Our final morning in lovely Edinburgh and the time has sped by so quickly. we’ve had so much fun. After checking out of our hotel, the Queen Street Travelodge, we left our luggage to collect later in the day and went off to a nearby pub for breakfast.
A little later on, we returned to Queen Street to visit the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. I’ve walked past here so many times but never been inside so on this frosty Sunday morning, we decided to take a look. The exterior of the building is red sandstone and resembles a neo-gothic palace. It was built in 1889 as the world’s first national portrait gallery. The interior boasts galleried landings with elaborate arts and crafts styled friezes.
After viewing each of the galleries and admiring portraits of Mary Queen of Scots, Robert Burns et al, we wandered downhill to the lovely, new town district of Stockbridge. No visit to Edinburgh can take place without our stroll around this elegant suburb, especially if it’s a Sunday morning when the weekly Stockbridge Market is taking place. It’s crammed full of little stalls selling organic produce, street food, handicrafts and much more and is always popular with locals and visitors to the city.
Exploring the market completed, it was then onto the high street to peruse the collection of small, independent retailers and admire their festive windows. Amongst them you will find Mellis’s Cheesemongers, an old fashioned cheese emporium stocking a vast selection of cheese displayed on marble slabs.
Some time later and weighed down with shopping bags filled with Christmas gifts, we stopped off for a late lunch at the Stockbridge Pizza Express branch where we had a window table overlooking the Waters of Leith.
Reluctantly it was then time to return to our hotel to collect our luggage and then pop to a cafe for hot drinks before my son had to return to Edinburgh airport for his flight home. Travelling by train, I still had a little longer to enjoy the city before my train departed.
I headed to George Street and joined thousands of other people along the street, just in time to watch the Edinburgh Christmas lights switch on. A huge stage had been erected at Charlotte Square and it felt very festive listening to the Edinburgh Festival Choir singing traditional Christmas favourites. Then at 5.00 pm the Scottish Olympic cyclist, Callum Skinner turned on the 2016 Edinburgh lights and we were treated to a splendid firework display. It was then back to Waverley Station where my train departed at 6.30 pm after another wonderful weekend in one of my favourite cities. If you are interested in taking part in the Edinburgh Christmas festivities in the future, they commence in mid November and continue until the first week in January.
For more ideas on how to spend a weekend in Edinburgh, you might like to read my previous series of posts Edinburgh Weekend – November 2015
Now, all that remains for me to do, is to wish everyone of my readers who celebrate Christmas a magical festive period. This is only my second Christmas as part of the WordPress community but I have loved every minute of it! Thank you to everyone who takes the time to read my posts and for the many lovely comments I receive. Interacting with you all really brings my blog to life and I have made so many good friends both near and far. Of course, I derive just as much pleasure from reading your posts too, so keep up the good work!
Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas!
If you have enjoyed reading this series of posts on Edinburgh you may also enjoy reading about my other weekend there.