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Sunday, 16 August 2015

Edinburgh Part 3: Edinburgh Castle, The Royal Mile and Doughnuts

On day 3 of our trip to Edinburgh, which was our second wedding anniversary, we headed to the castle. The way we walked to it seemed like a bit of a trek up a steep hill but it was worth it. We paid a little extra to get an audio guide each. There are little shields on the walls with numbers on and you type in the number and press play to listen to information about each part of the castle.

It was very interesting, particularly for my husband, who is a bit of a history geek haha. We saw the Honours of Scotland as they are formally known, or the Scottish Crown Jewels (which you're not allowed to photograph). There were lots of interesting statues to see and several little museums contained within the castle, one of which we walked around (all are free to enter once inside the castle). They contained all kinds of military related things and information about the history of the castle.

Some of the medieval punishments sounded more than a bit gruesome!

I must admit that I was a bit dubious about visiting the castle as someone who is terrified of heights. I've been to castles before where I have only been able to see half of it due to being able to see down! Obviously castles were usually built somewhere high for defence reasons so that's just one of those things. Although Edinburgh castle is up high and inside the grounds also goes uphill, I was actually fine and saw some great views of the rest of the city, so I wouldn't let it put you off if you don't like heights. A lot of it is quite enclosed feeling, with buildings around the edge of the grounds. I just stayed away from the very edge where it was just a wall between you and the rock face, not being quite brave enough to walk right up the edge! I did, however, get my slightly braver husband to take some photos from by the walls haha.

After we'd finished, we walked around the Royal Mile, which is the name for the roads leading up the castle. Edinburgh was originally just the castle and the roads that lead to it until it began to expand. Today, it is full of souvenir shops and places to eat, While we were there, it was super busy due to the Fringe festival, with people handing out flyers to tourists about various events and performers in the street.

These guys in the photo above were amazing gymnasts who were doing everything with nothing soft on the ground to land on-just on the pavement! We came across St Giles cathedral on our travels as well...

After being on our feet for most of the day again (boy did we do a lot of walking on this trip!), we decided to stop at the Krispy Kreme Cafe across the road from our hotel. We can buy Krispy Kreme doughnuts in Tesco where we live but this place was something else and I didn't even know they existed. They had every doughnut you could ever think of and since it was our anniversary, we decided to celebrate with some to take away and put our feet up for a while back at the hotel before we started to get ready to go out for the evening.

We finished the day with a lovely meal at Jaimie's Italian and a couple of drinks at a lovely little pub we found that had some really great live music.

All in all, a great anniversary!

Have you ever visited Edinburgh Castle? Are castles somewhere you like to visit?

Em x