Edinburgh......First Class

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August 6th 2011
Published: December 25th 2011EDIT THIS ENTRY

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London - Edinburgh


Amazing view of the Edinburgh Castle.
When East Coast Trains were offering first class tickets to Edinburgh for £25 each way, Hannah was right on it and booked us a weekend away in the Scottish city. What started off as a cheap weekend away quickly became far more expensive once it was time to book our accommodation. We couldn’t understand why almost every hotel in the city was completely booked and if there were any rooms left they were exceedingly expensive. We soon realised we were heading to Edinburgh during the largest arts festival on the planet, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. And the typical Edinburgh weather was set to make it a cold, rainy and overcast couple of days.

06/08/2011 - On Saturday we got up at the crack of dawn, packed our stuff and made our way to Kings Cross Station in London. Our train left early in the morning and would take us just over 5 hours before we reached Edinburgh, it was just after noon when we arrived. We headed for our hotel, a few minutes’ walk from the central train station and checked in. With such a short stay here we were keen on getting out into the city and exploring as

Impressive fountain in the gardens, Edinburgh Castle in the background.
much as possible and the best way to do this quickly is jumping on a sightseeing bus. So after grabbing a bite to eat we hopped on a sightseeing and headed straight upstairs to the open top just as the rain began to fall, fantastic timing. We did in an entire lap of the Edinburgh loop taking photos as best I could despite the now pouring rain.

When the rain eased and we jumped off the bus at the Royal Mile, the main street in Edinburgh’s Old Town which leads up to the famous castle. There were so many people here and the streets were packed with performers from the Fringe Festival selling their shows to the thousands of tourists. Hannah and I headed towards Edinburgh castle to have a look around. Surrounding the main yard were huge stands filled with blue seats which crept over the cliff, they were for the annual Edinburgh Tattoo which was also on this time of year. We decided against going into the castle, tickets were pricey and we just didn’t have enough time to fully appreciate it. Instead we walked down the Royal Mile, wading through the thousands of people and the

Busy streets of Edinburgh.
street performers who each insisted on you taking their leaflet. In a matter of a few hundred meters we collected about 50 leaflets to various amateur shows, most of them comedy. To escape the madness we found somewhere to grab a hot chocolate while we decided what we wanted to see tonight.

We had to see something, I mean I wasn’t coming to Edinburgh during the Fringe Festival, the biggest arts festival in the world and not seeing at least one show. We found the ticket office and the enormous queue, it was at least an hour wait in the line, in the rain before we reached the desk. Still having no idea what we wanted to see, we asked the girl at the desk who unfortunately was not allowed to recommend anything. So after flicking through the 200 page guide, full of different performers, we finally settled on seeing Ed Byrne, a famous comedian who is regularly on UK TV. So we slowly made our way across town in the rain to the theatre where Ed Byrne was performing, stopping for a few beers in various pubs along the way to kill time. It was a good show,

The Fringe Festival down the Royal Mile.
he was very funny, a reliable choice really. Afterwards we jumped in a taxi to an Indian restaurant, highly rated on trip advisor, it was the number 1 restaurant in Edinburgh. Unfortunately they were packed, and could not fit us in at all, should have booked really. Instead we got a taxi to the next best, which was much closer to our hotel and had a table free. It was a fantastic meal, well worth the wait, we were now stuffed. Afterwards we slowly walked back to the hotel and collapsed in bed after a very long day.

07/08/2011 – We were in no hurry to get up this morning, and when we did it wasn’t a surprise to see it pouring down rain outside. We ate breakfast downstairs stunned by the images of the London Riots on TV, they were only around the corner from our flat in London. Since our hotel was a little out of the way we decided to take our luggage with us after we checked out of the hotel. Dragging out luggage behind us we headed towards the gardens in the center of the city to get some amazing photos of

The botanical gardens of Edinburgh.
the Edinburgh castle on the edge of the cliff. We spend quite a long time exploring the gardens, they were located in a huge crevasse in the center of the city, either side up on the cliff was the city. It was very unusual however just another aspect that gave this city so much amazing character. After only a short time here, both Hannah and I absolutely loved the place.

All morning we had been walking around the gardens dragging our luggage around, it was tiring work. We stopped by Pizza Express for lunch then afterwards made our way back to Edinburgh Train Station. Soon enough it was time to board our train back to London Kings Cross, another 5 hour train ride, most of it was spent asleep. When we arrived in London it was late evening, Hannah and I were exhausted so rather than take the tube home we jumped in a taxi and went straight home.

Holiday Inn Express Edinburgh - City Centre

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Edinburgh Castle overlooks the gardens below.

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