Last week I got the opportunity to visit Edinburgh on a last minute trip to Scotland. I’d not been to Scotland yet, and given that Scotland is where some of my ancestors are from (shoutout to clan Bruce), I felt like I needed to go, so I woke up at 4:45 in the morning to catch the train.
The trip up there took about six hours, and though I slept for most of the time, I was able to see some absolutely beautiful sights on my way up, including an awe-inspiring view over the side of the U.K. as we rode past the coastline for a few miles.
I arrived in Edinburgh around noon, and immediately found my hostel (St. Christopher’s Inns, I highly recommend it) before wandering around the area for a bit. I wound up staying on the edge of the old city, which is the original stretch of Edinburgh, with Edinburgh castle in the visible distance.
Given that I was leaving the next afternoon, I decided to climb Arthur’s Seat, which is a popular hiking destination that I, being from the relatively flat land of Louisiana, would consider a mountain, but it’s not quite a mountain. The hike took me about an hour and a half, and the views from the top were absolutely phenomenal. The very top give you a 360 of Edinburgh and the harbour.
After climbing my version of a mountain, I was exhausted, so i went back to the hostel to settle in for the evening. The next morning, however, I heard that they were doing free walking tours of the city (another thing I highly recommend, no matter what city you’re in), so I decided to join in. For two hours we were lead through the old Edinburgh, learning the history of the area (another shoutout to my ancestor Robert the Bruce for being heavily featured). From stories of a woman who got out of paying taxes for technically being dead (check out the story of Maggie Dickson if you don’t believe me!) to seeing the actual grave of Tom Riddle in the graveyard that inspired J.K. Rowling, we saw just about everything in the old city.
I, unfortunately, had to leave just after the tour because I had to head to the airport, but if you ever catch yourself in Edinburgh, I would suggest going on one! Edinburgh, and Scotland in general, was fabulous, and it was easy to see why my ancestors loved it there so much. I’ll definitely be scheduling in more days the next time I go to Scotland!