Day 2. Exploring Edinburgh

Waking up to bright blue Scottish skies we started the day with full Scottish breakfasts then took a look inside ScotlandsPeople near Waverley Station on Princes Street.  This beautiful building is the official Scottish government resource for genealogical research and despite not having any Scottish ancestors ourselves it’s still an interesting place to visit in the city centre to admire its stunning interior and courtyard garden.

ScotlandsPeople, Edinburgh
Interior of ScotlandsPeople, Edinburgh

Leaving here, we caught a bus to nearby Portobello (3 miles east of the centre) for a bracing walk along the seafront.  Our bus (No.26) took around 20 minutes and after a brief walk along the High Street, we walked off our large breakfasts along Portobello’s promenade.  Apart from an amusement arcade and a couple of cafes, there’s not a great deal happening here in winter but there were plenty of people about, like us, enjoying a Friday morning stroll with views across the Firth of Forth.

Portobello, Edinburgh
Portobello seafront

Our exercise complete, we returned to the city centre by bus and after spending a little time window shopping along elegant Princes Street with its shops on one side of the road and gardens with stunning views of the castle on the other, we decided to visit Georgian House a Scottish National Trust property located on the north side of Charlotte Square.  I’ve visited Edinburgh many times but had never visited this Georgian home before so it was a treat to look round especially as the house had already been decorated for Christmas.

Georgian House, Edinburgh
Outside the Georgian House, Edinburgh

Edinburgh New Town was Robert Adam’s masterpiece of urban architecture, designed as the paradigm of the Georgian ideal.  Sweeping crescents, broad avenues and elegant squares offering wealthy citizens of Edinburgh in the late 18th century a means to escape from the overcrowded Old Town.

Georgian House Edinburgh
A festive entrance to the Georgian House

Tours of Georgian House are self guided with Scottish National Trust volunteers on hand in most of the rooms to answer questions and point out items of interest.  The house has been magnificently restored to depict a typical Edinburgh New Town house of the late 18th century.  It contains a fine collection of period furniture, porcelain, silver and glass reflecting the lifestyle of the era.  It was restored in the early 1970’s to return the property to its former glory and it’s certainly worth a visit.  Admission is free to National Trust members, both Scottish and English.

Georgian House Edinburgh
Elegant interior of the Georgian House

Later, we caught a bus from Lothian Road to the attractive suburb of Morningside, a district I’ve often visited that’s filled with interesting small shops and one that has a prosperous feel.  After browsing numerous shops for Christmas gift ideas, we strolled along to Bruntsfield which merges into Morningside and then caught another bus back to the city centre.  Those of you who enjoy reading Alexander McCall Smith novels will be familiar with these parts of Edinburgh as his 44 Scotland Street and Isabel Dalhousie books are set here.  McCall Smith is one of my favourite authors and if you haven’t read any of his books you might perhaps like to try one.  If you do, please let me know what you think!

Grassmarket, Edinburgh
Grassmarket, Edinburgh

After an early evening meal in The Standing Order pub on George Street we enjoyed an evening stroll through the Old Town walking first up to the castle then through the vibrant district of Grassmarket with its wide, cobbled street lined with bars and restaurants spilling out onto pavements just below the castle.

Victoria Street, Edinburgh
Victoria Street, Edinburgh

From there, we strolled down to the Scottish Parliament building and Holyrood House before returning to our hotel by bus from Meadowbank.

If you have enjoyed reading this post you may also like:

Other posts in this series:

A short break in Edinburgh

Similar posts:

Exploring Edinburgh’s Royal Mile

National Mining Museum of Scotland


63 thoughts on “Day 2. Exploring Edinburgh

  1. Pingback: Day 2. Exploring Edinburgh’s Royal Mile – Love Travelling Blog

  2. Pingback: Day 2. The Royal Mile, Edinburgh – Love Travelling Blog

  3. The Georgian House looks beautiful decked for Christmas. 🙂 I hadn’t thought of popping out to the coast. I suppose because I live on one and Edinburgh has so many treasures. Wishing you a wonderful Christmas, wherever you’re spending it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This brought back memories. I once visited Edinburgh, about 10 years ago, and got to listen to Alexander McSmith give a speech. I had already fallen in love with the Number One Ladies Detective Agency, but had not made Isabel Dalhousie’s acquaintance yet. How I wish I could go back. I loved my (too) few days there. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Tanja – how wonderful that you attended a talk by Alexander McCall Smith – I had the pleasure of hearing him speak too at the Ilkley Literature Festival , three years ago – such a charming man. I hope you get a chance to re visit Edinburgh before too long.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Sheri, a full Scottish breakfast is very similar to a full English one except that you often get square ‘Larne’ sausage and black pudding (the latter being something I dislike). Otherwise it’s Fried egg, bacon, tomato, mushrooms, sausage, hash browns, beans, coffee and toast – not something you’d want every morning but a nice treat occasionally! Thank you for reading my blog posts.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hello, I’ve never been to Edinburgh or anywhere in Scotland or in Great Britain. it is definitely on my list of places to visit.
    I am reblogging your Edinburgh for my followers to enjoy on ETravel & Food at
    Thank you for the lovely account. Visit with us also for fun and adventure on EW Emma’s Writings at for some Czech exposure.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve never been to Edinburgh but hope to visit one day. I love Alexander McCall Smith books too, I have read all the ones about Africa, Madame Matouse? She has a detective agency. Good Husband of Zebra Drive? Excellent books.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much ‘Streets of Nuremberg’ for again giving me encouragement to continue blogging. When I first started I thought readers might think my diary style of writing quite boring but it’s reassuring to read that you and many others find it interesting. Kind Regards.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Edinburgh is coincidentally the photo on the log-in screen of Windows 10 today, and it looked amazing. This post verified it. I’m trying to decide between Scotland and Austria for my Easter holiday…Scotland just got a few more points! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for letting me know about Edinburgh also being the Windows 10 log in screen today! I’m certain you would enjoy a visit to Edinburgh but Austria would be beautiful, too. I’ve visited Salzburg but only one day when I had a day off from ski ing but I’d love to return and also visit Vienna, hopefully I’ll get there one day.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.