I'm Not a Tour Guide But Here's What I Love About Scotland (Edinburgh Edition)

If you have been following Healthy Is Hot for a while you may or may not know that I am actually writing to you all from beautiful Scotland. I decided to pack up my life, put a hold on my career, and follow my heart to Scotland. Although I did move over for love (thus the follow my heart part of this slightly cringe-worthy speech ;)), yes my boyfriend is Scottish and yes we can make all the Outlander references I approve, Scotland already had a special place in my heart from traveling a few years back.

My mum is from Ireland and I spent most of my summers there, so Scotland wasn’t actually a huge reach for me when it came to settling down and feeling at ease. I moved to Edinburgh, capital of Scotland, because of the multiculturalism, the fact that the airport goes to loads of destinations, the beauty of the place, and also the fact that getting a job here would probably be easier… oh, and the boy lived here too.

Scotland has SO much beauty to it. I always say it's a mix of being eerie and beautiful. If you are a history buff like myself, you will fall in love with what Scotland has to offer not only from the people who made history, but the architecture, and how so much of this beautiful country is so well preserved.

Thankfully, getting to Scotland from Canada, and beyond, has become so much more accessible! Air Canada, West Jet, and WOW Air are the airlines I have flown with to get to Scotland and if you play your cards right you can get there and back for a really affordable price.

Alright, lets get into it. Today’s post I will focus on Edinburgh itself because if I were to put everything in one post you would be reading a short story.  Edinburgh has that eerie and beautiful feel to it as much as the highlands do. The gothic architecture mixed in with the beautiful sites around the city gives off an awe-inspiring feeling.
If you are an Outlander or a Harry Potter fan, this city is for you, read bellow to see why!

Here are a few go-to places when visiting Edinburgh.

-       Edinburgh Castle

I like to think Ed Sheeran was talking about Edinburgh Castle while writing Castle on the hill because it truly is a castle up a hill. Housing one of Scotland oldest buildings (a wee church), Edinburgh castle is drenched in history.  This beautiful castle was also the inspiration for Hogwarts!

-       Royal Mile

The Royal Mile is a street that connects Edinburgh Castle to Palace of Holyroodhouse. It is a coble-stoned street and while walking down the Royal Mile you can’t help but think about how old this place is, and wonder who walked the streets up to the castle years ago.

These days you’ll find a lot of touristy shops along the royal mile, and street performers.

-       Palace of Holyroodhouse

On the other end of the Royal Mile you will find Palace of Holyroodhouse, the official residence of the royal family during their visits to Edinburgh. Queen Elizabeth comes to Edinburgh every year for a week in July and is host to events at Holyroodhouse including a garden party. I’m guessing my invite got lost in transit this year…

Another notable resident of Palace of Holyroodhouse is none other than Mary Queen of Scots. Her time spent there may not have been as glamorous as we would expect since this is where her dear friend and private secretary David Rizzio was stabbed to death right in front of her by a group led by her husband at the time Lord Darnley.
If there are any Outlander fans in the house you may recognize the name “Bonnie Prince Charlie”, and yes Prince Charles Edward Stuart stayed there before heading off to fight in the battle of Culloden…spoiler alert…he lost. 

-       Arthurs Seat

This is one of my favourite #HIHmoment in Edinburgh, there is a nice hill that you can hike up in the heart of the city! It’s not terribly high at 251 meters, but high enough to get a good sweat session in, and take in some beautiful views.

-       Water of Leith walk

My other favourite #HIHmoment is to walk along the water of Leith, a waterway that flows through the whole city and ends up at the ocean! My favourite spot is a place called Dean Village where I bring my coffee and my book and zen out by the water.

-       Victoria Street /Grassmarket

Harry Potter Fans unite! Some of you may or may not know that J.K Rowling wrote the Harry Potter series in Edinburgh. From Hogwarts, to the names of the Characters there are clues to her magical world all over the place. Victoria Street is what inspired Diagon Alley, and from the Grassmarket  (the name of the area) you get a view from the castle, which inspired Hogwarts!  If Harry Potter is your cup of tea, they do walking tours of Edinburgh that point out a lot of those clues, and also bring you to Elephant House, which is where J.K Rowling wrote the books.

-       Edinburgh Fringe / The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

The month of August is Festival season in Edinburgh. We have the Edinburgh Fringe festival which is performances ranging from dance, theatre, singing, comedy, etc.  Everyday there are acts around the city, some free some at a cost, but all in all a city buzzing with things to see.
August also hosts the Tattoo, which I am very much looking forward to. It takes place at Edinburgh Castle and that is basically all I know about it! I do know that it brings in different performances and loads of bands from across the globe come to show off their stuff, and again…I can’t wait!

Well ladies and gents, that's all I’ll say for now about Edinburgh. There is SO much more to see than what I’ve jotted down here, and if you ever have questions don’t hesitate to reach out and follow my journey on Instagram @emseadee and I will share all the things I am discovering in this beautiful city!

With happy vibes,

Mary-Catherine xx