Edinburgh is one of those places that holds a special place in my heart, mostly because of the great memories I’ve made there over the years. I’ve been lucky enough to visit the city a number of times all at different times of the year, and winter, was by far, my favourite.
Today I’m going to be talking about the 12 reasons I think you should visit Edinburgh this winter.
1. Christmas Markets
If you know me, you’ll know that my Achilles heel is a Christmas market. I love everything festive, and Edinburgh does this so well. From the markets themselves (located literally opposite the train station) to the Christmas lights decorating the streets, there is always something to put you in the Christmas spirit.
Edinburgh is famous for a number of things, including gin! If you’re a lover of the spirit, then you’re in luck. The gin distillery is a great place to visit if you’re interested in how they make the gin, and you get samples of the different flavours as well (just maybe have a bite to eat first…) They also have an amazing cocktail bar too!
This one is a bit down to luck, but the last time I visited Edinburgh, we were greeted with three gorgeous days of winter sun, and the most amazing sunsets. Golden hour is always one of my favourite times of the day and it’s even more beautiful because of the stunning backdrop of the architecture in the city.
As Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, the number of restaurants it has, including independent brunch places to worldwide brands, is up there with London and Manchester, meaning you’ll never go hungry. My favourites that we visited were Viva Mexico, The White Hart Inn, and The Boozy Cow.
5. Arthur’s Seat
If you’ve ever seen the film ‘One Day’ you’ll know of Arthur’s Seat – it’s basically the main peak of a collection of hills. It’s not the easiest of walks, but it also doesn’t take ages, so one to do if you’ve got the time: The views are also pretty amazing from the top.
Another place for amazing views is Edinburgh castle which is at the top of The Royal Mile, and looks out over the whole of the city – the picture at the top of this post is taken from up there. There is also Camera Obscura on the same road, which is a world of different illusions and interactive spaces.
7. Old Town
Think of Harry Potter and you’re pretty much thinking of the Old Town in Edinburgh. Lots of independent shops painted in different colours lined by cobbled streets and market stalls. We stayed at the end of Grassmarket, which is one of the main streets in the old town with pubs, cafes and restaurants, and it was the perfect base to explore further.
8. Tea Break
After a long day exploring, you’re going to be needing a bit of a caffeine fix, and Edinburgh does traditional tea rooms and fancy coffee joints incredibly well. If you visit in the winter, you’ll need something to warm your insides.
9. Side Streets
One of the most beautiful things about Edinburgh is that you can turn off any road and be greeted by quaint little side streets. My favourite thing to do in big cities is to get away from the hustle and bustle of the tourists and experience different parts of the city that you usually might not get to.
If there’s one thing that Edinburgh does right, it’s pubs. You’ll definitely be spoilt for choice when it comes to watering holes, but that’s never a problem in my eyes. The people of Edinburgh were some of the loveliest people too, who make you feel so welcome.
11. Light Tunnel
This was something I wasn’t expecting in Edinburgh, so it was a pretty cool surprise when we found it. The tunnel itself is situated on George Street in the New Town and is made up of 60,000 different coloured lights. There are also bars underneath it selling mulled wine and cider if you need something to warm your insides.
12. Traditional Food
No trip to Edinburgh would be complete without trying haggis, neeps and tatties, which will definitely warm you up on a cold winter’s day. We went to The Royal McGregor to try the dish and a place I would recommend if that’s what you’re after.
So there you have it, my 12 reasons to visit Edinburgh this winter.
Have you ever been to Edinburgh? Where would you recommend?