If you ever visit Scotland I would imagine that you will make a point of experiencing the mighty capital that is called Edinburgh.
I’m not usually much of a city person, but Edinburgh has a special feel about it. It has a great mix of history, architecture, old and new, hills and open green spaces. I’ve only visited the capital a handful of times, so I was really excited to be going to a Scottish event called Scotcon at the Edinburgh Corn Exchange on Sunday 4 September 2016.
Scotcon was Scotland’s first ever Con of its kind. It was similar to a Comic Con, but celebrating everything Scottish.
Part of this celebration was meeting some of the actors from the TV series Outlander. I’m a huge fan of the show and was totally hooked after the first episode! Series one and most of Series two is filmed in Scotland. I love this. The series has been a huge boost to Scottish tourism with people from all over the world visiting the filming locations. I’ve visited many new places too. Check out Visit Scotland’s website for more details.
I’d never been to anything like this before. I love Scotland, so this was something I felt I shouldn’t miss and booked well in advance. The tickets were expensive, I couldn’t really afford it, but as it was a charity event I felt I was contributing to worthy causes.
My friend who I was going with sadly had to pull out as the event date was changed. My sister came with me at the last minute, which was great. This was the first time we’d ever been away for a weekend together.
After a few bumps along the way with the event, it was eventually travelling day on Friday 2 September. I was still looking forward to it. I was also going to meet fellow peakers from My Peak Challenge!
Travelling to Edinburgh
We travelled by train from Kilmarnock to Glasgow Central, then Glasgow Queen Street to Edinburgh Park Station.
Kilmarnock railway station dates from 1846 and has seen much improvement recently with rooms being converted for community use. It’s known as the Kilmarnock Station Community Village.
As I’m from Kilmarnock it’s brilliant to see my home town improving. The new Ayrshire College Kilmarnock Campus opened on 24 October 2016 and brings more people to the town. I can also see this little old station becoming a busier place!
While I was waiting for my sister, I popped into the ‘Storm in a Teacup’ at the station for a coffee and a chat with friendly staff. I love this old piano!
My sister arrived and we were on our way!
When we reached Edinburgh Park Station we caught a Lothian bus just outside the station. It took us straight to the Ratho Travel Lodge near Edinburgh airport. The bus stops on the road below and you only need to walk across the footbridge to the other side. So travelling there was pretty straight forward.
We were going to be staying at the Travel Lodge for three nights (Friday to Monday). The room was spacious for two of us. The double bed was more comfortable than the single though. My sister can personally vouch for that as being the main tester!
To Edinburgh city
My sister was looking for something tartan to wear for the event on Sunday so we caught a bus to the city centre. I don’t travel on public transport very often and it was quite confusing what bus to get in Edinburgh. There were three different bus companies that all went to different places. Luckily the bus stops have timetables displayed and friendly locals also helped us by telling us what bus to travel on.
Edinburgh is packed with shops that sell Scottish gifts and tartan. Possibly too many shops are similar though. The staff were all really friendly. We walked along Princes Street and I enjoyed looking at the castle far away in the distance and the trams going past. It was busy with people doing their own thing getting ready for the weekend. The big wheel looked fun! Of course I was thinking, great photo opportunity at the top.
Later we walked to the medieval old town, the Royal Mile, still looking for something tartan. We eventually found the perfect tartan skirt at a reasonable price.
When you approach the old town, the architecture is very impressive with its pointy spires. The author J K Rowling was inspired by Edinburgh to write her Harry Potter stories. I can understand why!
Some photos of the magnificent buildings on the Royal Mile:
The stunning St Giles Cathedral. Wish we’d had time to explore inside.
We both started to feel hungry so Frankie and Bennys on the Royal Mile it was for some food. I also enjoyed a nice glass of white wine and soda. Lovely food and friendly service.
After dinner we walked around some of the side streets to see what was there. It’s a busy place at night. As it was getting late we made our way back down to Princes Street to find out what bus we needed to get back to Ratho. We soon found out that you need to be at the right bus stop for the right bus. Sometimes if you don’t put your arm out the bus can just drive past!
When we were on the bus we didn’t know when to get off the bus at Ratho. Looking out the window of the bus showed the reflections from inside the bus, and we weren’t familiar with any landmarks, so I had to ask the bus driver to give us a shout when we were there. Yet again, a friendly bus service was welcomed.
It was bedtime after a tiring day but fun day. The next day we’d go back to the city and explore.
Thanks for reading.
Love, Dawn-Marie x