Monday, 4 December 2017

UK-Paris Day 10: Edinburgh Castle & Scottish National Gallery

We are heading out to explore Edinburgh Old Town this morning.

You can see Edinburgh Castle from our hotel

I had wanted to drive up to Edward's Seat to get a better view of Edinburgh before returning the rental car at 11.30am. However, one of the tyres was almost completely flat so we had to return the car earlier than anticipated. We also had to pay an extra few hundred pounds to fix it *sigh*

The silver lining is that the tyre only got flat on the last day of our rental and not when we were driving in pitch darkness in the mountains! We really can't imagine getting stuck with no light or phone reception in the middle of nowhere! *shudder*

After returning the rental car, we had brunch at a Costa nearby.

Had the usual hot chocolate and pastries

After brunch, we found our way to Edinburgh Castle by walking up the hill.

Edinburgh Castle
(Address: Castlehill, Edinburgh EH1 2NG, UK;
Opening Hours: 9.30am - 5pm)


You can still get a good view of Edinburgh just outside of Edinburgh Castle even if you chose not to pay to enter.

The tickets to Edinburgh Castle cost us £17 per person above 16 years old and £10.50 for children 5-15 years old. You can also buy the Explorer Pass to visit multiple Scottish attractions at one price.

Got our tickets and maps to explore the castle grounds
Having fun taking photos while admiring the amazing view
Look through the telescope and pay to get it to talk about what you're looking at
View of the Edinburgh Christmas Carnival held at the most happening area in Edinburgh

We also explored the various museums and exhibits located within the castle premise. I found the exhibits fascinating and enjoyed learning more about Scotland's history.

Learning about the civil war, how England and Scotland came to be The United Kingdom and how the Scottish army's uniform evolved
Edinburgh Castle used to house prisons of war on its premise and we got to visit a re-creation of it
This was how the prison of war looked back in the day, albeit with less light and cleanliness
Visiting the Great Hall of King James, where many royal banquets were held.
Probably what the banquet halls in Disney cartoons are based on!

King James VI was a king of Scotland, who was the first monach to also become king of England and Ireland (i.e. The United Kingdom) after the countries were unified. King James VI and I (VI in Scotland but I in England and Ireland) was born in Edinburgh Castle so we even got to visit his birth place! Very interesting!

Nevertheless, the biggest highlight for me was seeing the Scottish Honours aka Crown Jewels in person!

The Honours: The Scottish Crown Jewels
Crowning of a king
(can't remember who)
You basically get to walk through the history of the crown jewels as well as learn about the kings and queens who wore them. This photo depicts the coronation of King James if I'm not mistaken.

We were not allowed to take photos of the actual Scottish Honours but take it from me that it was even more awesome than I had imagined it!

Walking down the hill and leaving after a great morning of Scottish history

I highly recommend visiting Edinburgh Castle, especially if you're a history student like me. You will love the interactive exhibits that are very informative. Even my girl had an enjoyable time!

From Edinburgh Castle, it was only a 10-minute walk to the Scottish National Gallery so we decided to visit since admission was FREE!

Scottish National Gallery
(Address: The Mound, Edinburgh EH2 2EL, UK;
Opening Hours: 10am - 5pm)
Paintings and various art

You may also want to visit the National Muesum of Scotland, which is nearby and also FREE!

We decided to skip that museum because our hungry stomachs were calling out to us! We passed by Black Rose Tavern and decided to have lunch there because it was so crowded! We were really blessed to get their only big table in the restaurant! Thank God!

Black Rose Tavern
(Address: 49 Rose St, Edinburgh EH2 2NH, UK)
Ordered drumlets and Mac and Cheese (yes again!). The drumlets were so good that we ordered another plate!
Can't remember what this dish is called but we were craving for rice and this had it. It was so delicious!

I can understand why this restaurant was so crowded. The food was so good! Have to hand it to the hubby and his intuition for good food!

Since it was December, Edinburgh was having their Edinburgh's Christmas 2017 carnival next to the Scottish National Gallery. You can also visit the Scott Monument and do some major shopping at the nearby malls.

Ferris Wheel (left) and the Scott Monument (right)
Thrilling ride to the top with a great view of the town
Lots of shops selling all kinds of interesting things!
Carousel and chocolate world
Yummy mini pancakes
Beautiful shot of the carnival illuminated at night

The carnival is bigger than it looks so by the time we were done visiting almost every stall, we were too tired to continue walking. After returning to our hotel, the hubby and I went out in search of dinner to bring back to our hotel.

The hubby was really craving for noodles, and Red Box Noodle Bar was top on the Google search. We walked for about 15 minutes to get there, which on ordinary days would probably be considered a short walk. On a cold day when you're hungry and exhausted, however, it felt extraordinarily far to me! The food better be worth it!!

Red Box Noodle Bar
(Address: 51, West Nicolson St, Edinburgh, Midlothian EH8 9DB)
You can customised your noodles according to your preferences. Great for picky folks with very specific dietary tastes *laughs*

They even have Singapore and Malaysian sauces! Very legit and will definitely fulfill your craving for a taste of home!

Enjoying our Chinese noodles in the hotel

The hubby was so delighted that he got to satisfy his craving! It was a good end to our last day in Scotland!

It's onward to Paris tomorrow; looking forward!


Continue to >> UK-Paris Day 11: Eurostar to Paris, Hotel 34B Estotel & Le Mesturet
<< Back to UK-Paris Day 9: Nevis Ranges, Apex City of Edinburgh Hotel & Mussels Inn

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