Edinburgh Express: What To See & Do In 48 Hours (Pt. 2)

March 25, 2016
Edinburgh Express - A City Guide of What To See & Do In 48 Hours



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Rested and ready? Excellent. Despair not at the impending end of your Edinburgh trip for there's time still to see many of the city's sights including another hilly ascent, shopping, restaurants and pubs, and then some.  If you were astute enough to time your flight/train back for the afternoon, you'll even have ample time for wildlife-spotting before the end of your city break. Incroyable, no? I mean business when I say 'Edinburgh Express'.
So strap on your boots, grab that camera, bag some pipes, and let's get crackin'...





Edinburgh Express - A City Guide of What To See & Do In 48 Hours

Guid mornin! Resist the urge to stay wrapped up in your Tweed-clad bed and just admire the city from the turret windows of The Scotsman Hotel - I promise you, Edinburgh is full of gems that must be seen to believed. It is after all the city that inspired JK Rowling to create her magical world of wizards and witches, and where better for breakfast at the café that calls itself 'The Birthplace of Harry Potter'? Head to The Elephant House and grab a table facing Greyfriars Kirkyard with Edinburgh Castle rising in the distance. Dig into pancakes and coffee for a relaxed and inspiring start to the day, maybe doodle or write a story or two...
Edinburgh Express - A City Guide of What To See & Do In 48 Hours

Edinburgh Express - A City Guide of What To See & Do In 48 Hours

Lose yourself in the filigreed halls of the nearby National Museum Of Scotland. The museum has something for everyone from curious children to adults looking to reawaken their sense of wonder - from miracles of modern science (here lies Dolly the Sheep), cultural artefacts that will inspired serious wanderlust (Henry and I were mesmerised by the Pacific Islands exhibit), to natural history (wait till you see the astonishing taxidermy marine animals that soar beneath the ceiling!). Free entry with the bonus of ridiculously flattering lighting (thanks to the soaring skylights) makes National Museum Of Scotland an unmissable destination.



Edinburgh Express - A City Guide of What To See & Do In 48 Hours

Edinburgh Express - A City Guide of What To See & Do In 48 Hours



Edinburgh Express - A City Guide of What To See & Do In 48 Hours
From the National Museum Of Scotland it's a short walk to Victoria Street. 
This elegant 19th century thoroughfare, with its rainbow row of shops bordering either side of the gentle curve of the cobblestoned street is a thing of beauty with its historical architecture (the terraced buildings above are so quintessentially Edinburgh) and just the place for shoppers in search for something unusual and quirky.


Edinburgh Express - A City Guide of What To See & Do In 48 Hours

Take lunch at The Grain Store, a cozy restaurant in a vaulted and alcoved former storeroom. Here on the first floor you'll have an elevated view of Victoria Street, all the better to get your bearings on where to shop after your meal. The only lunchtime options are a pocket-friendly set menu (£14 for 2 courses, £16 for 3 courses), all the better to save your pennies for later! Happily, The Grain Store menu is as delicious as it is cheap and cheerful, with local Scottish offerings such as oysters and salmon.

Edinburgh Express - A City Guide of What To See & Do In 48 Hours
Edinburgh Express - A City Guide of What To See & Do In 48 Hours




A SALVE FOR 
LONG-SUFFERING MALE S.Os

Bored boyfriends, fear not. 

While your gentler half peruses Context Interiors (above) for eclectic home decor and curious souvenirs, pop into The Bow Bar just across the street. Their impressive array of whiskies and beers - not to mention their cheap & cheerful pies! - will keep you busy. 
Thank me for it, boys. 
Because, trust me, if your lady loves all things vintage she will be making you wait. Especially once she discovers the famous vintage emporium W. Armstrong & Sons...

Edinburgh Express - A City Guide of What To See & Do In 48 Hours
Edinburgh Express - A City Guide of What To See & Do In 48 Hours
Edinburgh Express - A City Guide of What To See & Do In 48 Hours

W. Armstrong & Son, established 1840, claim themselves as 'Britain's Largest Vintage Clothing Emporium'. They are definitely one of the more eclectic, with layered collections of curios spilling out of every crevice! Sadly, none of their antiques nor more exquisite military items are for sale, so the most striking items are more like exhibits to be enjoyed while you peruse for their many rails of vintage clothing. Pay special attention to the rack of Scottish clothing near the entrance (on the wall to the right) - kilts, sporrans, and Glengarrys galore!



Edinburgh Express - A City Guide of What To See & Do In 48 Hours

It's time to pay your respects to Edinburgh Castle.
The historic fortress and icon of the city skyline rises majestically from Castle Rock, watching over Edinburgh as the many noble sentinels have done so within. Edinburgh Castle is, to say the least, a monument - with 3,000 years of history to its name, the site itself has been occupied since the late Bronze Age while the castle as we know it dates back to the 12 century and is still in use today. 

Edinburgh Express - A City Guide of What To See & Do In 48 Hours
Edinburgh Express - A City Guide of What To See & Do In 48 Hours
Edinburgh Express - A City Guide of What To See & Do In 48 Hours
Edinburgh Express - A City Guide of What To See & Do In 48 Hours
There are a plethora of tours that serve Edinburgh Castle, and a lot of fascinating history to be gleamed for the price of a ticket - although I would suggest booking online for fast-track entry. Even if after you've made the steep climb to the castle and decide you don't fancy paying £16.50 to enter, there is still plenty to see - the occasional wedding photoshoot on sunnier days, and of course the sweeping vista of Edinburgh!
Edinburgh Express - A City Guide of What To See & Do In 48 Hours

Edinburgh Express - A City Guide of What To See & Do In 48 Hours


Tempting as it is to call it a day and sink into your seductively-soft bed (and how can I blame you? Climbing cobblestoned hills and scaling slopes is knackering. Sight-seeing in Edinburgh is quite the workout!) I beseech you to power on. Just for one more stop - I promise you that it will be worth it.

Head over to Princes Street - it's a 15 minute walk downhill from Edinburgh Castle - cut through the Royal Mile and North Bridge, and cross to the back of the Apple Store to find The Voodoo Rooms.

This is the bar you just can't miss when in Edinburgh. Its opulent decor couldn't be a further cry from the city's many traditional pubs with its exposed brick walls, and wouldn't look out of place in Tsarist Russia.

Even if you're not here for the swinging music events that seem to be a nightly occurrence, you have to stop by for a cocktail or two - the ambience is surprisingly cozy for such a grandly decorated space! 

After you've had a Forager's Fancy you can finally head back to The Scotsman Hotel. Put your feet up and order room service - go on, you've earned it.



Edinburgh Express - A City Guide of What To See & Do In 48 Hours

The sad time has come to pack your bags and head back to London on The Hogwarts Express, or onward to whichever destination. Before bidding farewell to this magical city, let the critters at Edinburgh Zoo see you out. This award-winning zoo, lauded by David Attenborough - aka the big daddy of all things nature - as what all zoos should aspire to, is ever so conveniently located just ten minutes from the airport so if you have the good luck to be heading that way, you've really no excuse to drop in and compare the meerkats. 
Edinburgh Express - A City Guide of What To See & Do In 48 Hours

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