Scotland

Scotlands capital city and cultural hub, Edinburgh has more to it than pubs and grey skies. Although the weather is often rainy and it is said to be the most haunted city of Europe, the sunny attitude of the Scottish people will warm you to the bone.

Arrivals

Follow The Gap Map itinerary link found on the main Europe page and take an overnight bus from London to Edinburgh in Scotland.
Megabus and NationalExpress both have over night buses from London to Edinburgh for around 10 GBP depending on the season.

Highlights

Free walking tours are available in Scotland with a knowledgeable guide. This allows you to stop at all of the main sites in just a couple of hours and learn about the history of the city. Get local tips on the best places to eat and drink. All you are expected to give in return is a small tip. Get the details at Sandemans Tour or Edinburgh Free Tours.

Edinburgh Castle sits atop a large hill in the centre of the city and overlooks the entire area. Tickets to enter cost between 13.20-16.50 Pounds. Get the details here.

In Edinburghs Greyfriars Kirkyard you can see the tombstones featuring names that inspired many of JK Rowlings characters in Harry Potter including McGonagall, Moodie and of course, he who shall not be named- Thomas Riddle. This graveyard is also home to the Mackenzie Poltergeist which can be found in a haunting tomb that has been reported to have a lot of supernatural activity. Visitors have left the tomb with unexplainable burns, bruises and even broken bones after being attacked by this aggressive force that lives on after death. See more about the Mackenzie Poltergeist here.

Greyfriars Bobby Statue is a small statue of a dog that serves as a monument to the story of this sweet little dog. John Gray was a local policeman around the 1850’s and walked the many streets of Edinburgh with his faithful terrier by his side. When John died of tuberculosis his dog bobby refused to leave his grave where he was buried in the famous Greyfriars Kirkyard. No rain, hail or snow could convince this dog to run for shelter and he protected his masters grave for fourteen years.

Arthurs Seat and Holyrood Park are green spaces just a short walk from Edinburghs city centre where you can enjoy a run or simply relax with a picnic if the weather is un characteristically sunny. Arthurs seat is the name for the peak of this volcano that over looks the city.

The Royal Mile is the main strip through the centre of Edinburgh where you can find many shops, restaurants and bars as well as some historical sites.

Grassmarket is a popular gathering place in the centre featuring bars, striking architecture and live music making it popular among young people.

Many of the cities art galleries are free entry including The Scottish National Gallery of both classic and modern art.
The Mound, EH2 2EL

Go for a stroll on the Water of Leith Walkway where you can see wildlife including wild deer.
24 Lanark Road, EH14 1TQ

Calton Hill is one of the most picturesque and most photographed locations in the city. Hike the stairs to the top of the hill and take in the stunning panoramic views.

Day Trips can easily be done from Edinburgh to a number of different destinations around Scotland. Traquair House is Scotlands oldest house that is still inhabited and complete with beautifully manicured grounds and a real outdoor hedge-maze. It is located only 1 hour from Edinburgh. Get the details here.
The coastal town of Saint Andrews is also easily reached from Edinburgh by bus or train in about 1.5 hours. This is where golf was born as a sport and is famous for its course. The famous University where Prince William and Catherine Middleton (Duke and Duchess of Cambridge) first met is also in Saint Andrews. Get the details here.

Stay

The Hostel is located in Edinburghs West End, directly across the road from Haymarket train station. It is about a 30 minute walk into the centre. Dorm rooms start at around 14 Euro and every thing is generally clean and well kept. There is free wifi and a kitchen available.
3 Clifton Terrace, Edinburgh, Scotland
Book here.

Castle Rock Hostel couldn’t be in a better location right in the centre of Edinburgh just a 1 minute stroll from the castle. Dorm rooms start at around 20 Euro but it is common to find discounts online. Free wifi and a fireplace in the common room make it a cosy place to relax on those rainy days.
15 Johnston Terrrace, Edinburgh, Scotland
Book here.

The West End Hostel offers dorms for around 15 Euro in the West End area of Edinburgh. There is free wifi, a kitchen and lounge area with TV.
35 Palmerston Place, Edinburgh, Scotland
Book here

Eat

Deep fried mars bars and Haggis are two of the food groups that Edinburgh is known for and if you don’t know what Haggis is… you probably don’t want to.

The Elephant House found its fame when JK Rowling claimed a table by the window as the location to write her famous Harry Potter Novels with a cup of coffee. Now this is well known among tourists, so much so, that even the toilet seat is plastered with Harry Potter images. It is said that the view of George Heriot’s school outside the window of this cafe is what inspired Rowlings Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Its sandstone exterior and grand features do in fact resemble the Hogwarts building as seen in the film.

Kebab Mahal is open until 2 AM on Friday and Saturday nights to feed hungry clubbers with a craving in the early hours. Kebabs start at just 3.15 Pound for a small size. During the day you can even sit down for a good quality curry that will only set you back 4 Pound. 7 Nicolson Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9BH

If you are staying around Edinburghs West End you can enjoy the benefits of Morrisons 24 hour Bakery when you stumble back from your night out. There is nothing better to cure your late night munchies than a steaming hot meat pie or ham croissant.
147 Morrison St, EH3 8AG /

Nile Kitchen is a great way to save money before a night out. They have a BYO alcohol policy meaning that you can bring your own alcohol and there is no corkage fee. Cheap Middle Eastern and African food is on offer here including tagines, curries, and barbecued meats.
6 Chapel Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9AY

Mosque Kitchen has hot and spicy curries to warm you up on a winters day starting at 5 Pound. Popular among students for its location near the university, it gets busy at lunch time. See the full menu here.
31-33 Nicholson square, Edinburgh, EH8 9BX

OINK! Hog Roast Rolls are a meat lovers dream come true. Freshly carved roast pork, served in a white or brown roll with toppings including sage & onion, apple sauce, chilli relish or even the Scottish tradition- haggis. Ask for a piece of crackling and if you’re lucky you’ll get a salted crunchy piece of the good stuff before it’s all gone! A regular sized roll costs just 4 Pound and with two locations in the city centre this is a must eat.
34 Victoria Street, Edinburgh, EH1 2JW.
82 Canongate Edinburgh, EH8 8BZ.

Ting Thai is a hole in the wall find that serves cheap street style Thai food for just 5 Pound at lunch time.
8-9 Teviot Place, EH1 2RA

Night life

Hive is an underground night club favourite among students in Edinburgh for its cheap drink specials and opening hours-every night of the week.
5-17 Niddry St S, Edinburgh, Scotland EH1 1LG

Sneaky Peats is a tiny sweaty shoe box that gets packed full of young people who want to get on the dance floor for a mix of hip hop, house and old school RNB beats.
73 Cowgate, Edinburgh, Midlothian EH1 1JW

Departures…

To get from Edinborough to Dublin in Ireland look at flights with budget airlines like Ryanair and check airline sites like skyscanner. There is also the sail rail option which combines a boat plus train ticket which can be affordable and scenic. Book here.