This guide is all about my recent adventure to Edinburgh, Scotland, whilst exploring the UK over several weekends with St Christopher’s Inn hostels.
Edinburgh with its excellent medieval Old Town is steeped in history and tradition, making it a perfect weekend destination whilst travelling around the UK.
Here is my guide on what to do over a weekend escape to Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland.
Travelling to Edinburgh, Scotland from London by train
Travelling to Edinburgh from London is easy. You can grab a domestic flight, take an affordable Megabus or travel by train, which is my preferred choice.
During the day, you can travel with LNER from Kings Cross. The journey time is just under five hours, and trains depart frequently throughout the day.
If you book your ticket in advance and travel off-peak, you can find some reasonable prices knocking about, especially if you have a discounted railcard.
Another option is to take the overnight sleeper train from Euston to Edinburgh on the Caledonian Sleeper, which is a beautiful experience as you travel overnight and wake up in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Stay in the Vault Room at St Christopher’s Inn Edinburgh Old Town
Looking for a unique place to stay in Edinburgh? How about the Vault Room at St Christopher’s Inn Edinburgh Old Town?
Located within walking distance from Edinburgh Waverley train station, this recently renovated hostel used to be part of the old fruit market.
They stumbled across an old vault within the building during the renovations that used to hold the daily takings from the fruit market.
The old vault has been transformed into a private ensuite room for you to enjoy during your stay in Edinburgh. Now, that’s unique!
Not to worry, though, you can’t close the vault door on yourself as it’s fixed into place.
Grab a Haggis burger at Belushi’s Edinburgh
If you fancy watching some sports and grabbing a bite to eat or looking for a perfect starting point to explore the nightlife of Edinburgh, head to Belushi’s Bar.
I loved the Haggis burger, which is a must-try and unique to the menu in Edinburgh.
Remember, if you’re staying at the St Christopher’s Inn Edinburgh Old Town, you can unlock exclusive discounts by showing your room key at the bar. Happy days!
Walk along the Royal Mile of Edinburgh
The Royal Mile is a perfect starting point to exploring the medieval Old Town of Edinburgh.
The Royal Mile is a stretch of cobbled road running through the heart of Edinburgh city, and it’s a perfect stroll to take in the atmosphere of Edinburgh.
A mile-long (hence the name) route will take you from Edinburgh Castle to Holyrood Palace.
The Royal Mile plays an essential role in the city and is used during Hogmanay (Scottish new year’s celebration) for the torchlight procession and is also popular amongst performers at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. It’s the heart and soul of this historical capital.
Look out for the brass bricks with a golden colour that line the cobbled Royal Mile and mark important landmarks and routes which once stood in the past.
I love walking along the cobbled streets and taking in the old townhouses and buildings, an excellent way to explore the city.
Make time to visit the Edinburgh Castle
Did you know that Edinburgh Castle is one of the oldest fortified places in Europe?
The castle has a long, rich history as a royal residence, military garrison, prison and fortress, and has many stories to tell if you have the time to walk around the grounds.
It’s also an excellent spot to enjoy afternoon tea in the tea rooms located in the heart of the castle.
If you can’t find the Edinburgh Castle sitting on top of the rock, not to worry, wait till 13:00 on the dot for the one o’clock gun, which is fired daily (apart from Sundays, we all need our rest). Traditionally the cannon was used by ships to set maritime clocks and has been doing so since 1861.
Enjoy a dram at The Scotch Whisky Experience
Located along the Royal Mile, you will find the Scotch Whisky Experience just before you reach the Edinburgh castle.
A fantastic location for any whisky lover.
With a large selection of stock in the gift shop, you can also walk around the experience and learn about all the different whiskies found across Scotland.
My recommendation would be to head straight to the Amber Whisky Bar located in the basement to sample a dram or two.
They usually have some top recommendations from a large selection, and the drinks are not too badly priced either.
Perfect spot to head to after a long day of exploring Edinburgh.
The World’s End – enjoy Haggis, Neeps and Tatties in a pub atmosphere
A trip to Scotland isn’t complete without visiting a pub and trying the local dish of Haggis, Neeps and Tatties with a Scotch gravy sauce, washed down perfectly with a local tipple or Irn Bru.
After trying out a few places around Edinburgh, I’ve found The World’s End do an extraordinary rendition of the dish.
They bake the Neeps and Tatties (potatoes and turnips) on top of the Haggis (a Scottish savoury pudding containing sheep’s pluck) with melted cheese on top in a sort of shepherd’s pie casserole kind of style, and it just works perfectly well.
The World’s End pub takes its name from the World’s End Close across the road, named because this was the last close in Edinburgh before entering the Canongate back in the day.
Accompanied by the beautiful characteristics of the pub atmosphere that’s seeped in history, The World’s End is a winning recommendation from me.
Hike to the top of Arthur’s Seat to see stunning views overlooking Edinburgh
If you would like to have the best seat in the house and have stunning views looking over Edinburgh, head to the top of Arthur’s seat.
At the end of the Royal Mile, you will be in Holyrood at the corner of the Scottish Parliament building and Holyrood Palace.
If you turn right, you will see Holyrood Parks, where you will find the start of the hiking trail up to the top, which will take you to Arthur’s Seat.
Allow around 1h to 1.5h to enjoy the return route and some time on top to take in the beautiful views.
Hope you have lovely weather and a clear day to take it all in.
Thank you for reading my weekend guide to Edinburgh
Thank you for reading my guide about Edinburgh, Scotland. I hope you’ve found the content helpful in planning your next UK weekend adventure.
This guide was put together in collaboration with St Christopher’s Inn hostels as part of my tour around the UK, visiting London, Bath, Newquay and Edinburgh throughout a few weekends.
If you would like to stay at St Christopher’s Inn hostels across the UK, don’t forget to use my exclusive discount code: DAVE10 for 10% off your next booking (good until the end of 2021).