As I had such a busy day on my second day, which you can read about what I got up to here, I decided to have a chill day. I had originally wanted to go to Holyrood Palace, but as the Queen was staying there it was closed to the public. Sabrina does a few different tours in Edinburgh, so it made sense to to do one of hers!
I was unsure of what to expect on the tour, the tour itself was at 11am and is a free walking tour. It starts off on the Royal Mile, and we headed off learning about the history of Edinburgh such as David Humes the Scottish philosopher, with his lucky toe, the Heart of Midlothian, the tales of when the Grassmarket used to be the gallows and the inspiration behind Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. The tour is two hours and we walked around Old Town, the weather was sunny and I learnt so much about the history of the city.
The tour finished at one and I really enjoyed learning more about the city, like the grave robbing in Greyfriars Kirkyard, which lead to Greyfriars Bobby. After the tour I grabbed lunch in Let Me Eat Too, which was a nice cafe. Their Millionaire’s shortbread was delicious! I then wandered back onto the Royal Mile where I felt tired still from all the walking the day before.
One thing I forgot to mention in my first Travel Diary was that I had brought a water bottle from home, so when on holiday I wouldn’t have to keep buying plastic water bottles. It had come in so handy through my adventure so far. Plus cafes, pubs and restaurants can’t refuse to fill up your bottle with water.
I stopped off in another cafe and grabbed a fizzy drink in Deacon’s House and people watched for a little. When I felt like I had more energy I decided to have a little shop. Last time I was in the city I never bothered getting a tartan scarf, but this time I decided I wanted to buy one for the winter. So I wandered through multiple shops to find the best one. I wanted one that was made in Scotland, all the shops had a choice of either lambswool or cashmere. The cashmere ones a little out of budget as I wanted a chunky scarf not a thin one, and some of the lambswool ones felt very rough. I’m not even sure how many of the shops I went into just to feel the lambswool. Eventually I narrowed it down to two shops, one had a chunky scarf that was half polyester and half lambswool. However when I tried it on I noticed that a label tab had been cut off and it didn’t have any other label on it. Which put me off. The other shop had a scarf was all lambswool and made in Scotland, it was the chunkiest lambswool one I had seen and it was the softest I had found. So for £29.99 I bought myself a tartan scarf from the Royal Mile Factory Outlet from the brand House of Balmoral.
After that I decided to wander back to Princes Street gardens where I decided to climb up the Scott Monument. I had planned to do it the morning before I left, but when I looked at doing the World of Illusions it was recommended to go when it opens as that’s when it’s quietest. So rather than go to the illusions in the busy afternoon I decided to do the monument instead. So I paid £6 to climb the monument. I went up at 4pm, the tours ran every half an hour or so, and there was limited spaces as to how many people could go up at one time.
The stairs going up are so narrow and felt like they went on forever, and that was only to the first floor. Before we got to look across the city there was a short talk about the monument, named after novelist Walter Scott. Getting to the first floor was worth it, you could see for miles across the city. We had around 5 minutes on the first floor before having to climb up another two flights of steps, we couldn’t go on the second floor as it was too narrow for the group.
The first and third flights of stairs didn’t have a handrail, but the second flight did. So we made our way to the top, and I wasn’t looking forward to getting back down. But looking around the city from such a high point was worth it. We were given 5-10 minutes to look around the city and to take photos. Going down was another story, with nothing to really hold onto I held the staircase and the wall for balance as I made my way down the spiral.
The stairs felt like they went on forever, I was so relieved when I had finally reached the bottom! Safely back on the ground I realised I had left my water bottle back in the shop I’d bought my scarf from, so I went back to grab it and fill it up with fresh water. After I’d recovered my bottle I decided to offload my mini haul and freshen up before grabbing some dinner.
I went to Bella Italia for dinner, where they made me Penne Arrabbiata (it wasn’t on the menu but Arrabbiata was) and it was delicious. I enjoyed sitting in this restaurant more as I was in my own private booth and not sat directly next to anyone. After dinner I wandered through Princes Street gardens soaking up the last of the evening sun.
That’s all for my third day in Edinburgh, I had a relaxing-ish day and enjoyed where the day took me. Thank you so much for reading, next week I’ll be posting my fourth day in the city!