Edinburgh Valentine's Weekend

Fully taking advantage of Valentine’s Day being on a Saturday and the fact that I now get weekends off (a concept  am still struggling to grasp!) Conor and I decided to head up to Edinburgh for a fab Scottish sightseeing weekend. As we like to go away a lot we also used this weekend as a test of how well we could handle flying out and back again in one weekend. Turns out it’s totally fine so long as the flight times behave themselves so all systems are go on that front!

We kicked off our Love Day celebrations by exchanging gifts on the Friday night. Conor surprised me at the train station with a bunch of roses (we like to keep things traditional/tacky ;)) and I then opened my other bits. He made me a Treat Yo’ Self box with a DVD of Boyhood (which I have yet to watch but will post a review of as soon as I have), Cadbury’s Mini Eggs, some face masks and…A Vivienne Westwood Orb 2 watch! I was totally shocked, he went way way over the top (and made me feel bad about my meagre gifts by comparison) but I am completely in love with it. A ridiculously over the top gesture that I still haven’t quite gotten over. He’s ridiculous and I love him.

Anyway, we got an early night and hopped on a not-too-early Ryanair flight to Glasgow before picking up a car and driving to our first destination: Edinburgh Zoo! We seem to be making a tradition of visiting zoos on Valentine’s Day as last year we did Longleat. I’ve wanted to visit Edinburgh Zoo ever since they got their pandas so I was pretty excited that I was finally able to get there.

As a zoo it’s not got the most interesting or wide selection of animals, but it did have some unusual ones you don’t often see such as the aforementioned Giant Pandas, Koala Bears and a hilarious troop of baboons. It is packed full of gorgeous Art Deco style buildings, which I adore, alongside some cleverly designed newer enclosures. Like I said, not a massive place by any stretch but enough to fill 3/4s of a day wandering around and an opportunity to glimpse some rarer species!

Conor and I have a bit of a tradition of eating in the Hard Rock Cafe of whatever city we’re in, and considering we had the whole of Sunday to be tourists and try out the local delicacies we headed into Edinburgh in search of it. Considering it was Valentine’s Day the place wasn’t that mad busy and we had a standardly yummy meal, including my favourite traditional Margarita.

For some reason Conor had booked us a B&B that may have well been in bloody Summerisle, I swear to god the 5 locals I counted were conspiring to burn me inside a Wicker Man! It was charming though and I much prefer to stay in places like this over boring old chain hotels with no personality. And the owners were really cute and had decorated our room with romantic/tacky Valentine’s Day stuff! I must have been so overwhelmed by it all that I fell asleep watching Take Me Out haha! Not the most lively of Valentine’s nights for me but I did have the most amazing night’s sleep so it wasn’t a total wash out.

We decided that the best way to see Edinburgh properly would be to get on a hop on/hop off tour bus. I’d briefly visited the city before but had only really done the Royal Mile so it would be nice to see it a bit more in depth. The city is wonderful, one of my favourites for sure. How many cities do you know that have a permanent patriotic soundtrack on repeat? The airwaves in Edinburgh are constantly filled with the melodious tones of bagpipes and it is just so atmospheric. And it is beautiful too, lots of brown sandstone buildings with a royal architectural tone.

We began our day at the National Museum of Scotland because Conor wanted to see a gaming exhibition they had going on there. It was quite cool, I got to stand and play The Sims for 45 minutes whilst he had a look around. Sadly no photos were allowed but it was basically filled with everything from arcade machines to PC games to concept art, really fascinating if you like that sort of thing. Around the corner is a cafe called The Elephant House, where JK Rowling wrote Harry Potter! We stopped and had lunch at an amazing bar called The World Famous Frankenstein 1818 themed to you guessed what. And they sold haggis so it was win win! I had a cocktail called ‘The Bride’ which was pretty gross but I didn’t care because it was a Frankenstein themed cocktail. 

After lunch we had a wander around the Royal Mile area looking in tat shops and indulging in some Irn Bru before making our way up to the castle for a panoramic view of the city. Annoyingly we didn’t have time to properly go inside and have a look around so I’ll save that for next time. We hopped back on the bus tour to complete our tour of the city before jumping in the car and driving back to Glasgow with a mini detour to Celtic Park so that Conor could bask in the green glow of what he calls paradise.

I adore Edinburgh. Definitely one of my favourite cities in the world. It’s like a mini London, it has a very regal feel about it and you get a real sense that kings actually walked the same roads you are. There are tons of gorgeous palaces and interesting buildings everywhere and is just so romantic and cute in its traditions. As with all my weekend getaways it just left me wanting more and now I can’t wait until the next time I hop on a plane, which will be to Ireland at the end of next month. I am so ready!


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