Travels: Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh

Travels: Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh

A few weekends ago we took a trip to Edinburgh. It’s interesting that some people think now we’re in Scotland, the bigger cities are a stone’s throw away. I actually thought that myself at first. In reality Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen are all a six-hour drive from here. It takes us the best part of an hour just to get off the island!

It was actually much faster to reach Edinburgh when we lived back in Lancashire.

So: quite the journey. We stayed for a few nights which gave us a chance to enjoy the city – I may have made a few purchases in Zara – but to be honest, Princes Street was absolutely packed and crowds (either alone or with a five-year-old) aren’t my favourite thing. Jay took Joe to the zoo whilst I did some (mainly window) shopping, but after that we ate good food and enjoyed the sun.

We stayed in a fairly seedy area (I kept telling myself on arrival, ‘Pretend you’re in Brooklyn’) but the apartment itself was absolutely fine. And I really enjoyed catching the bus in and out of town, as did Joe. I don’t miss city living after commuting for many years but it’s nice to dip in again every so often.

On the Sunday we visited the Botanic Gardens. I absolutely love it there and we had a lovely sunny afternoon exploring the palm houses and feeding the squirrels. So naturally we took lots of pictures…

On our journey home, we stopped off to eat our sandwiches at Dunkeld. It’s a place I didn’t know about but we'd noticed it from the road on our way into Edinburgh.

It’s very pretty, with a bridge over the Tay river, and plenty of sweet little cafes and teashops. I definitely got the impression it was a well-to-do kind of area (shiny 4x4s, elderly ladies in twinsets, a country outfitter's shop) and quite touristy. There are a lot of blue plaques and pastel-coloured cottages, monuments and gardens. It seemed that most of the shops were closed on a Monday (probably for the best considering the expense of a weekend in Edinburgh) so that could explain the lack of tourists on a sunny(ish) day.

I’d love to return and explore a bit more, but I think we’ll be staying close to home for a while now. We’re planning a big trip back down south during the summer and have to go to Inverness (three hours each way) tomorrow so in between those it’s time to stay local. We're hoping the weather improves here on Skye after a week of heavy showers and high winds, and that the balmy spring sunshine returns soon.