Guest Post by Mrs. MilesForTwo
I recently got back from a trip to Scotland and England. I took this trip with my best friend, but it would not have been possible if it were not for my husband finding a flight deal for us. We had our trip booked but I am not a planner and neither is my friend. To say the least we did not have much planned, except exploring Edinburgh, Scotland.
British Airways Flight
Matt dropped us off at the airport and our journey began. Our journey was Seattle to Heathrow to Edinburgh. The flight to London, Heathrow, was surprisingly enjoyable. About two hours in the flight attendant came around with free alcohol. I asked for white wine and she gave me a small bottle for then and another one for dinner. My friend and I were not expecting that and we started talking to the man next to us and joked that we’ve never gotten free alcohol on a plane before. Dinner service started with the flight attendants handing out special meals like gluten free and vegan options. You have to request these types of meals before you check in for your flight. My friend is a vegan and did not know she could get a free vegan meal and so she just had to eat the vegetarian meal on the way there but was able to get the vegan option for the return flight. The flight attendants asked everyone to raise their chairs for dinner service, which was a nice touch and they had everyone close their window shades so it made it easier to sleep. After dinner and my two glasses of wine I was ready for bed. I was able to sleep for almost 5 hours and when I woke up there was only 1.5 hours left in the flight.They came around to serve breakfast. Breakfast was a lighter meal, croissant and jam and some sides. Overall, the food was not bad and there was plenty of it.
When we landed in London we went through customs. The Heathrow airport was overwhelming at first. We had to take a shuttle and thankfully British Airways had people around pointing us to the line we needed to be in. Customs was pretty standard and it did not take us that long to get through. We had one more flight until we got our destination. My friend and I literally got on the plane and fell asleep before we even took off and slept until we landed. We were exhausted but we landed in Edinburgh at 3pm. My flight experience with British Airways was enjoyable and I would recommend them to a friend. I know that they typically do not have good rates on award tickets (due to fuel surcharges), but if there were ever a sale on revenue tickets I would say British Airways is a good choice.
This should put into light how little my friend and I planned, we did not even know where our hotel was or how we were going to get there. Thankfully we saw a little shop that had maps and a friendly woman gave us directions to our hotel and told us that the tram would be the easiest way to get there. The tram was only 5 pounds and it picks up right outside the airport. The tram also has free wi-fi, which was nice. The tram took us right into downtown Edinburgh and we had a short walk to our hotel.
The first night in Edinburgh we stayed at the Halcyon House and we loved it! The man who runs it is named Matthew and he was such a sweet old man. The room was very clean, they had free wi-fi and the breakfast in the morning was wonderful. Probably one of the better meals I had on the trip. The whole experience was well worth the price we paid, and we didn’t even pay that much. The Halcyon House was in New Town and it was a quick walk to the things in that area. The hotel did hold our bags, which was very nice.
From the hotel went to the Edinburgh Castle. It was probably about a 15-minute walk from our hotel, definitely doable. The castle is a must see! We did not take a guided tour but they had guided tours that started at the beginning and were of no extra charge. We spent close to two hours there so give yourself enough time to see everything that the castle has to offer.
After we left the castle we walked along the royal mile, window-shopping and stopping when we saw something of interest. At the end of the Royal Mile is the Holyrood House, which is where the queen stays when she is in Scotland. We decided to pay to take a tour of the palace and I’m really glad we did. The audio tour teaches you a lot about the history of the palace and the different men and woman who lived there.
Right next to the palace is Arthur’s Seat. Arthur’s Seat is a large mountain, that used to be a volcano, and we walked up to the top and got some of the best views of the city. It was not too bad of a steep walk and the views made it worth it. I would recommend taking some food up with you and finding a place to just sit and take in the views. When we went up it was the coldest day of our trip and when we got the top the wind was pretty crazy so it was hard to want to sit and enjoy the view, but I would definitely go back.
When we were in Edinburgh we did not take any public transportation to get around. We walked everywhere; it is a very walk able city. We carried our map with us and never had to ask for directions. The city did look like it had a good bus system but we never took the time to look into it.
The weather felt a lot like Seattle during this time of year. For those who aren’t from Seattle it was sunny but cold. I wore jeans or a skirt and tights with a shirt and a jacket everyday and I was comfortable. I threw on a scarf a few days as well. I was surprised how well I felt like I packed for the trip. I usually over pack but I was carrying a backpack and new that I didn’t have room to over pack. I had two pears or jeans, a skirt, a dress, four tops, two scarfs, a light jacket, walking shoes, boots, and a raincoat. I felt fully prepared. It never rained but their weather channel was predicting rain for the weekend after we left.
Travelodge – Edinburgh Central
The other hotel we stayed at in Edinburgh was the Travelodge – Edinburgh Central. The Travelodge was a great price but after our stay at the Halcyon House the Travelodge had nowhere near as much character and charm. There was no free breakfast and the wi-fi was only free for 30 minutes, even though they advertise that they have free wi-fi. The Travelodge was right off of the Royal Mile in Old Town so the location was a little bit more central but I think I would rather have a charming hotel with an amazing breakfast over a Travelodge that was a little closer but lacking all the character that a Scottish hotel should have. If you really are just looking for a cheap place to lay your head at, that is clean, then the Travelodge is great for that.
Go to Edinburgh!
I loved my time in Edinburgh. It was a great time of year to go too because we never felt overwhelmed by tourists. Everywhere we went there were short lines and so it did not feel like everyone was spending their spring breaks in Scotland. It is also nice because when I look through pictures now I don’t have a million people in them who were also taking the same picture as me.