Edinburgh Journals

December in Scotland

A December 2005 trip to Edinburgh by Kate06

Travel Photo by IgoUgo memberMore Photos
Quote: I packed in a lot of sightseeing in Edinburgh and around Scotland in only 4 days. I hit all of the main attractions in Edinburgh, such as the castle, Holyroodhouse Palace, Museum of Scotland, Royal Mile, etc. I also took a long day trip around the Highlands.
Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
The hotel is located two blocks south of the Royal Mile and at the foot of the Edinburgh Castle. The view of the castle from our room was amazing - the best photographs of my trip are from my hotel room! The room had modern decor and was larger than most European hotel rooms. The downside is that the hotel is right on Grassmarket Street, which is a very popluar place to party at night. It was very noisy, and consequently, it was hard to sleep on Friday and Saturday nights. Also, the staff wasn't particularly friendly, unlike the majority of Scotsmen I encountered during my trip.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 22, 2005

Apex International Hotel
31-35 GRASSMARKET
Edinburgh, Scotland EH1 2HS
+44 (131) 3003456

Greyline Loch Ness, Higlands

Attraction | "Greyline Loch Ness, Higlands,"

Quote:
We took this tour with only two other tourists, so we essentially had our own private tour in a smaller van, as opposed to a coach. The drive through the Highlands was beautiful. Since there were only four of us, the tour guide was very accommodating and took us off the beaten path to catch some great photo opportunities. We made our way north to Fort Augustus and Loch Ness. Fort Augustus is a beautiful little town, and Loch Ness is very scenic. After eating lunch at the Scotsman in Fort Augustus, we headed south and made a few more stops such as at the Well of Seven Heads near Loch Oich. Due to the shorter days in December, our tour was shorter than normal but fortunately, with our small gr...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 1, 2006

Greyline Loch Ness, Higlands
81 Salamander Street
Edinburgh, Scotland
+44 (0) 131 555 5558

National Museum of Scotland

Attraction | "The Museum of Scotland"

National Museum of Scotland Photo, Edinburgh, Scotland
Quote:
The Museum of Scotland is a must-see in Edinburgh if you are interested in the cultural history of Scotland. Each floor of the museum contains narratives and artifacts from a specific time period in Scottish history. The bottom floor begins with very early history, and the top floor contains modern history. I highly recommend taking the guided overview tour, which runs every half-hour or so. A staff member guides you around the museum and gives an overview of the exhibits. This makes it much easier to create your own plan of attack in the museum, as you'll have a better idea where to find the exhibits that interest you. Another must-do is a trip to the terrace level of the museum for the absolute...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 1, 2006

National Museum of Scotland
Chambers Street
Edinburgh, Scotland EH1 1JF
0300 123 6789

Parliament House

Attraction | "Scottish Parliament"

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
Scottish Parliament offers guided tours of the new Parliament building. Our tour started in the lobby with 5 people. The guide took us through the main level, explaining the architect's design process. The building was designed with the impression of a flower and pedals. Each petal represents different areas of the Parliament complex. The most interesting petal is where members' offices are located. The drain pipes are at a slant that makes you wonder where the water goes. Above each drain pipe are sitting pods. The architect expected each member to sit in his pod (deck) and ponder legislation. The building is made of primarily Scottish materials. If you are visiting during working hours, find out if ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 1, 2006

Parliament House
Parliament Square
Edinburgh, Scotland EH1 1RF
+44 131 225 2595

Quote:
You can visit the Royal Yacht Britannia and take a self-guided audio tour. Before going aboard the Royal Yacht, you can read about the life of the royal family and view photographs, uniforms, and special collections of the family. The rooms aboard are just as if the Royal Family was still using the yacht. Each room is glassed or roped off but you can get close enough to feel as if you are walking where the Queen walked. The audio tour takes you through the residential rooms where Charles and Diana stayed there on their honeymoon. The tour continues down below to the large kitchen, hospital, laundry, crew’s quarters and finally, the impeccable engine room. The yacht has a very personal and comfor...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 1, 2006

Royal Yacht Britannia
Ocean Terminal
Edinburgh, Scotland EH6 6JJ
+44 (131) 555-5566

Princes Street Gardens

Attraction | "Princess Street, New Town"

Quote:
Princes Street is the most popular shopping avenue in Edinburgh. You can find all high-end retailers and tourist shops along Princess. The sidewalks are really crowded and the merchandise is very expensive. There are not many eateries along Princess, unless you want to dine on fast food.

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on January 1, 2006

Princes Street Gardens
Princes Street
Edinburgh, Scotland EH2 2YJ

Holyrood Palace/Palace of Holyroodhouse

Attraction | "Holyroodhouse Palace"

Holyrood Palace/Palace of Holyroodhouse Photo, Edinburgh, Scotland
Quote:
The tour of the palace is a self-guided audio tour. During the winter, the tour is solely of the interior of the palace. During the summer, the tour includes the grounds and gardens. When I visited, the Mary Queen of Scots rooms were unavailable due to remodelling. Still, I particularly enjoyed learning about the fascinating and tumultuous tenure of Mary Queen of Scots. The tour was very thorough and informative, albeit quite lengthy. You do have the opportunity to skip around the audio tour if you prefer. As I was there in December, I enjoyed the Christmas decorations adorning several rooms in the palace.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 1, 2006

Holyrood Palace/Palace of Holyroodhouse
The Royal Mile
Edinburgh, Scotland EH8 8DX
+44 (131) 556 5100

Edinburgh Castle

Attraction

Edinburgh Castle Photo, Edinburgh, Scotland
Quote:
We only purchased admission tickets to Edinburgh Castle; however, a self-guided audio tour is available. The castle is comprised of several independent buildings. The War Museum contains exhibits depicting the numerous wars fought by and in Scotland. The barracks that housed prisoners of war was particularly interesting. The exhibit provided a glimpse at the cruel life as a prisoner in the Castle. The Scottish Crown jewels, including the crown, sword, and scepter, are encased in the Crown Room. It's worth a quick peak at these sparklers! Every day at 1pm a lone soldier comes on duty to fire the canon. If you are at the castle at that time, it's worth checking out, but be advised that a large crowd ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 1, 2006

Edinburgh Castle
Castlehill
Edinburgh, Scotland EH1 2NG
+44 (131) 225 9846