London: Weekend Trip to Edinburgh

A couple of weekends ago, I took a trip to Scotland with a couple of my flat mates and friends. I did not know much about the town of Edinburgh or Scotland in general, nor did I have any expectations, but any expectations that I did have were greatly exceeded.

Saturday

We left our flat in London around 4:30 in the morning. Surprisingly, we barely left early enough for our 7:00 flight. Our Uber to London Luton Airport, one of the smaller airports surrounding London, took longer than expected due to traffic (~1.5 hours) which caused us to have to sprint to our gate to make our flight. Our commute to the airport took less time than the actual flight to Scotland, which took just over one hour. All-in-all, the trip is very easy from London to Edinburgh, especially with the low prices of flights in Europe – it only cost me around $100 round-trip.

After arriving in Edinburgh, the first thing that I noticed was a large castle that sits on a mountain of volcanic rock and looks over the entire city – the impenetrable Edinburgh Castle. J.K. Rowling started to write Harry Potter in Edinburgh, and when you walk around the city, it is easy to see where she got a lot of her inspiration. Especially with the amazing weather that we lucked into, I felt as if I was walking around an imaginary, mystical setting in Edinburgh. We took a tour of the castle which held thousands of years of history and incredible views of the city as the castle sits in the center of the city.  After checking into our hostel, we set off to climb Arthur’s Seat, a dormant volcano that has a world-class view over Edinburgh and the surrounding countryside. Multiple people had told me that Arthur’s Seat is a must-do in Edinburgh, and I will tell the same to anyone else who finds themselves in Edinburgh.

Sunday

On Sunday, we took a guided day trip to the Highlands – the mountainous countryside of Scotland, north of Edinburgh. We departed at 9:00 in the morning from the city, where our guide drove us an hour and a half north of Edinburgh to explore the towns and nature that the Highlands have to offer. We first stopped in a small town called Dunkeld, where the entire town was all migrating to the church that sat on the river. We then went to Pitolchry. a slightly larger town, for lunch. We rode shortly outside of Pitolchry to a breathtaking overlook called Queen’s View, which got its named from it being frequented by Queen Victoria. The view is certainly fit for a queen, as you can see below. We returned from a full day of journeying around 6:00 pm from a very wholesome trip.

Monday

We flew back to London on Monday afternoon. We spent our final hours in Edinburgh wandering around the city, which is worth doing since a walk through Edinburgh feels like a walk back in time. Parts of the city feel as if they  had not been touched for centuries. Edinburgh may not have the glitz and glamour allure of large European cities such as London and Paris, but the charming and therapeutic effect of the historic city of Edinburgh makes the journey more than worth it.

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