It’s almost becoming a tradition that we as a group of friends take a city trip every year during the Christmas period. We started with Dublin in 2016, we went to Prague in 2017, we skipped 2018 but 2019 was all about Scotland. We all enjoy it when we can visit a new city that is wrapped in Christmas spirit. I’m was very happy that we as a group decided to visit Edinburgh because for me this is heaven on earth (I love a good Scottish single malt whisky).
Saturday, December 7
We had to get up early today because at 5:00 am we had to pick up our friends Bart and Monique to leave for Schiphol (we would meet our other friends at Schiphol). At 10:00 a.m. our flight departed and we arrived at Edinburg Airport at 10.30 a.m. Outside it was gray and cloudy weather as you expect at this time of the year but no rain for the time being (it would surprise us later).
The Airlink bus 100 was our drive to Haymarket close to our hotel and even before we reached the hotel a local pub caught our attention and all of us were so hungry (…and thirsty) that we had to stop for a lunch. After a quick hotel check-in we went outside and walked towards the local Christmas market. Despite of the rainfall we explored the city on foot and afterwards we went for dinner.
Sunday, December 8
Today a visit was planned to the Glenkinchie distillery. Why Glenkinchie? This is the only distillery located in the Edinburgh area, around 30 minutes away by bus. All other distilleries are at least 2-3 hours away and because we only stay for 4 days in Edinburgh, this seemed the best option because visiting Scotland without having visited a distillery would not be an option for me personally. The majority of the group went along and the non-enthusiasts visited the center of Edinburgh for a few hours.
At Glenkinchie we enjoyed a nice tour of this relatively small distillery. They produce 2 million liters per year and are part of Diageo. After the tour we enjoyed a tasting and bought a small souvenir. Of course, the whisky was for sale in the distillery shop, but because we only had hand luggage with us, we could not take any whisky back to the Netherlands.
When we were dropped off again in the center of Edinburgh, we went for a lunch and then we visited Camera Obscura, an activity that we can recommend to everyone.
Day 3 (Monday, December 9)
We visited The Real Mary King’s Close which gives you a glimpse into the past of Edinburgh. A very interesting excursion that you just have to experience yourself, I don’t want to reveal too much about it.
For more information take a look at their website: https://www.realmarykingsclose.com/
And because today was a sun-drenched day, we explored the city and how wonderful to enjoy the atmosphere of Scotland for a day on foot.
Day 4 (Tuesday, December 10)
Today we had planned to visit Edinburgh Castle but due to the stormy weather the entrance to the castle was closed all day. Due to the strong wind it was too dangerous to give visitors access. Alternatively we made a bus ride with a Hop on Hof off bus and this immediately confirmed that we had seen almost all the details in the city. At last we went to eat something and around 4 p.m. we had to go to the airport because the flight to Amsterdam would leave at 6.45 p.m. and that was unfortunately the end of our pleasant annual city trip with our friends.