Gary Woods moved to Edinburgh when he realised that it was the only way to cure his long-term obsession with the Scottish capital. He founded the site EdinBlogger with the simple intention of spreading the word about Edinburgh’s best burgers. Since then, the blog’s focus has quickly expanded into other types of food and drinks as well as local festivals and happenings. With all of this Edinburgh knowledge at his disposal, who better to show us around “Auld Reekie”?
“When someone visits me in Edinburgh, the first place I take them to is Leith because it’s now my home. It’s also a great area to visit with so many fantastic bars and restaurants.
August is the best time of the year to come to Edinburgh because the Fringe Festival turns the city into one giant party. With over 3,000 shows, you’ll be sure to find something to entertain you. The Fringe Festival was a huge factor in my decision to move to Edinburgh, I loved how alive the city became in August, I would take the whole month off work if I could and see as many shows as possible – we managed 50 last year!
You get the best view of Edinburgh from Calton Hill. You can see all of Edinburgh’s iconic landmarks and monuments (some of which are located on Calton Hill). The views of Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh Castle and The Firth of Forth are absolutely breath-taking, make sure you pack a camera and possibly a scarf.
When it’s sunny in Edinburgh there’s no place like Arthur’s Seat, our very own extinct volcano. Take in the views of Edinburgh and feel a sense of achievement.
For breakfast, I recommend The Roseleaf in Leith, they serve cocktails in teapots (it’s never too early when on holiday) and have the most amazing French toast with maple syrup and bacon.
You can’t beat El Cartel for lunch in Edinburgh. I always order the tacos, sometimes they arrive with a cheeky tequila on the side, but be careful if you visit El Cartel for lunch – you may end up staying all day and night. If I could only choose one place to have dinner in Edinburgh it would be The Bon Vivant because the menu changes regularly so I could easily keep eating there and never be bored. For drinks, The Lucky Liquor Co. is a good spot in the evening, They serve quirky but tasty cocktails, try the Megawatt 2.0, a cocktail served in a light bulb – definitely a novel idea. When you’re in need of a sugary fix, head to Lovecrumbs. Their cakes and coffee are excellent.
Don’t spend all of your time in the city centre, Edinburgh is absolutely stunning but the city centre is just the tip of the iceberg. Check out The Shore in Leith, head to the independent shops of Stockbridge and enjoy an ice-cream down on Portobello Beach.
If I want to get out of Edinburgh completely, I go to The Scottish Borders, it’s a beautiful part of Scotland with so much to do and see.
Read Trainspotting before you come to Edinburgh because it’s a great book. It’s not going to help you find your way around the city and certainly won’t give you any tips as a tourist but it will definitely entertain you.
The best thing to do for free in Edinburgh is visit The National Museum of Scotland, it’s an amazing building with a diverse range of interesting collections.”
Flights to Edinburgh
- Fiona Hilliard