Edinburgh in Autumn
Our City Swap series continues with Glasgow based blogger Ayden, who ventured east to Edinburgh with friend Ashley to sample some of our top Swapportunities...
I always think of Edinburgh as Glasgow's elegant, wiser, and more historical older cousin. With classic, cobbled streets and the most gorgeous architecture, it's steeped in so much history and beauty, but in a totally different way to Glasgow. This weekend I took part in the Great City Swap with ScotRail, and hopped on the train with Ashley to spend a day exploring our magnificent capital.
Armed with an itinerary of 'swapportunities' (suggestions of places to visit) from the ScotRail website, Ashley and I got off the train at Waverley and headed in the direction of the Grassmarket area. The 10/15 walk was mostly uphill, but the streets on the way were full of cute independent shops to have a nosy in, and also street performers which I absolutely love!
This is completely amplified when the Edinburgh Fringe Festival is on, which is the world’s largest arts festival and takes place every summer. Our first port of call was W.Armstrong & Son, an infamous clothing shop in the heart of the Grassmarket which really is an aladdins cave for all things vintage and retro.
Despite autumn in Scotland feeling pretty much like winter, we couldn't wander through the Grassmarket without stopping at Mary's Milk Bar for some homemade ice cream. I went for a double scoop of the bramble sorbet and salted caramel ice cream, and Ashley got a hot chocolate topped with a scoop of mint choc chip. Mary makes her ice cream fresh every morning until 11am, and on weekends or sunny days can often sell out completely and shut up shop early!
Mary's Milk Bar is just a few minutes down from Maison De Moggy (Edinburgh's Cat Cafe, which I visited with my friend Clare last year) so we stood and enjoyed our ice cream while having a wee nosy at the gorgeous kitties through the window. There was also a market on stretching right down Grassmarket Square, with lots of stalls of homemade goodies and the most amazing smell of food in the air.
Keen for a little heat (and a pee stop, not gonna lie) we wandered down the hill towards Princes Street and went into the Scottish National Gallery. I do love a bit of Gothic/Italian Renaissance art, however the subject matter can often be a bit violent and gruesome. So that's my art appreciation face you can see in the second picture down, haha. It was a lovely wee oasis of calm amidst the busy city.
We took a walk back up Princes Street and round St Andrews Square, into Harvey Nicks becaaaaause Fenty Beauty has just launched in there and I've been dying to get my hands on the foundation (and matching brush, treat yo' self) We then grabbed a quick bite to eat from Yo Sushi and walked round to Ashley's sisters dress shop to say hello and see her little nephew, Blake. Carolyn has just had Camilla from Love Island buy one of her dresses, and no wonder, they're all absolutely stunning!
We had such a lovely wander around the city, and even though it was chilly it stayed dry and I was very content in my new h&m coat which pretty much feels like I'm walking around in my duvet. Edinburgh is only 50 minutes on the train from Glasgow Queen Street station and just £12.70 for a return ticket, and taking this trip is a firm reminder that I really need to visit more often. I have lots more places from the swapportunities list that I'd like to visit, plus Edinburgh is home to the AMAZING Lush spa, which me and Pete have a voucher for. So I think a wee overnight stay post-baby next year will definitely be on the cards!
Have you visited Edinburgh before? And do you tend to stick to your home city or go exploring a little further afield?