Great Scott !! Edinburgh Scotland is Excellent


©Exploramum and Explorason – Edinburgh, Scotland – we found two lost tourists in kilts

Great Scott” is an exclamation of surprise and amazement, and here we are in Edinburgh feeling very surprised and amazed that we are here.

We have taken a very fast ride on the East Coast Virgin train from Newcastle, England. We were told by the breakfast lady at the Newcastle Travelodge this was one of the most beautiful train rides in the country, and I think she is right! so glad we took the train and not the bus, as we originally were going to do. It also worked out to be nearly the same price, and was faster, and allowed more luggage too.


©Exploramum and Explorason – Edinburgh, Scotland – The train ride past the fields and villages by the coast.

Great Scott” – the train was so fast that we had no idea we were even near Edinburgh when suddenly there is an announcement, and everyone is hopping up and grabbing their bags.  The train has pulled into the station, and we are still gathering our things.

We have too much stuff. Way too much, as we had just sold our car, and at the time did not know what our future travel plans were for the coming three months.  But with a 1GBP coin, we could use a trolley at the railway station, and then get the coin returned once we finish with the trolley at the street level.

We grab a traditional black cab, and before we know it, we are at the apartment through Flipkey we have rented, and the cheery Scottish owner is waiting out the front with an energetic wave.

She helps us roll our bags up the ramp, and shows us inside to an immaculate apartment. It is probably the cleanest place we have ever rented. I mean – super clean.

We were really fortunate to find this place, as it is a ‘bank holiday’ weekend, and every site I had looked on-line was booked out. I had even been trying hotels for days prior and found nothing.  This was the first time I had used Flipkey.  But it was really easy to use the online site, and I was able to book it all online – mind you – this was just the day or two before we came!  We had really cut it fine, finding anywhere.


©Exploramum and Explorason – Edinburgh, Scotland – Flipkey apartment – Lounge and dining

I was pretty stuffed, and I was really delighted that the kitchen was there to make a nice cup of coffee, and a chance to relax. I felt really tired.


©Exploramum and Explorason – Edinburgh, Scotland – Flipkey apartment – super modern and well-equipped kitchen

Thanks to the great instructions of the owner, we headed down to the local shopping center. It had so many stores we ended up spending the afternoon shopping.  We just mainly bought food to make dinner, but it was fun to look through some great homewards stores too. It really made me miss having my own home staying here. The apartment felt so nice and cozy, and we both said we could live there. The local stores made me want to decorate my home, and I started to think of the things we had been sending back to our storage. I was in a “nesting” mood.

We decided that we would just go ‘home’ to the apartment, and enjoy a night in front of the TV, as it had been a long time since we had been able to sit and watch TV in English. Little things you miss out on when you travel to ‘non-English speaking’ countries.

It was nice to have a bath again too.


©Exploramum and Explorason – Edinburgh, Scotland – Flipkey apartment – squeaky clean bathroom

So we relaxed and had a home cooked dinner, and bath, and a movie night, and tucked up into the cozy bed.


©Exploramum and Explorason – Edinburgh, Scotland – Flipkey apartment – cozy bedroom

Not too exciting a night for the first night in Edinburgh. But a much-needed comfort time in a ‘real home’ feel.


©Exploramum and Explorason – Edinburgh, Scotland – Holyrood – back of the ruins

We were so pleased with the location of where we were staying too.  We cut through the gardens in the adjoining street which leads to Arthur’s Seat.

Explorason ran around and rolled on the green grassy slopes. We really felt relaxed here in Edinburgh, and both again said how much we liked staying here.


©Exploramum and Explorason – Edinburgh, Scotland – towards Arthur’s Seat

Next was a walk past the back of the Holyrood ruins, and then to the Holyrood ground.


©Exploramum and Explorason – Edinburgh, Scotland – Holyrood ruins

We walk through the cafe took us right into the Holyrood Palace grounds. “Great Scott” – we were greeted by this traditionally dressed ticket collector.


©Exploramum and Explorason – Edinburgh, Scotland – Holyrood Palace staff

We didn’t end up going into the palace, as we had a UK National Trust pass, and it didn’t work for here.  We decided to walk the Royal Mile and look at the quaint stores instead.


©Exploramum and Explorason – Edinburgh, Scotland – rubber ducks

Great Scott” it was cold and windy here! We had just thrown out 90% of our winter clothes in The Netherlands at the apartment we stay there, and now we regretted it.


©Exploramum and Explorason – Edinburgh, Scotland – Royal Mile

Instead, we went on the search for a traditional style Scottish warm pub, and a Sunday Roast lunch.


©Exploramum and Explorason – Edinburgh, Scotland – searching for a roast lunch

The further up the Royal Mile we walked, the more expensive the Roast lunches became.


©Exploramum and Explorason – Edinburgh, Scotland – cute signs at the pubs

We then walked up to the very top of the Royal Mile to the Edinburgh Castle.

Visiting this made me miss my Mum. She died many years ago, but I remember a highlight of their trip overseas was when they came to the Edinburgh Tattoo. It was her dream come true, and it reminded me of her and how happy she was, just being here. Oh, I miss her!


©Exploramum and Explorason – Edinburgh, Scotland – Edinburgh Castle – entrance

We walked on in over the moat and talked about how life was back when the castle was firth built.  Inside we had fun in the telephone boxes there.


©Exploramum and Explorason – Edinburgh, Scotland – Edinburgh Castle – telephone booths

With a hungry boy again, we wandered in and out of the stores as we walked back down the Royal Mile.  I so wanted a tartan rug of my family’s tartan, but no store had them.

We did get to try a fantastic chocolate and also a caramel salted Scottish fudge. “Great Scott” It was so delicious!


©Exploramum and Explorason – Edinburgh, Scotland – Great food and fudge

We decided to stop for “afternoon cream tea” at Clarinda’s Tea Room.  I went for the coffee version, with a lovely fresh warm scone with berry fruit jam and cream – yum!


©Exploramum and Explorason – Edinburgh, Scotland – Enjoying ‘cream tea and scones’

Great Scott” It was funny to see a table of four men sitting around drinking tea out of dainty floral cups.


©Exploramum and Explorason – Edinburgh, Scotland – traditional tea rooms on the Royal Mile

We finished off our walk going back a different way to the supermarket area and local shops again.  We had another good walk around and were very tempted. Oddly, we found some really fantastic imports of footstools made with fabric from Turkey.  To this day I regret not buying a special embroidered fabric I saw in Selçuk, Turkey.  I almost want to plan to go back, just to buy it! Lesson – if you see something you really like, even a bit over the budget, buy it!

When we got back to the apartment it was time for another night in.

This is our last night before we head north to the border of the Scottish Highlands.

Once again I wish we had a week here at one location, and not just two nights.

I paid for this apartment myself, but I was so impressed with the quality and service that I want to share it with you.  When I find good places to stay, I like to recommend them, so I am more than happy to recommend both this apartment and also Flipkey.  It is the first time I have used them, and it was really easy to use the map and was a straightforward booking online.  I hope we can use them again in our world travels.


©Exploramum and Explorason – Edinburgh, Scotland – Flipkey apartment – back for a rest and some English TV

Accommodation Name: Flipkey

Apartment Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

Flipkey general Website:

Date stayed: May 2015

Wi-fi: Yes

Child-friendly: Yes


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