We boarded the train one cold, winters morning in early December to make the journey up to Edinburgh. I had briefly visited during a work trip many years ago, but we had never travelled there as a family. The girls were very excited by the prospect of a train journey and an adventure, and as we finally found space on the train we watched the scenery change outside the window as we travelled further north.
Upon arrival in Edinburgh our priorities were to locate something to eat, and immediately outside the train station is the start of the Christmas markets. Greeted with German sausages, pancakes and hot chocolate it was not long before our tummies were full and our adventure could begin.
Following the crowds of people we walked around the Christmas market. Our senses awakened by the sights, sounds and smells of Christmas. Mulled wine, cinnamon, orange peel, the scents filled the Christmas markets as people busied around looking for Christmas gifts. The girls looked on in amazement at all the decorations and gifts before them, wanting to buy everything and taking everything in.
The skyline dominated by the big wheel on one side and the castle to the other. This gave us a bearing and we knew by heading towards it the Christmas markets would be underneath.
The market at Edinburgh is split into two levels. The market stalls wind down the hill from the upper level to the lower, each one offering gifts and festive items. There is a real festive atmosphere as you walk through each level of the market.
A visit to Edinburgh would not be complete without a trip to the castle. The blue sky and winter sun made the castle seem incredibly magical as we ventured inside.
Both girls have never seen a red phone box before and located inside the castle are two. They wondered why people were taking photos of them and what they were, so I took them inside put 60p into the phone and called Grandma. Their faces say it all.
After a walk down the Royal mile we had lunch in Jenners before heading to St. Andrew Square. Jenners had an impressive Christmas display although it is one of those department stores that you seem to get lost in! Situated at St. Andrew square was the ice skating rink. We had wanted to skate but discovered upon arrival that you needed to book, which meant we missed out on the opportunity to skate this time.
This however worked in our favour as it meant we could take a leisurely walk down George street to take a look at all the Christmas lights. Unlike anything we had seen before the whole street was covered in light, and right at the end was a castle of lights.
The city of Edinburgh allows old and traditional to perfectly marry new and modern. A city full of history but with a modern vibe.
12 hours was only enough to scratch the surface of all that Edinburgh has to offer. We stood and watched Edinburgh twinkle with the festive lights as waited for our train home.