You’ve got exactly two days in Edinburgh and want to pack in as much as possible. Easy, right?
Not exactly, as Auld Reekie may be on the small side for a major city, but there’s centuries of history and masses of culture to explore. It’s built on two different levels too, so there’ll be lots of going up and down.
Here’s a suggested route for your whistle-stop tour, to get the most out of the time you’ve got.
Arthur’s Seat and Salisbury Crags
If you get off at Waverley Station, Arthur’s Seat is likely to be one of the first things you see. And what a sight.
Like the rock that Edinburgh Castle is built on, Arthur’s Seat was formed from an extinct volcano.
It’s a relatively easy climb up and offers spectacular views across the city, so it’s super popular with tourists and locals alike.
If you’re a rock climber, be sure to check out the Salisbury Crags too.
After your hike, take some time to walk to Dean Village. Situated to the north-west of the centre, it has a totally different feel to the rest of the city.
Formally known as ‘Water of Leith Village’, it used to be a grain milling area. Follow the water and take a stroll around this slice of village life in the heart of Edinburgh.
Dr Neil’s Garden
Perhaps one of Edinburgh’s best kept secrets, Dr Neil’s Garden (sometimes known as The Secret Garden), is in the Duddingston area of the city and can be accessed through the picturesque Holyrood Park.
Founded by Drs Nancy and Andrew Neil, the garden has won many awards and provided inspiration and tranquility to writers and ordinary folk alike.
It has a range of different areas, with The Physic Garden, a memorial to the Neils that highlights the medicinal properties of plants, particularly popular.
The Royal Mile
Afterwards, head back into town and take a stroll down the Royal Mile. With the castle at one end and the Palace of Holyroodhouse at the other, it’s certainly an impressive stretch.
The Elephant House
If you’re a diehard Potterhead, go down George IV Bridge from the Royal Mile and grab a coffee at The Elephant House. Nicknamed ‘the birthplace of Harry Potter’, it’s apparently where J.K. Rowling got the inspiration for the books.
Be sure to nip to the bathroom too, and trawl through all the Potter-inspired graffiti.
Just a few doors down from The Elephant House you’ll find the Greyfriars Bobby pub, with the eponymous statue outside.
Greyfriars Bobby was a small terrier from the 19th century who’s become enshrined in Scottish folklore. Legend has it that after his owner’s death, he spent 14 days lying by his grave, before then dying himself.
His statue has to be one of the most popular in Edinburgh, so don’t expect to get a quiet moment alone with the old dog.
The Forth Bridge
And you’re done! For those heading off to explore the Highlands, be sure to go via the Forth Bridge and take in the spectacular engineering and panoramic views.
We love this shot of the Forth Bridge that @katie_smith80 has shared. Doesn't it look great set against the blue sky? Did you know that 240,000 litres of paint were used in the first ever complete repainting of the bridge? In order to match the original red colour, the bridge even had its own colour mixed (called 'Forth Bridge Red'!) #ForthBridge #WorldHeritageSite #HHA2017 #Queensferry #bridge #Scotland #LoveScotland #VisitScotland #ScotSpirit
Don’t forget your shades!
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