Scotland: Edinburgh and St. Andrews

Whoops! This was supposed to go up on Friday but I forgot to post it since I was out of town. So you get a blog post from me on a Sunday instead — lucky you 😉

This is the last recap of our two-week trip to Ireland and Scotland! You can read the first three recaps here, here and here

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We didn’t arrive back from our Highland Tour until about 7:30pm! By the time we got settled into our B&B in Edinburgh it was already almost 9pm. We were starving though so we headed out for a very late dinner of delicious Indian food and then crashed into bed. Luckily we had a sleep-in day ahead of us which was so needed as we slept until almost 9 am!

We woke up to our only full day in Edinburgh to beautiful sunshine yet again! The very first thing we did after having breakfast at our B&B was head out to hike up to Arthur’s Seat. Luckily our B&B was only a 15 minute walk away from the park, which was so so nice. Highly recommend checking it out!

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By accident, Eric and I ended up walking almost all the way around the hill before starting our climb so we didn’t end up doing all the stairs that most people do. It was similar to the Grouse Grind in terms of stairs! We just ended up going down that way, lucky us.

The top was crazy windy, but offered some amazing views of the city!

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It was such a great way to start our day – especially the beautiful sunshiney day we had. I highly recommend this hike if you’re in Edinburgh. You really just need to set aside 1.5 – 2 hours of your day depending on how much time you want to spend at the top or hiking around the park.

After this we headed back to the B&B and got ready to head into Edinburgh city centre for the day. First thing on the agenda was a tour of the Real Mary King’s Close. I don’t have any pictures since we weren’t allowed to take any but basically this is a tour of underground streets and spaces from the 1600’s. Closes like this were the heart of Edinburgh at one time. However, shortly after the plague hit Edinburgh hard around that same time the Close was filled in and used as a foundation for the city that is now built on top of it. Eric is really interested in this time period and this kind of history so was really interested in the tour and it ended up being great. Our guide was really good and very entertaining and funny and it was super crazy/cool to be walking around on these streets and in houses that are now underground.

Next stop after Mary King’s Close was the Scotch Whisky Experience!

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Eric loved it. I thought it was interesting but I still can’t get myself into whisky. I have to admit it was super cool to check out the largest scotch whisky collection — there are over 3,500 bottles of whisky in this room. Crazy!

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That kind of concluded our day in Edinburgh. Again, we were a little tired after our two jam-packed days touring the Highlands so after we finished the Scotch Whiskey Experience we did some wandering on the Royal Mile but ultimately ended up picking up sandwiches for dinner, bussing back to our B&B and watching Rob Roy (a movie that takes place in the Highlands) on Netflix!

Our last full day in Scotland we had a tour booked to visit St. Andrews, the home of golf. We weren’t sure what to expect after our last tour experience but this time we ended up getting quite an entertaining driver named Bob. Bob liked to pick on people on the bus, he called it his “Scottish humour”. Lucky me got chosen as one of his subjects to be picked on. It was all in good fun though and he was a pretty hilarious guy. Sadly it was one of our most miserable days of the trip yet weather-wise. Pouring rain and super windy and cold.

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We did end up having the best fish n’ chips of our entire trip while in St. Andrews, though! I think the key here was they breaded the fish instead of deep frying them in batter. So so scrumptious!

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And on the way back Bob took us to a cute little village that was not nearly as touristy as the ones we visited on our last tour!

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And after two weeks of trying I FINALLY got some close up pictures of the sheep and lambs!

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Seriously, these green hills filled with sheep were my favourite part about both countries!

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Eric had to get a picture with Bob after.

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We concluded our night and our time in Scotland with a yummy dinner at the Amber Restaurant, which is underneath the Scotch Whisky Experience.

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Smoked salmon, haggis, whisky for Eric and wine for me. It was a lovely and yummy way to conclude our time in Scotland!

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We had to be at the airport at 6:30 am the following morning for our 8am flight back to Dublin airport. Our very last night of the trip was very much spent staying in. I splurged on a room at the Portmarnock Hotel and Golf Links, about 20 minutes from the airport and steps from the beach, but the weather was pretty awful so we mostly relaxed in our room. I got a pedicure at the hotel spa, we went out for dinner at a cute little italian restaurant nearby and finished the night off with our final guinesses at the Jameson pub in the hotel.

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Our flight wasn’t until 2 pm the following day so the next morning we slept in, had breakfast in the hotel and I went for one final run before we headed to the airport. We then spent 23 hours traveling from the time we left our hotel that day to the time we walked in our front door at home. And it took me all of last week to recover from that. Ha!

And that concludes our holiday to Ireland and Scotland. An amazing two weeks to say the least. It went by so, so quickly yet sometimes it seems like so long ago that we were there! I would highly recommend visiting these two countries to everyone. The scenery and landscape, the people, the food and drink — it’s all phenomenol. We loved our time there and will be back!

7 Responses

  1. I loved these recaps and am so glad that you guys had such a great time! That hike looked beautiful and I am glad the weather worked out so well for you. Since you like field of sheep, another country you should visit is New Zealand. 🙂 They have 10 sheep for every person in that country! Plus it’s an all-around cool place to visit (but crazy far away).

    These posts definitely make me want to visit these countries! Thanks for sharing your experiences with us! I can’t believe the trip has already come and gone, though. Seems like there was such a long build up to them, but then that build up went so fast and the trip did too!

  2. NZ Muse says:

    Neat! It was freezing and windy when we went so we didn’t do the climb, but looks epic.

    @Lisa – the last I heard it was 14 sheep for every one of us, but that was awhile ago. I used to walk past sheep every day as there was a little random farm in the middle of my suburb, but apparently that got sold and may not remain a farm any longer.

    But you should definitely come to NZ 🙂

  3. Becky says:

    What a fabulous trip! Thanks for sharing with us!!!!

  4. Stephany says:

    It’s so crazy how fast vacations fly by. I start getting sad about the end of my vacations BEFORE I ever leave, ha! I’m so glad you guys had a wonderful time, though!

  5. Caroline says:

    Loved reading all your recaps! Looks like you guys had an amazing time! Scotland and Ireland are two places I definitely want to return to someday.

  6. Shoshanah says:

    Looks like such, such a fun trip! And is it awful that the first thing St. Andrews makes me think of is that it’s where Will & Kate met?

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