Last weekend, my parents came to visit me for the first time since I made the big move up to Scotland. Miraculously for a bank holiday weekend, the weather was fully cooperative and the sun shone for (almost) the entire weekend. Having never been further north than Sheffield, it was brilliant to show my parents my new home and city. We ticked a number of things of our ‘to-see’ list over the course of the weekend whilst still having time to catch up and relax together.
Arrival Day: Exploring Stockbridge and Dean Village
Amazingly, neither of my parents have ever been on a tram so that was the first experience of the weekend! The tram runs from the airport all the way to York Place, going through Edinburgh New Town where we hopped off. We headed to the little town of Stockbridge and had a nosy around the independent shops and gorgeous side streets before heading to lunch at the Scran & Scallie. This gastro-pub is located just beyond the bridge and has a real rustic-chic vibe with a menu that showcases great Scottish ‘scran’ (food) and has really attentive staff. I had the fish-pie followed by a cheesecake which was absolutely delicious- the steak pie also looked incredible though and the chocolate mousse. It was a really lovely find and somewhere I would definitely revisit again!
From there, we headed to the Royal Botanic Garden which is particularly beautiful this time of year. We had a good old wander through the gardens, people-watching and catching up on family news. It’s completely free to visit and there is a lovely cafe where you can stop for a piece of cake and a coffee.
After a peruse around the gardens we headed along the Water of Leith to Dean Village, which looked spectacular in the sunshine. On the way back we picked up some cheese at I.J. Mellis – an artisan Scottish cheesemonger for a cheese and wine evening in.
Saturday: Exploring Edinburgh Old Town
Up bright and early, we headed to Edinburgh Old Town. Our first stop was Edinburgh Castle which was very busy for a 9:30 viewing slot but nothing compared to the crowds of people who were visiting a couple hours later as we were leaving. If you are thinking of visiting this historic landmark then definitely consider heading there early to avoid too much hustle and bustle!
The tickets for the castle are quite pricey (be sure to book in advance as they are cheaper) but there are quite a few things to do and see there. My favourite parts were the outdoor areas where you can see across the whole of Edinburgh, the little chapel and the crown jewels room. It is a spectacular castle with a great deal of history- it is also where they hold the Edinburgh Tattoo every year. It’s worth going up to have a look at, even if you don’t head inside!
We had planned to visit Holyrood Palace but it was actually closed for the weekend so this is definitely somewhere we will have to explore on the next parent visit! As it was such a beautiful day we headed up Arthur’s Seat and admired the views in the Edinburgh sunshine. Once back down, we treated ourselves to an ice-cream and munched our way through it just outside the Scottish parliament.
After a rest and recuperation, we headed out for dinner in Edinburgh New Town, at L’Escargot Blanc and had a really delicious meal. I had lentil soup, followed by their daily casserole (would highly recommend) and shared a chocolate tart for dessert- a real treat for special occasions!
Going home day: Brunch and Edinburgh New Town Shopping
We had a lovely brunch on Sunday morning at one of my favourites, The Pantry. Cooked breakfasts all around – the perfect way to end a gorgeous weekend together. We then ventured into Edinburgh New Town where we did a bit of shopping in Jenners and John Lewis.
Shedding a tear or two at the tram stop, we put my parents back on the tram for the airport. We had the loveliest weekend exploring this beautiful city and have lots of memories and all the photographs to remember it by! I’m already excited about my parents next trip up and we’ve already made a list of places to re-visit and to explore afresh.
Have you been on a family trip to Edinburgh? Where are your top picks?