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Edinburgh – Christmas Markets, Ghost tours, and Haggis

Last Winter I took a lovely weekend break to Edinburgh with a group of friends.  It was organised after a discussion one night about how we all wanted to get away somewhere for a weekend. One person in the group suggested Edinburgh. Before I travel I normally have everything organised as to what I want to do and where I want to go while I was there. As this was organised by someone else, I went with no research done and discovered things to do while we were there which was a nice change.

A friend of mine booked accommodation near the old part of Edinburgh where we spent most of our time. The Apartment we stayed in was called Edinburgh Perl Apartments on Lochrin Place. It was in a good location as it was within walking distance of the castle. It was also really good price and the owner was really friendly and helpful.

When you arrive in the old part of the city the first thing you notice is the hills and the architecture. The old town seems to meander its way up towards the castle, which sits high, almost above the city. You can see the most spectacular views from the castle.

The first place we went to was the castle where you can explore all the different parts of it and learn more about the royal family of Scotland. There is so much to see and do in the castle you could spend an entire day there.  Make sure to give yourself time to have a look around if you are planning on visiting.

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The Christmas Market. 

As we went before Christmas there was a huge Christmas Market taking place in the park next to the castle. There were so much food and things to buy there including Santa sacks, decorations, jewelry and tasty treats. In the food section, there were stalls giving out drinks in proper mugs. My favorite was warm Drambuie and apple juice.

There were also funfair rides, which you can go on, and an ice skating rink. It was definitely the best Christmas Market I had ever been to.

Breakfast and the haggis

The following day after our fun night at the Christmas Market we had a full Scottish breakfast. Scottish Breakfast is not that different from a Full Irish Breakfast except for the haggis. For those of you who haven’t had it before, it tastes a lot like mince meat with spices. It was quite nice and its something you have to try when you are there.

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The ghost tour

One of my friends was really excited to go on a ghost tour in Edinburgh so we decided to go with City of the Dead Tours. I must say this was my favorite part of the trip. I learned so much history about Edinburgh and only the last 20 minutes or so are actually scary. The tour guide brings you through the streets of Edinburgh and into Greyfriars Kirkyard, which is where Scottish people were buried from the 16th Century.  I strongly recommend doing this and you will have so much more appreciation for the way Edinburgh as a city came to be.

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The Real Mary King’s Close Underground tour. 

Another tour we did was the underground tour of Mary King’s Close. During this tour, the guide brings you underground where people lived long ago, as there was so much overcrowding in the city. You get to explore the different houses and learn more about the people who lived there. This gets quite busy even in Winter so if you plan on doing this tour book in advance

Second Breakfast. 

The second day we went to a nice restaurant called the larder Café. The food in this restaurant was so nice and tasty. It’s just a short walk from the royal mile in the old part of town. The lunch menu also looked fabulous I wished I had gone back for more.

Nights out. 

We were there for two nights in total and for the two nights we went to a place called the three sisters. This seems to be where anyone from Ireland goes when on holidays in Edinburgh. This place was so much fun we went back for the second night. The staff was really good fun and the music was all the best of the 90’s with some new songs thrown in.

The people of Edinburgh are so much fun and are so relaxed and welcoming towards tourists. I would recommend putting up with the cold and going during the wintertime to get the Christmas Market. It is one of those places I am definitely going back to again but for longer than three days.
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