Help me plan a fantasy holiday to Edinburgh

(40 Posts)
FindMeAHolidayPlz Wed 20-Jan-21 18:55:24

The advantage of a fantasy holiday is that I can ignore the fact that it’s a long way away from the South of England, the weather will probably be freezing and the Fringe will be cancelled (or if it isn’t cancelled then the accommodation will be ruinously expensive).

So anyway, I’m definitely going on a not at all fictional holiday to Edinburgh by train with DH who has never been. We’re going to climb Arthur’s Seat, see the castle, wander around, drink whisky in enticing little bars, wander through the Old Town, probably go on a ghost walk because I can’t resist a ghost walk, see the body of Burke/Hare in a museum (if I recall correctly?) and do the Fringe which is definitely not going to be cancelled. What else?

And where are we going to stay? I’ve only ever stayed in depressingly corporate hotels. Where’s nice?

And then because it’s such a long way we need to tick off lots of things we’ve always wanted to see, so we’re going to do a tourist bus day trip to see the Falkirk Wheel and the Kelpies.

But the other thing we need to do is cross the Forth Rail Bridge, which is on DH’s bucket list. Where can you go North from Edinburgh on a day trip by train across the bridge which has a pleasant place for a pub lunch, and ideally somewhere for a bracing walk or a castle/abbey to visit etc? Or is my geography hopelessly wrong and this is Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves level of navigation?

And if we also wanted to add on a stay in some properly Scottish countryside with lochs/stags/glens/mountains etc (car hire probably required at this point), where would we go?

OP’s posts: |
DoAsYouWouldBeMumBy Wed 20-Jan-21 19:09:26

Day trip to North Queensferry would get you just over the bridge and a lovely closeup view of it. Couple of places for lunch but not masses else there.

Visit The palace of holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, which is by Arthur's seat and the Parliament, which is nice for a tour, too.

TeapotCollection Wed 20-Jan-21 19:13:11

The giant pandas at the zoo are awesome 🐼

Standrewsschool Wed 20-Jan-21 19:31:44


You’ll obviously be staying in The Balmoral hotel.

Loch Lomond is an hours drive.

FindMeAHolidayPlz Wed 20-Jan-21 19:50:37

Having checked, yes, we will obviously be staying at the Balmoral.

The last time I stayed in Edinburgh the bathroom had a life size photo of a Highland sheep dominating the wall next to the bath. I bet they don’t have that at the Balmoral, but I bet they do have a very very good breakfast.

OP’s posts: |
FindMeAHolidayPlz Wed 20-Jan-21 19:53:58

North Queensferry did look like the obvious place to go, but I’m always wary in Scotland because places which look on the map like they should be beautiful turn out to be the Scots equivalent of Canning Town (and places which you’d guess were going to be grim are actually shortbread tin lovely).

OP’s posts: |
Bilingualspingual Wed 20-Jan-21 19:56:52

North Queensferry is quite cute and then you might as well carry on up the east coast towards Perthshire. You’ve just made me really homesick you swine!

lockedownloretta Wed 20-Jan-21 19:57:13

don't fancy a stay at the witchery? or at least have dinner there?

plg21 Wed 20-Jan-21 19:58:27

I've stayed in the Balmoral. It was very nice.

Edinburgh is very atmospheric. Oh to escape from suburbia, hop on the East Coast train and have a city break there...

ParkheadParadise Wed 20-Jan-21 20:00:37

Book the Balmoral for your stay. DH took me there for my birthday it's very posh and expensive.

TFSRM Wed 20-Jan-21 20:03:03

Go and have a lovely meal at Martin Wishart's in Leith.

Spend the rest of the time walking round the city.

Day trip to Glasgow which was much much nicer than I was expecting when we visited a few years ago.

LIZS Wed 20-Jan-21 20:08:01

Cream tea on Royal Yacht Britannia. National Museum to see Dolly the sheep. New Town for Georgian houses and Nicola Sturgeon's house. Views from Calton Hill . Holyrood Palace.

LIZS Wed 20-Jan-21 20:08:42

Old College.

Ferrylass Wed 20-Jan-21 20:10:15

Get the train across the Forth Bridge to Aberdour for the day, there's a nice castle and gardens and a lovely beach!
Also plan a wee visit to Culross, absolutely beautiful with a few cute little tea rooms!

FindMeAHolidayPlz Wed 20-Jan-21 20:10:44

As it happens we’ve been to Glasgow loads which is why we’re not planning the obvious side trip there.

Having looked at The Witchery and then looked at the prices, and then had a little sit down, I think I’m now planning two holidays: a fantasy holiday and a Fantasy Holiday which starts with a medium sized lottery win. Balmoral for the first and Witchery for the second.

OP’s posts: |
Redannie118 Wed 20-Jan-21 20:13:01

Bracing walks, Blackness is on the coast just minutes outside of Edinburgh and is beautiful. Blackness castle is there and actually stands on the headland with the waters lapping at the wall. You will have seen it in every historical programme about Scotland ever made !! At the top of its towers is some of the best views of the forth bridge you will see anywhere. Theres a lovely little pub for food etc in the centre of the village.
Roslyn chapel is stunning and just outside of Edinburgh
Linlithgow palace is the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots. Beautiful and really interesting, with a gorgous walk around the loch it stands on. The pub across the road, the 4 Marys( named for Mary Queen of Scots handmaids) is really lovely, does fab food and real fires and has hand written letters and even the death mask of Mary on the walls. Again 10 mins drive or a very short train hop from Edinburgh.
If you are doing a ghost walk do The city of the dead tour. They are the only ones with access to the world famous covenanters prison in Greyfriars kirkyard, home to the infamous Mackenzie poltergiest.
We stayed in a gorgous air bnb at the bottom of the grassmarket. It was lovely, had its own garden , was very quiet and an unrivalled view of the castle (see attached pic- our view !). The Grassmarket has the oldest pubs in Edinburgh and theres live music on every night if thats your thing !

MrsR87 Wed 20-Jan-21 20:15:08

Go to Leith and have a lovely meal in Tom Kitchin’s Michelin star restaurant 😍

Nc967125 Wed 20-Jan-21 20:15:34

Surgeons hall museum is the Burke/hare bodies and stuff. Gruesome but a wonderful few hours

FindMeAHolidayPlz Wed 20-Jan-21 20:23:18

Oh this all sounds so lovely. Thank you everyone.

I might have to actually go. The problem is that if I actually go I’m going to need to take the teens as well, which means The Witchery is definitely out and I sense a Premier Inn entering into the equation.

OP’s posts: |
ParkheadParadise Wed 20-Jan-21 20:25:53

Add a visit to The Dome to your list. No lottery win required😂😂

Glera Wed 20-Jan-21 20:37:45

A slap up tasting menu at Tom Kitchin's.

A little visit to the following drinkeries/ eateries: The Advocate, Le De Vin and Valvona & Crolla.

Glendaruel Wed 20-Jan-21 20:42:58

Afternoon tea in the restaurant at the top of the National Museum of Scotland

MoChridhe Wed 20-Jan-21 20:49:38

Men in Kilts the TV show will be on prime from valentine's day. They will be visiting lots of beautiful and interesting places in Scotland. I am hoping to get inspiration from there.

TheCanyon Wed 20-Jan-21 21:06:05

You'll need to include a trip round the shops for another cosy jumper/coat. We're 20 miles away and weather wise it's like travelling to another planet grin

theotherfossilsister Wed 20-Jan-21 21:32:57

Walk along the Water of Leith path from the shore to Balerno and sit on the top deck of the bus on the way back.

Go to The Shore in Leith. Eat dinner at Tampa, which is kind of hidden behind the shore, or walk back along the river to The Olive Branch.

Go to The Pentlands and look down at the city and see how small Arthur's seat looks from above. Climb Arthur's Seat and afterwards go to the beer garden at The Salisbury arms and sip chilled Rose and make friends with dogs.

Visit central library which will have reopened and come say hi to the librarian who wrote this post

Go to TJ Walls instead of The Elephant House. Wander round the meadows the bread a book on the grass in the sun until you drift into sleep.

Go to a ceilidh at Lauriston.

Stay up until five an at C on chamber Street after a visit to the jazz bar. Go to a terrible wonderful all night restaurant then sleep all day in your hotel room. Walk everywhere all day.

See the Zebras for free by climbing corstorphine hill.

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