Edinburgh in 32 Hours

November 20, 2016

Many of you may know that I travelled up to Scotland to spend a couple of days with Charlotte. The adventure started in Edinburgh, which is one of my favourite places and actually a place that Charlotte had never been! We Stayed at the Old Town Chambers 5* Serviced Apartments which you can read about here.


All in all, we had around 32 hours in the city to explore all the old cobbled streets and soak in all the history. After checking-in to Old Town Chambers which was conveniently located just off The Royal Mile, we went for a wander. The Royal Mile is a long street (a mile long, obviously) which connects Edinburgh Castle to Holyrood Palace. Along the mile, there’s over 250 little closes and alleys leading down from the mile on each side. More on that later as we actually went on a walking tour to find out lots of Royal Mile secrets.img_4864

The first stop was The Grey Friar’s Bobby Statue, potentially the most well loved and celebrated dog in Scotland. Just around the corner was a graveyard. Quite a strange stop on our little walk but I remembered that this was home to Tom Riddle’s grave. Okay, so not the real he-who-should-not-be-named but we presume this is where JK Rowling got the name from. The Elephant Cafe where she started to write the Harry Potter books is just around the corner.

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We also checked out Grassmarket Square where I have never been before. There was some lovely little boutique shops, little pubs and restaurants and a brilliant view of Edinburgh Castle. In the middle of the square was an art installation in an abandoned container which we both loved. In hindsight, we should have explored the area a little better as there was certainly some brilliant food places in the area. I guess that’s an excuse for another trip, right?


A lot of our trip was spent just wandering up and down the Royal Mile but there is so much to explore and discover. Right at the bottom of the Royal Mile is Holyrood Palace. We didn’t actually go inside of Holyrood House but next time it’s on the list. It was really beautiful from the outside and the Scottish Parliament Building and Our Dynamic Earth (also on my list for next time) are both located opposite the palace. If you’re feeling brave/silly you could always walk up to Arthur’s Seat or alternatively admire from the bottom like we did.


At 4pm, we were booked into The Real Mary King’s Close where I’d convinced Charlotte it was most certainly haunted. In fact, it gave us a great insight to how everyone lived in the 15th century with tales of the closes’ famous residents. It was completely fascinating and I’m gutted I can’t remember my tour guides name as she was brilliant. It’s quite an eerie place but certainly, a must visit in my books and we learnt so much!edinburgh-in-32-hours-mary-kings-close-rachel-nicole-uk-travel-blogger-1edinburgh-in-32-hours-mary-kings-close-rachel-nicole-uk-travel-blogger

Ironically, we spent so much time in the apartment getting ready and researching where to go out for dinner. Everywhere we wanted to visit had stopped serving food (It was about 8.30pm!). We ended up in good ol’ Pizza Express. What a fail but we did manage to find a place called Tiger-Lily for cocktails which were incredible and I’m going to talk about more in my Food/Cocktails round-up!

After a lovely brunch at Badger & Co over in the Princess Street area, we spent the morning exploring some shops. Along Princess Street is your typical high street stores with a big Primark and a huge department store called Jenners which is actually a House of Fraser. Along George Street is your more higher-end high street stores which I didn’t even know where there! I was pretty excited to find an Anthropologie and Space:NK. So dreamy!

Edinburgh in 32 Hours, Badger & co - Rachel Nicole UK Blogger

We had pre-booked tickets for The Hidden Secrets of The Royal Mile Walking Tour* from AttractionTix. Our tour also included tickets to Edinburgh Castle at the end. We had previously had been wandering up and down the Royal Mile but on the tour, we got to find out so much information behind the history of the famous mile. As I mentioned before there are so many different closes and alleys leading off The Royal Mile on each side. We got to learn about a lot of different stories and why some of them had the names they did. They are usually after the richest occupant. The Royal Mile used to be a very densely populated area as there was actually a wall built around to protect from any intrusions.

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The tour continued up to Edinburgh Castle, which I’ve never actually been in before. Our tour guide came in the castle with us and she talked us through some of the history of the castle and grounds. Apparently, at one point, There was a resident lion in the dungeon! The tour lasted about two and a half hours which was just right as we were getting a bit cold towards the end.

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Our last stop before heading over to Glasgow was The Elephant House. I mentioned earlier that this cafe is where JK Rowling had started writing Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. I’ve always wanted to go inside and grab a bite but it does tend to get busy. Luckily, we managed to get a seat! Hurrah! I’d recommend visiting if you are a Harry Potter fan like myself and Charlotte. There’s not really a lot to see but surprisingly the toilets are pretty interesting . It seems that Harry Potter fans from all over the world have visited and basically turned it into a shrine.

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I think we managed to do quite well for a day and a half in Edinburgh. I also used the trip to play around with my new GoPro, a few of my photos are from that camera. I’m still getting to grips with it, Let me know if you like that style. Stay tuned to hear more about the second part of my trip in Glasgow. I’m also going to be doing a big round-up of where I ate in Scotland! I’d love to hear if you’ve been to Edinburgh, have you visited any of these places?

25 comments so far.

25 responses to “Edinburgh in 32 Hours”

  1. Azu says:

    Beautiful photos. It looks like an amazing place. Thanks for sharing these photos with us 🙂

    xo Azu


  2. Tori says:

    I’ve never visited Edinburgh but your photos are making me want to visit…you look like you had great fun!


  3. Louise says:

    Lovely to see what you guys got up to over your weekend! I just posted a locals guide on how to spend 72 hours in Edinburgh so this was uncanny timing! Looks like you had a great trip 🙂

    The Little Things | Louise x

  4. Lianne says:

    I’ve never been to Edinburgh before but I’d love to visit one day! Your photos are great!

  5. Rebecca Smith says:

    I’ve never visited but I’ve always wanted to. It looks fab

  6. You did well for your time in Edinburgh. I’ve been twice this year and there’s still bits I want to do. The walking tour sounds so interesting x

  7. Gemma says:

    Such a great detailed post and lovely images – it’s really made me want to visit Edinburgh 🙂

  8. You really made the most of your trip, I’ve never been to Scotland, even though I’ve got family living in Inverness.

  9. Amy Hunt says:

    What a brilliant post! It really summarizes the uniqueness of Edinurgough really well! (Huge HP head here too!)

  10. Jess says:

    Wow, you packed loads in! I’ve not been to Edinburgh for years, I’m well overdue another trip I think. I’d love to visit the Elephant House cafe – how cool is that graffiti!?

  11. Your photos are lovely. Edinburgh looks great. I’m surprised you couldn’t find anywhere to eat other than pizza express at that time of night.

  12. Caroline says:

    Fab photos and a great read. Edinburgh is on my list to visit next year, so I’ll definitely be saving and getting in touch for tips!
    I’m not a Harry Potter fan (shock!), but I’d still tick bits off my list. 🙂


  13. Lubka Henry says:

    I’ve only been to Edinburgh once and there is so much to do and see there. Although it’s a bit cold, it’s a beautiful city!

  14. Gemma says:

    My friend is off to Edinburgh this weekend I’ll have to share this post 🙂 Loving the HP graffiti, Dobby is a free elf!

  15. Nikki says:

    I went to the real mary kings close last year and loved it. There is so much to do in edinburgh and I am excited to see what you thought of Glasgow as thats my home town! 🙂 xx

  16. Edinburgh is just so beautiful. I wish that I had had more time when I visited last year as reading this has made me realise how many things I missed out on! Sadly, I was only there on a quick day trip from Durham and the trains stopped running really early so we couldn’t even see much of Edinburgh at night! I had no idea about Tom Riddle’s grave being there but that would have been really interesting to see! Did you find it was worth going inside the castle? We only saw it from the outside but it was very pretty! Your photos are absolutely amazing, by the way! It has really inspired me to work on my photography a bit more ☺️ xx

  17. I’ve never been to Edinburgh but would love to go. A walking tour sounds like a great way to get to know some hidden facts about the city too!

  18. hannah says:

    I’ve never been to Edinburgh, it’s one of those places on my bucket list x

  19. Danasia says:

    Edinburgh looks amazing! You guys fit a lot into those 32 hours!

  20. This looks like an amazing trip! I’ve never been to Scotland but would love to go for the history.


    Megan at Lush to Blush

  21. It looks like you’ve had an amazing time!

  22. Kim says:

    I’m visiting Edinburgh this October and found his post while searching for things to do in the city. I’ll definitely be adding The Real Mary King’s Close to the list, it spunds really interesting. We’re in the city for 3 days then taking a road trip to Ben Nevis and Loch Ness.

  23. Kacie Morgan says:

    I’m thinking of visiting Scotland too. I am hoping to visit the Isle of Skye, which looks like something out of a fairytale

  24. Madeeha says:

    In 32 hours I will must say, you almost covered the Edinburgh. It is such a beautiful place to visit. Well done

  25. Sandra says:

    Great post! I live in Edinburgh and work at the bottom of the Royal Mile! I did the love Edinburgh twitter a few years ago (different people got a week curating @LoveEdinburgh) to show off their city. This was my week back in 2014 https://bbalm.blogspot.com/2014/04/curating-loveedinburgh.html

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