Edinburgh | A Micro City Guide

We had such a fantastic couple of days in Edinburgh I thought I’d put together a little micro-guide of things to do based on what we got up to! For the first time in years – have spent my teenage and uni years in Edinburgh – I felt I was seeing the city with eyes afresh…

So, we travelled by train! I’m not the greatest train person – I panic at the thought of not having a seat, which has happened to me in the past – and lo & behold this time, inept train-ticket booker that I am, I managed to reserve seats only on our return leg. Cue mad rush for the few unreserved seats on the East Coast service, which thank goodness we got. But once safely ensconced, with snacks to hand, sitting watching the beautiful countryside train zen evolved into a very nice kind of happy.
Once through the train journey – love the Berwick beachside approach, so wonderful to see the waves! – arriving in the bustling, ever changing Waverley can be a bit overwhelming. You need to fight through the throng and make your way down to the old entrance/exit which leads you out opposite the stately Scott Monument, to your right. In the glorious afternoon light we welcomed a walk through Princes Street Gardens, gazing up at the eons old volcanic rock that supports the castle.

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The Heart of the City

The castle view really feels like the heart of the city to me. As you continue upwards towards the West End, you’ll pass the photogenic steps up the Mound and the beautiful stones of the National Portrait Gallery. Always worth seeing what they have on there. We didn’t make it in this time, but I think next time for sure!

 

Coffee Date

The next morning, my Mum and I popped into the newly opened cafe Hyde & Son on George Street. It’s easyto miss for us Edinburgh types because it has taken up residence in an old office block which, (at least, I  I did!) you automatically visually tune out. Also the name plaque on the building is actually Eden Locke which is the name of the aparthotel in the same building which is made up of 72 stylishly kitted out studio apartments. The airy large cafe space is really quite a revelation, the mix of soft colours and wickerwork chairs complementing the thoughtful use of space. Plus the coffee bar has Oatly Barista, for those into non-dairy 😉 And the most colossal pastries, one enough to share really!

 

Decor Perfection!
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To The Botanics!

Our afternoon outing was a fantastic walk over Dean Bridge to the Botanic Gardens – there was a Halloween kids trail so Gus was pretty excited. We walked down Comely Bank Avenue and through Inverleith Park (which I haven’t been to for years!) with a wonderful swan-filled pond and stunning city skyline as you make it up the hill.

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 Pondside Sprinting

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Perfect Afternoon Outing

Exiting the other side of Inverleith Park, you can enter the Botanics via Aboretum Place through the John Hope Gateway with its biodiversity centre, restaurant and (importantly for those with kids!) the shop! First stop was a very necessary 😉 ice-cream for Gus and cuppa & brownie (very good gluten-free ones!) for the rest of us!

We then proceeded to dash round the trail for its animal clues – Gus was in heaven really. And a chocolate biscuit reward from the cafe on completion of the little booklet! By that time the glasshouese were closed but we went to take a peek anyway – in fact, the Tropical Palm House (built in 1834 for £,1500!) was closed for renovation. Cue the long walk home back to the West End.

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Mama Chill Time

The following morning, I headed to the quite fantastic (if you’re into health foods and all that stuff!) Jan de Vries shop and treatment rooms for a massage. Joanna, my therapist, was really knowledgeable and gave a fantastic all-over body massage, with a focus on face and feet, which I love!

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Afterwards I popped into, again, completely new to me, Caringorm Coffee Co, bright and light on Melville Place where there used to be an estate agent’s I think!

Our Last Day

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Beach Walk

Another walk on the agenda! We decided to jump on the bus down to Silverknowes, getting off just by the golf course and walked down to the beautiful beach there so we could end up on Cramond Beach. I used to love blowy, cold winter walks here as a kid.

Although so much more enjoyable when 10 degrees warmer. Gus in his mad Celtic way, stripped down to t-shirt and shorts and went zooming into the (damn cold!) waves before we could stop him!

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Warm again! Phew!

Gus’s boots by Crocs, Jumper by Gap

My boots by & Other Stories, coat (old ASOS – similar), cap by H&M (similar)

and jeans, & Other Stories


Press play!

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Cosy in Cramond Cafe

It was so lovely to see Gus tearing around in such a gorgeous open space. Finally getting him warm and dressed we set off to walk along the beach to little white-stuccoed café at Cramond for the most delicious hot chocolates and yep, a two-scoop vanilla ice-cream for Gus!

And hot chocolate for mama!

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