Edinburgh: Our Top Picks

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Edinburgh is a city that we truly love. Scotland is a top choice with our clients in the upcoming travel season. We have so many clients – families, couples, groups of friends – requesting and booking trips here. There are so many reasons why! Edinburgh is steeped in history, with its famous castle, historic streets, and iconic landmarks.

To start, scenic beauty. The city is nestled amidst stunning natural landscapes, from Arthur’s Seat to the Royal Botanic Garden. Also, it is a huge cultural hub. Edinburgh is a cultural hotspot with festivals, museums, and galleries that showcase its vibrant arts scene.

These aspects combine to make Edinburgh a must-visit destination for those seeking a blend of history, natural beauty, and cultural experiences.

This week, we are sharing just a few of our top picks in this spectacular city. As every one of our trips is as individual as our clients are, these are just a few ideas of what we can recommend for you here. Read on for some travel inspiration in Edinburgh!

Where to stay in Edinburgh

There are so many amazing places to stay in Edinburgh. The Balmoral, a Rocco Forte property, was one of our top picks of last year. Located where the old town meets the new, a legendary hotel and landmark clock tower. It is truly a symbol of its city.

You are greeted by the hotel in custom tartan first. Scotland receives a love letter from The Balmoral. Perched atop Edinburgh Castle, enjoy a delightful afternoon tea. Or, perhaps, a tranquil urban spa in the most magnificent location in the city.

A majestic Scottish hotel with a thoroughbred character is The Roseate Edinburgh. Situated in affluent West Coates, it is just ten minutes out from the city center. The hotel exemplifies Victorian affluence with its imposing size, smoky sandstone exterior, and ornamental crow-stepped gables.

The tastefully constructed restaurant offers a unique twist on Scottish food. Also showcasing the best of the country’s beaches and fields with a tapas-style menu. The only thing that could disturb your sleep is trying to decide on a nightcap from among the more than 100 single malts available.

Scotland, our top tips on when to visit

First, many people visit in the shoulder season, which is the time before and after summer. There are less tourists but the weather is still pleasant. In the winter, Scotland also receives a large number of visitors. The reputation of Scottish weather is well-established, yet because of the country’s temperate climate, pleasant temperatures are experienced year-round. In winter, the average daily temperature is 5°C (41°F), whereas in summer, it is 17°C (63°F).

The warmest months of the year are often July and August, which also happen to be the busiest travel times and summer vacation months. The driest month of the year is often April, with May and September being good months for shoulder season weather.

October in Scotland is a complete surprise. The ideal times to visit the country are often in the spring and summer, when there are more daylight hours, fewer rainy days, verdant surroundings, and of course, the Highland Games. However, mid-October is not without its attractions.

First of all, there were less visitors to be found across the nation, which meant fewer people on the highways and at the major attractions. Also, visitors can take their time exploring the castles and partake in some of the local activities that aren’t available in the summer. Scotland has an incredible charm in the winter months. We think the best times to see its scenery are when it’s misting and the sun is low in the fall.

Edinburgh experiences

There are so many things to see and do in this special Scottish city. From the more unique, like going to an Edinburgh cèilidh (similar to a US square dance, or Highland Fling). Or, perhaps, going to a cooperage (where barrels are made for whisky) and petting a “hairy coo,” a small, furry cow that is native to the Scottish Highlands. Scotland is also so much about the people, and just spending time getting to know the friendly and welcoming Scots. The people are amazing, and the history is interesting. Beyond that, there are also these sites you cannot miss.

Explore the Royal Mile

No visit to Edinburgh is complete without a stroll down the iconic Royal Mile. This historic street runs through the heart of the Old Town and is lined with charming shops, traditional pubs, and historic landmarks. Be sure to visit the impressive Edinburgh Castle perched atop Castle Rock and the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the official residence of the British monarch in Scotland.

Immerse Yourself in History at the National Museum of Scotland

For history buffs and culture enthusiasts, a visit to the National Museum of Scotland is a must. This world-class museum showcases a vast collection of artifacts, ranging from ancient fossils to modern art. Explore the diverse exhibits and learn about Scotland’s rich history and heritage.

Climb Arthur’s Seat

For panoramic views of the city and beyond, lace up your hiking boots and climb Arthur’s Seat. This ancient volcano offers a challenging yet rewarding hike with stunning vistas at the summit. Pack a picnic and soak in the beauty of Edinburgh from above.

Experience the Festivals

Edinburgh is famous for its vibrant arts scene and world-renowned festivals. From the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the world’s largest arts festival, to the Edinburgh International Festival, there is always something exciting happening in the city. Immerse yourself in the creativity and energy of these cultural celebrations.

Sample Scotch Whisky

No visit to Scotland is complete without tasting its national drink – Scotch whisky. Embark on a whisky tasting tour and sample a variety of single.

Dining in Edinburgh

The capital of Scotland never stops changing even though it is rich in culture and history. It’s probably best known for throwing one of the biggest street parties on the planet during Hogmanay. However, Edinburgh also holds the title of world’s best festival city all year round because of a variety of cultural events. For example, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the breathtaking Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Edinburgh is much more than just events, though, it’s constantly changing and progressing, with a diverse culinary scene and a number of excellent restaurants.

We love Lyla. Stuart Ralston is a well-known chef and restaurateur in Edinburgh’s dining scene, running four restaurants that have received Michelin recommendations. Lyla is his newest restaurant, and it’s a seafood-focused space with a strong emphasis on Scottish ingredients.

Take a quick stroll to the summit of Calton Hill if you need to escape the hustle and bustle of the city for a bit. You’ll find The Lookout – a chic restaurant with an unparalleled location. Though the breathtaking views of the city are undoubtedly the main attraction, their cuisine, which emphasizes local and seasonal ingredients and include Scottish fare like lobster from Isle of Skye and Perthshire venison, is equally alluring.

Tailor made, just for you

These are just a few of our personal favorites in a destination that so many of our clients are headed to this year. Edinburgh is such a wonderful city, and a great time for travelers of any age.

Ask us for more information on how to start planning your tailor made vacation here!

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