First Day is Travel Day! Yay! We made it to Edinburgh! Spending a few days in Scotland when I was planning our trip to London was a last-minute decision, and I’m glad that I could squeeze it into my itinerary.
I was quite nervous as this is my first time traveling with the kids alone in a country that I’ve never been to and not familiar with, but all those fears disappeared as soon as we got here. People are so nice and helpful.
Getting to the Hotel
We took the Airport bus and traveled an hour from the airport to the hotel. Using google map was very helpful to get to our destination by walking or taking public transportation. Uber is also available here, and just like in the US, it is also affordable.
You can find more transportation details for major bus operators at Traveline Scotland.
Day 2 - Wandering around Scotland
Starting with the Scottish Breakfast
Coffee anyone? I can’t start the day without it and of course, we don’t wanna miss the Scottish Breakfast.
After Breakfast, time to go on tour.
I have our tour booked for the “Loch Ness, Glencoe & the Highlands” that’s the plan for today. Since the meeting place isn’t that far from our hotel and we have plenty of time, I decided to take a walk.
Victoria Street in the Old Town is the most photographed location in the city.
As Harry Potter Fans, seeing a wizard shop is quite fascinating and quite out of the ordinary for us. Curved and colorful shops are the first thing you’ll notice.
Here’s an interesting story that I’ve found, this street was known as the location of Major Thomas Weir’s house (before Victoria Street was built), a man notorious as the “Wizard of the West Bow” who was executed for witchcraft in 1670.
Well, walking on the street of Scotland was so enjoyable that I ended up losing track of time, Lol.
We made it to Rabbie’s Cafe quite late, and our tour has already left us. They were so very nice and accomodating even though it was our fault; we were still offered the chance to book a different tour for the next day.
While looking for an alternative tour, I ended up started chatting with the other tourist. He couldn’t stop talking about how amazing his tour at Alnwick Castle was and how he wishes he has more time to go back. After that chat, guess which tour I ended up booking? Yep, it’s the Alnwick Castle.
The Double Decker Bus
We took the Lothian bus heading to ‘Penicuik/ Deanburn’ to visit the Rosslyn Chapel. The bus ride takes 45 to 60 minutes, depending on the stop that the bus would make. It was an entertaining ride experience being on the top deck, and on the very front, we had the best view of the City. My kids had so much fun!
The Single ticket fare cost was £1.80 for the adult and £0.90 for the child 5–15 years old. If you’re gonna be riding the bus more than twice a day, it is recommended to get the day pass that they have available at an affordable rate.
To plan your journey and to get the updated ticket prices, please check out Lothian Bus.
One of the things my readers should know about me when traveling is that I love visiting the movies’ site locations that I’ve seen when it’s possible, especially when it’s something that I really, really enjoyed watching.
Rosslyn Chapel is known as the Holy Grail’s Home in Dan Brown’s book, and the movie ” The Da Vinci Code” starred Tom Hanks. It is also home to some of the most amazing stone carvings in the world.
As soon as you step inside, your eyes won’t believe how many stone carvings they’ve done. The walls, floors, and ceilings are full of different kinds of stone carvings. You will see many statues with historical or symbolical meanings, and each of them has a story behind it.
The Chapel’s Basement where the “Holy Grail” was located in the film.
After our tour inside, we went to the Visitor Center, where they have Gift and Coffee Shops. The Gift Shop has lots of products like Rosslyn Chapel prints, books, gifts, and souvenirs. There’s also a children’s area for the kids to do some art activities and costumes.
I have some artist kids with me who were happy to seat and do some artworks.
You can find more information about Rosslyn Chapel here.
The boys wanted to see how the Red Telephone Box works. They’re delighted to find one at the Castle.
Oh, the Cannon Balls and the Joyful Boys!
They loved this part of the Castle. We spent a little time with the Cannons as they’re having a blast playing with it, but for me, I was very content watching my older son on how long he is gonna try to lift one of the Cannon Balls, LOL.
The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards ( Carabiniers and Greys) is a calvary regiment of the British Army, and the Senior Scottish regiment.
The regiment’s home headquarters are in Edinburgh Castle, which has a museum dedicated to its history.
These are a few of the images I’ve captured in the museums. We also saw the uniforms, medals, and other things they’ve used.
Back to the Royal Mile’s busy street (the heart of Edinburgh’s Old town), sometimes known as Edinburgh’s High Street.
Get the best Royal Mile experience by walking, starting from the Edinburgh Castle ending at the Palace of Holyrood House (the Queen’s official residence in Scotland).
You will find some of the popular tourist sites here like the St. Giles Cathedral, Scottish Story Telling Centre, The Mary King’s Close and more!
Look what we’ve found while wandering around the street.
Getting hungry yet?
There are many Restaurants and Pubs everywhere, and when we were feeling hungry, we came across this place called Albanach.
Like any other place, you will also find Fish and Chips, Steak and Ale Pie, and various Scottish Malt Whiskies on the menu. We ordered both of the dishes, and we really loved them. The delicious taste of the food is one of the main reasons I would go back to Scotland.
St. Giles Cathedral
The High Kirk of St. Giles
St. Giles Cathedral is one of the most visited attractions in Scotland. I was amazed at the beauty of the architecture both inside and outside the church. There’s a lot of tourists like me from all over the world, walking by, taking pictures, and can’t help to say, “Wow.” I had the same reaction when I saw the inside.
Never miss the most fun attraction for the entire family to enjoy and experience the world of illusions.
Have fun getting lost in the mirror maze or bumping into them while finding your way out! LOL
After all of the laughing and fun entertainment, we went to the rooftop for fresh air and got the city’s amazing 360 panoramic views.
The Elephant House
We tried to go inside, but we didn’t get a chance to, the place was so busy.
Day 3 - Guided Tour Day
Let’s try this again! Speaking of trying, as part of the Scottish Breakfast, they have this “Haggis Pudding” at our hotel.
I tried it, and the only thing I could say is… I am not a fan of it. It has a different texture, and the taste is totally something I never had before.
We took uber to get to the Cafe. We made it to our tour! Yay!
Our first stop is at Kelso Town where we toured the old abbey and the gravestone. After the tour we were given a free time to wander around.
During our free time, we checked out the boutique shops and the cobbled town square. It was fun and peaceful walk, it felt like we were the only tourists in the area at the time.
It was a gloomy day with a little rain pouring, and the weather is so cold. We found a good bakeshop for coffee and snacks before we continue on our adventure.
The Scottish Border
A quick stop for fun! We were dropped off at this point so we can walk the Bridge of the River Tweed.
From Scotland to England!
The Old Marriage House
Passing the Old Marriage House.
In the 18th century, couples from England under the age of 21 came here and got married secretly when their parents won’t consent to their marriage.
Harry Potter learned how to fly his broomstick with Madam Hooch here, so are the kids….but with the most fun trainers!
They’re on the go, and everyone was having a wonderful time!
He learned the trick pretty quick!
Oh-oh, Somebody was in trouble!
After all of the Harry Potter fun activities, we explored more of the castle. They have restaurants on-site, an ice cream shop, a playground for the kids to play with, cars they can ride on, a Poison Garden tour, and souvenir shops.
We all had a wonderful time here, and we were glad that we ended up picking this tour. My kids are now the ones who couldn’t stop talking about this trip and had a lot of stories to tell about the Broomsticks.
For the last part of our tour, we visited this town called Dunbar.
Dunbar (the Royal Burgh) is one of Scotland’s sunniest towns located 30 miles from Edinburgh.
We grabbed snacks, sat on the bench overlooking the beautiful harbor, and listened to our tour guide talking about the castle’s history.
Our tour guide drove slowly to give us a little glimpse of the town as we left. He told us fun stories about his life in Scotland that made us laughed, and that’s how we wrapped up our tour.
A day full of amazing stories to share about the gems of Scotland.