SCAN Travel: A Tale of Two Cities


Edinburgh is a city of two visible halves; the old medieval town (leading down from the castle on the hill and meandering down the Royal Mile and Holyrood House) and the new town (dating from the Georgian period with it’s Parisian-esque frontiers and white shining walls). It’s a beautiful place to visit with an awful lot to offer whether you have a small amount of time to spare, or if you’re there for a longer break.

I visited the city for my twenty-first birthday and have a few places I would recommend. A gorgeous little place for breakfast on Hanover Street called Urban Angel does the most amazing coffee. The blend I had tasted of cherries and dark chocolate –  I’ve never tasted coffee like that before! It’s quite expensive and might be slightly outside the student budget, but if you feel you can afford it then the breakfast is well worth it; it was delicious and set us up for the day. Hanover Street is a great place quite close to the centre of the city with a lot of other places to eat on it too, so if you’re ever stuck with somewhere to go, this street is a good place to start.

A must visit for any trip to Edinburgh is the castle, standing on the precipice overlooking the city. Within it’s walls it contains the oldest chapel in the city; St Margaret’s Chapel, dedicated to an early medieval queen of Scotland. It’s got beautiful stained glass windows but it’s tiny inside, and if there’s lots of visitors the castle I can imagine that it gets a bit cramped in there. Other interesting things to do at the castle include viewing the Scottish crown jewels and the history behind them. You can also see the firing of the one o’ clock gun which was originally used by sailors out in the bay to set the time.

Other things to do are to wander down the Royal Mile admiring the whisky and cashmere shops, or head over to Armchair Books in West Port where it looks like the books might topple down because the shelves are stacked so high. I don’t know about you, but I like nothing better than getting lost in a bookshop that feels like a rabbit warren and Armchair Books does not disappoint.

Edinburgh has a lot to offer whether you’re interested in history (one of the main purposes of my visit), food (there are so many eateries, delis, restaurants and bars in a very small area), books, culture (the Edinburgh Fringe!), music… the list goes on. It’s a lovely city and I can’t wait to go back for a longer visit so I am able to explore more of what I has to offer.

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