4 February 2011
Edinburgh: A Very Miniture Guide
I've been wanting to go to Edinburgh since forever. So I saved up all my christmas money and eight hours of train journeys later we made it!
Now Edinburgh is just lovely but from trawling through the Time Out website I got the feeling there are set pieces of tourist destinations, some of which I didn't want to get caught up with. For its size, Edinburgh sure does pack it all in, so a few months before going (I was very very excited) I asked an Edinburgh expat Alice if she had any top-top tips for a short stay. I was hoping for perhaps one or two mentions of some nice caffs. Instead I got the best list of little known places ever!!
We tried to get through the whole list in four days- only managing about two thirds! Here are a few of the very best bits.
The Omni Centre Car Boot Sale
Sunday, 9am, a multistorey car park lift shaft. I can think of about a zillion places I'd rather be, especially when the sign for the car boot says '4th floor', and the car park is only two storeys high. Oh you mean MINUS four. I getit....
This was the first place we hit from Alice's list and was so much fun, if a little surreal. An underground car park full of dvds for a pound, 7"s ten for a pound, vanity cases, frames and wireless radios we definitely couldn't fit on a train.
I have to admit although I love hostelling I'm terrible at the idea of food budgeting on holiday. Every meal is just a great excuse to venture out to another cafe- I don't want to munch on toast in a lower bunk bed! So thankfully by the second day we tracked down Spoons, as recommended by Alice. This place is just the cutest in every detail. Ordnance survey maps adorn the walls while haggis and homemade baked beans barely get time to be photographed. The perfect way to start any morning.
The Red Door Gallery, Grassmarket
I went to this shop three times in a four day holiday. It's beautiful, I want everything the shop stocks and I had to be dragged away at the end of each visit. The whole Grassmarket area was great to mooch around, with lots of never ending vintage clothes shops and second hand book stores.
Visit the online gallery and shop.
An area just outside of the main tourist attractions in Edinburgh, but nonetheless just as picturesque. Beauitful cafes, an Oxfam music store, whole streets lined with charity shops and lots of grocery shops.
Visit the yard website
My love affair with everything Swedish is far from over and so when Alice had recommended Peter's Yard it went right to the top of the priority list. It's set in the uni campus so has a great atmosphere with all different ages- even if the students in Edinburgh actually seem to study (very disconcerting). With filter coffee that comes with refils for a pound and huge floor to ceiling windows letting in ridiculous amounts of sunlight, I couldn't think of a better way to wake up in Edinburgh!
Thank you so much to Alice for all the tips. I wish we'd had time to do them all!
Alice is now in Auckland so check out her blog for things totally different to London:
p.s. I'm sorry for the quality of the photos. My camera is dying a very slow and painful death which will hopefully be fixed within the month. Hold tight.