgh is to head for Stockbridge in the New Town on a Sunday. Walk along the peaceful Water of Leith river; choose from the delicious food on offer at Stockbridge Market for lunch; enjoy the fun local shopping and wander round the beautiful streets. You could end the afternoon with a visit to Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic Garden, with its impressive glasshouses built in the 1800s, filled with plants from around the world. Stockbridge is where you can find my favourite Edinburgh restaurant (it’s already way too popular for me to divulge the name on this website).