One of my travel aims is to see more of the UK, our country is tiny compared to most and has more than its fair share of great places to visit so there is no excuse. I had been to Edinburgh before as a kid but I wanted to revisit Scotland’s capital city to properly appreciate it. Plus we wanted to see a panda up close, who doesn’t?! The joke went that there were more pandas in Scotland than Tory MPs, well since our trip that has been changed to Tory, Labour and Lib Dem MPs! I recommend a trip to the zoo if you are in Edinburgh, we had a great time there.

Edinburgh doesn’t just offer cute animals, the city itself is full of great architecture and history. Our hotel was in the perfect location, we caught the train from London and it was about 2 minutes away from the station – right in the middle of all the historic attractions with the Royal Mile behind us and Princes Street in front. It’s called Hotel Motel One if anyone’s interested. Walking out of the front door we could see the Scott Monument. We climbed to the top despite being blown all over the place, the views of Edinburgh were great but the wind meant you couldn’t really stop for long to take it all in sadly. Below is a picture of Edinburgh Castle taken whilst climbing the tower of the monument.

We never actually went inside Edinburgh Castle but we did walk up the Royal Mile to have a closer look. The Royal Mile is like the spine of the city with lots of streets running off it, it links the castle at the top to the parliament at the bottom. The road is quite steep but there are plenty of places to stop for a drink and a break on the way, plenty of shops to buy souvenirs from shortbread to tartan kilts depending on your budget! Below you can see a rather wet Holyrood Palace at the foot of the Royal Mile, by the time we’d eventually reached the castle the sun had come out.

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Last September the BBC always seemed to film from on top of a hill during their coverage of the independence referendum. The journalists were next to an interesting monument with fantastic views behind them, I was determined to find this place to see the view for myself – it’s the one used on almost all of the postcards. With the help of Google Maps we found Calton Hill, climbed to the top and were thoroughly rewarded! The views really are great up there, from the top you can see all of Edinburgh’s main attractions I’ve mentioned in this post.

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