24 Hours In Edinburgh: A walking Tour
“When I looked out in the morning, it is as if I had waked in Utopia”- George Eliot
Sitting at the top of Carlton Hill and overlooking the city of Edinburgh, it is easy to fall in love one more time with a city so beautiful it breaks the heart again and again; thoughts rushing into the mind as you soak in the picturesque view from the top.
Edinburgh! A city that gives you that feeling of walking through a museum, or should I say a museum, in the form of a city. Edinburgh will give you butterflies.
Waking up, the first thing that came to my sight is the bare bricks of the room I lodged. Thick, strong, and stony. The building was built in 1805. I imagined the number of people that have lived in this same room. As the wind blew the curtain side to side, I watched from my bed, the narrow road tucked in between old Victorian architectures forming an alley. The bedsheet and duvet smelt crisp and clean as I time travelled, imagining the lives of the people who once lived here and wondered what they must have thought of the future which I am presently living.
Edinburgh is a city tucked into nature. Hills envelopes the city and the water bodies close on both. The Scottish city of Edinburgh is like no other UK city. It carries the charm you won’t find in London.
To get to Edinburgh, especially travelling for a brief stay, it is cheaper to get on a flight as the train tickets are usually more expensive.
It is said to be colder in Scotland than in England, which can be noticed once you arrive at the airport. This is not surprising, looking at the vegetation in the city.
At the airport, one thing you would notice immediately is the Scottish accent. Yes, Scottish people speak differently and might take a little time to get used to how they speak. But in general, you won’t find communication hard, because it is an English accent as well.
From the airport, there is a tram that takes you directly to the city centre and other parts of Edinburgh. This is a cheap and very comfortable means of transportation for a return trip around the city. It goes every now and then so you don’t have to wait long before you get one. There are many hotels around Edinburgh and it is good to pick one right in the middle of town. This offers you the opportunity to walk around town and return easily to your hotel.
Right at the centre is an old medieval-looking storey building, and it is the location for Radisson Blues, a popular hotel brand with many branches all over the world and in Nigeria. This is one of the oldest Radisson Blues you might ever find around anywhere in the world.
So welcome to Edinburgh. Now it is time to explore Edinburgh. Edinburgh in one sentence will be; bricks, cashmere, and whiskey.
To explore Edinburgh with the sentence above in mind, you need detailed itineraries.
Exploring Edinburgh starts right from your hotel room. The room is most likely to have been built a long time ago as the one I stayed in.
UNESCO listed most of these buildings on its heritage sites as buildings of special architectural or historic interest.
Edinburgh is UNESCO’s first literary city.
The simple itinerary to explore Edinburgh on a walking tour continues as you leave your hotel room walking towards Victoria Street, a street built in 1823 and one of the most photographed places in Edinburgh. Victoria street begins with a gentle Z-curve, and along with it, you find shops selling Scottish cashmere, souvenir shops, restaurant and shops for Scottish wines and whiskey. Walking across the street you find popular Scottish brand-Johnie Walker crafted 200 years ago, and has a shop for its brand on Princess street just across.
A few minutes away is Carlton Hill, which is easy to get to. It is a location to have a scenic view of everything in Edinburgh and not just that but an opportunity to take instagram’able photos with the gigantic Greek temple styled edifice that is seated on the hill. At the top of the hill, you can have a bird’s-eye view of Major landmarks: Arthur’s Seat, Leith, Princes street and Edinburgh castle.
The Royal mile which has the Edinburgh Castle at its head and the Palace of Holyroodhouse at its foot is a processional route for kings and queens for the last 500 years and would lead you to the Edinburgh castle which is about eight minutes from the Carlton Hill.
As someone living in Nigeria, the first time you might see a castle might have been in Nigeria. Kajuru in Kaduna state houses a medieval castle built a long time by a German expatriate.
The castle in Edinburgh, unlike the one on Kajuru hills, used to be the home of royalties in the 12th century. It is a huge edifice perched on a once active volcanic hill. You can explore the castle for a fee but will need an entrance ticket if you want to explore the interiors of the historic castle.
Descend back from the castle down to the street and get a taste of the street food down below the castle. Your journey is complete for the day.