Some of my best memories were made in Edinburgh. I immediately fell in love with it and I regret only having 24 hours when I visited for the first time. I though the city is beautiful, and the people there so nice. It’s a place that’s filled with magic, history, and mystery. During my short visit, I was very mystified with the great old tales of haunted houses, castles, and cemeteries. It definitely peaked my interest because of its rich history and intense ghost stories. I tried to make as much of my short time in Edinburgh as I could, so here are some of the highlights of my trip:
As you can see in the picture above, this is the view I started with in downtown Edinburgh, overlooking the Ferris Wheel and the Christmas market preparations. As you know, I always like to start my journey with a walk to discover the area. It was a very cold morning, but I was lucky that it warmed up quickly, which made the walk even nicer.
First, I stopped by Princess Street Gardens for a quick walk. I apologize for not including any photos, since the ones I took do not do it justice. I also did not get to see the entire garden, so it is definitely something I put on my to-see list.
My walk brought me next to Lauriston and Old Town, where there were beautiful cathedrals, museums, and gardens. Only when I left Edinburgh the next day did I realize that there is a great museum called Lauriston. According to the museum website, it is an allegedly haunted castle that dates from the 16th century.
Around the same area, I saw the famous Elephant House, where J.K. Rowling wrote the famous Harry Potter books. It is a small, quaint café where she put her imagination to life. Unfortunately, my experience was not a full one as I did not get to go in and fully experience the atmosphere. Had I had another day, I would’ve brought a book to read while sipping on coffee inside the café for that unique experience.
Following that, I stopped by Tron Kirk market, which had some beautiful hand-crafted items. The location is beautiful and houses some breathtaking stained glass windows. There were people playing pipes all around the city. I also used this opportunity to book a ghost tour hoping to spot some of Edinburgh’s famous ghosts with The Real Mary King’s Close.
Before I started the tour, I decided to go for a hike instead of a museum visit, since it is also a famous area to visit. Hollyrood park is a wonderful hill to climb. Some parts are quite steep, and I decided to go for it anyway despite the wet and icy ground. Because of the winter season, I got to see a beautiful sunset, but did not get to enjoy the view for long since it quickly got dark. Perfect timing for the ghost tour!
The tour I went on started at the Greyfriars Kirkyard cemetery, progressed through St. Giles Cathedral, old town, and finished in one of the underground chambers. The tour was fascinating and I learned about so many stories from folk and history that I wouldn’t have known about had I only walked around the city. Edinburgh was struck by the plague in the Middle Ages, which ravaged the city, and there exists an entire underground city as a result. The mysteries and discoveries are countless and require much more time to unravel. There even exists plague tours, which is something I would be interested in for the future.
I also learned about a lot of interesting figures related to famous murder stories and sudden disappearances, even entire museums dedicated to this whole topic. Moreover, the tour guide mentioned many tourists hearing or seeing ghosts of little children singing, speaking to them, or tugging at them to get their attention. The underground chambers were witness to many strange instances and definitely felt creepy (I wasn’t lucky enough to see any ghosts, however). If you love ghost stories and/ or history in general, this place is for you!
If ghosts are not of interest to you, the city also has different kinds of tours, including Scotch Whisky tasting tour. I did not participate in that, but noticed that it was a great deal in Edinburgh.
This is where my adventure in Edinburgh ended. The 24 hours I had were filled with magic and discoveries, but definitely not enough to learn more about Edinburgh. Museums, hikes, Edinburgh castle, and Carlton hill are also on the agenda. I wish to go back one day and share more adventures with you!