Last weekend my family and I went off on a little adventure to Scotland’s capital city, Edinburgh. It wasn’t our summer trip to Walt Disney World that we had originally planned, but Edinburgh is lovely and it was great to get away for a break from everyday life. My plan for the weekend was to spend most of our time outdoors visiting local spots, to have a socially distanced meet with our friends and to eat out at a couple of restaurants for the first time in four months.
Scotland is currently heading towards phase four on the recovery from Covid 19. Hotels, restaurants and some attractions have started to open with use of social distancing measures and masks now being a requirement when visiting shops. We had planned to drive the two and a half hour journey and had originally booked the Edinburgh Marriott on the outskirts of the city. We didn’t feel entirely comfortable using public transport each day, so decided upon a change of our hotel at the last minute to the Travelodge at Edinburgh Central, situated just off the Royal Mile. That way we could park in the hotel car park and make our way around the city on foot. The hotel had recently received a refurb and the room we stayed in felt brand new and was very clean. I took extra precautions to wipe all surfaces and touch points down with antibacterial wipes to put my mind at ease. We wore our masks when entering and exiting the hotel, as did the hotel staff. There was an antibacterial gel station positioned at the front door and we washed our hands with our own soap and antibacterial gel once we got back up to our room.
I feel very lucky to live in such a gorgeous country with so many beauty spots to visit. The first thing we did upon arriving in Edinburgh was to hike up Arthur’s Seat. Arthur’s Seat is an extinct volcano boasting breathtaking views that rises 822 feet above the city. It was quite a strenuous walk to the top, but very rewarding indeed. On our walk back to the hotel, we explored Palace of Holyroodhouse and the Scottish Parliament. Neither were open, but it was lovely to see them both none the less. After a quick shower and change, we went to dinner at Hard Rock Cafe, one of our favourite places to eat as a family. I would be lying if I said Kevin and I weren’t a little nervous about visiting a restaurant again with Quinn, but we had such a lovely experience and were well taken care of. We were greeted at the door by the manager who explained to us that we wouldn’t need to wear masks in the dining area, but would need to if we were to visit the shop. Our server took us to our table, where guitar picks were used to save any unnecessary trips to our table. Our food was delicious and we left very happy and very full!
The next morning, we started our day off with a Starbucks and a walk up the Royal Mile to Edinburgh Castle. It was unbelievably quiet with a lot of shops and restaurants remaining closed. We met our friends Kris and Jamie for brunch at Mimi’s bakehouseand I had the yummiest homemade macaroni and cheese with raspberry and lime soda. Quinn wanted to go on a Harry Potter adventure, so Jamie played tour guide on our tour around the city that started at The Elephant House Cafe – the birthplace of Harry Potter and finished in the colourful cobbled Victorian Street – the inspiration behind Diagon Alley. We visited the “real” Ollivanders, Museum Context and Quinn looked the most adorable in his Ron Weasley jumper he chose out! After our magical experience, we headed to Princes Street Gardens for a rest. Quinn was desperate for us to eat dinner at Mamma’s American Pizza, a favourite of his, so we booked a table and made our way over to The Grassmarket. The fresh hand rolled pizza is delicious and as an added bonus, it was founded and ran by Y-Wing pilot Gold Leader in Star Wars:episode IV:A New Hope and Rogue One!
On the Sunday morning we took a trip to The Edinburgh Dungeon. Neither Kevin, Quinn or I had been and I was very excited to visit. We wore our masks throughout and I was picked on in almost every room by the live actors, which caused much hilarity within our group! Overall we had such a fun time learning some dark, underground history! We said our goodbyes before heading home, but not before one last magical stop at the Never Land play park in Kirriemuir. Not only is it our favourite place to visit in Scotland, but its the birthplace of Peter Pan author J.M Barrie and the small town is filled with magic and heritage!
I was completely tired out after our weekend away, but it was definitely what we all needed after a hard few months. Do you have any plans for the summer? Let me know in the comments!