My partner and I flew to Edinburgh for a 4 day break. The flight took an hour and checking in was quick as it was an internal flight. We also paid extra for speedy boarding. We arrived at the airport and bought Tram tickets heading to Edinburgh city. The tickets were £5.50 each or you could get a return ticket that would have worked out cheaper. The Tram took about 30-40 minutes to get to Princes Street, where we stayed at the Village Hotel which is just outside the city centre. The hotel had a fitness centre, swimming pool and a convenient Starbucks café. I would definitely stay at Village Hotels again due to the price and quality of the stay. Edinburgh’s local bus service is called Lothian which arrive every 10 minutes. It cost only £4 each for the day or a single ticket is £1.60.
We visited a couple of main attractions. Edinburgh Castle for £15 each (although we didn’t pay to go inside). Edinburgh castle is quite impressive from the outside but compared to Hever castle it seems less like an real castle.
You get a stamp on your hand for £15 and you get to visit the Camera Obscure any time you like for the day. It’s fun for kids to visit as there are 5 floors and lots of interactive things to do.
We hiked up to Arthur’s Seat which can take between 30 minutes to an hour. We took lots of short breaks to regain our energy and to enjoy the views. When we arrived at the top of Arthur’s Seat, we had a little picnic, which was well needed after the hike. Waitrose was near our hotel so we bought lots of snacks, sandwiches and water for four days so we didn’t have to eat out as much.
After hiking, we got a bus to the Ocean Terminal to go on the Britannia. They have transformed the terminal into a little shopping centre. It’s £15 to board the Britannia Yacht and we did hesitate but I’m so glad we didn’t. It was nice to walk around and hear about the history of the ship. Apparently, the Britannia is the only place you can see where Queen Elizabeth has slept before. There’s also a tea room on board where we stopped by for a hot drink and a scone. It was quite pricey but it was it worth for the experience. It was great having afternoon tea on the Britannia as the tea room was quiet and relaxing. We were so glad we went on the yacht in the end as we were just going to head back into town after seeing it docked.
We visited Edinburgh Zoo to see the Pandas which were also £15 each and you had to book a time slot to see the Pandas. Once we had arrived we were told the Pandas were still asleep and that we could come back later in the day. We returned two hours later to see the male Panda outside with his back to the window eating bamboo. It’s very peaceful and quiet due to a lack of visitors but I’m sure in the summer it gets very packed.We watched the Panda for around half an hour until he went inside. It’s a small zoo with very steep hills.
The gift shop was a little disappointing as they don’t have any merchandise with “Edinburgh Zoo” on it. It could have been a great souvenir. We were lucky to see a panda as the zoo keeper explained that there was a chance the Pandas wouldn’t be out again today.
In the evenings we were walking around Princes Street, the Old Town and the Royal Mile. There are a lot of high street stores and other small unique boutiques which I found more interesting. Overall, I highly recommend visiting the Zoo, the Britannia and walking up Arthur’s Seat as the views were amazing.