Newest Review: ... the main city itself by a Costa Cruise transfer. I have to say the Outskirts of the City where surprisingly OK for such a large city. It ... more
What a great addition to our Cruise!!!!
Edinburgh in General
Author Name: JonathonCross
Edinburgh in General
Advantages: Great shopping experience, some lovely attractions
Disadvantages: The weather????
Over the last two years we as a family have started to take up cruising as a holiday rather than going on package holidays The first cruise we went too was to Copenhagen, Denmark, Hamburg, Germany, Tallinn, Estonia, St. Petersburg, Russia, Helsinki, Finland and finally Stockholm in Sweden. All except Russia I enjoyed- (I shall review the cities later.) You may of noticed that we did not go to Oslo, Norway at this point. However two years later we did. I have to admit it was my favourite place out of the cities we went to this time the that included (Amsterdam, Hamburg (You must see that I love Hamburg better than Edinburgh but I have been there 3 times now so Edinburgh felt more special in a way) Copenhagen, Le Havre and Oslo. However I have finally discovered my favourite British city. Edinburgh!!!! Before I go any further I shall now say we did not actually sail straight into the City we went a up past the city into the village suburb of Hawes.
First Impressions on leaving the ship; It was really my father who wanted to see the City- and because I had never been to Scotland before, I sort of decided brave the Traditional British weather and leave the boat. I have to admit you could tell you were in Scotland not only because it was raining but because we were greeted by the Scottish Bag Pipes though I will admit that I am not overly fond of such an instrument but in a way it was a nice touch. I must say I was not impressed with the village of "Hawes" as the river appeared to be polluted and ill kept. However overlooking that standing in front of the river I have to say the village appeared pretty with a forest as a backdrop. We were then put on a bus for a short drive to the main city itself by a Costa Cruise transfer. I have to say the Outskirts of the City where surprisingly OK for such a large city. It was then we hit the city center. I have to admit Edinburgh is undoubtedly the most beautiful cities in the UK!!! Which I shall describe a little more in the shopping section
Value For Money; I found the shopping streets in Edinburgh to be priced as any other city in the UK. So in the shopping centers all were priced to any other UK City. This is because most of the shops are chain stores. Such as John Lewis and Curry's Digital. There were a few Scottish chains such as shops selling Whiskey and Shortbread which where priced higher than your normal Waitrose shop. But I believe it to worth the difference for the culture experience. I have to admit though- I was angry that in the large shopping centers in the City they charged you £0.20 to go to the toilet which I guess I should be used to as I am used to as I travel to Germany frequently. On top of that the toilets in the Princess mall in Edinburgh were actually very clean. Though we dined at no restaurants I can conclude Edinburgh as a traditional City for pricing of food and drink. Expect to pay then as you usually would in any chain restaurant in the UK and it to be expensive to dine in a big tourist attraction such as Edinburgh Castle. To give an example the price of a Fanta in a luxury superstore (e.g. Waitrose- a 500ml bottle costs £1.08) However in Edinburgh Castle you will pay £1.80 per bottle. As you would expect our main reason to get of the ship at Edinburgh is because of the famous castle. I have to admit I do not like walking around castles for hours on end. We found that Edinburgh Castle was expensive to enter. For an adult (16 or over it costs £15.00 to get in. Children between 5-15 pay £8.50. Concession's are free (unemployed and over 60) Children under 5 are also free. We as a family of 5 had to pay for all (3x Adults and 2x children) Totaling £62.00 OUCH. However personally I felt the castle was worth the money as it offered marvelous views over Edinburgh, which was great for me as I love photography.
Getting around; Edinburgh is an easy place to get around. Though quite hilly we found once we got to Princess Street looking up towards the castle the walking distances were walkable from the shopping grounds and up to the castle. The walk from the street where very attractive to the castle. This is because Edinburgh is a very green city. The walk to the castle however for some may find it tricky as it is quite a climb!!!! However there are many Taxis waiting before the incline to the Castle which I would strongly advise for a disabled person.
How safe does Edinburgh feel?
I never once felt threatened in the city. (Though I am a 6"2 ft male who still has not finished growing) However the City was very clean with very little litter or graffiti. The city appeared wealthy because of the high quality buildings (and cars) there. The Parks were always open with little "hiding places" such as behind trees etc.- so there were no real opportunities for robbery. Edinburgh is always packed with tourist's anyway- so there really is little opportunity for crime!!
The Weather; We went to Edinburgh in August 2011 on a cruise. The weather was actually quite bad. However I really did not mind this and it actually stopped once arriving in the City Center. Expect in Winter changeable weather with daytime averages of 6 Celsius and -1 Celsius by night. Spring is often cool with temperatures at 15 Celsius by day and 2-5 Celsius at night. Summer temperatures rarely exceed 22 Celsius and drop to 12 Celsius by night and can be very changeable as it can in all British cities. However I would visit the City in autumn myself. This is because the temperatures are that of spring- and sometimes warmer. It also means you get away from the crowd rush in the summer.
Shopping; I absolutely loved shopping in Edinburgh. This is because the City's shops were all packed together in a long street. Not only was this convenient it was also lovely to be in a shop looking out to the beautiful Castle. I feel Edinburgh would be my ideal choice of shopping after Hamburg because the experience of shopping is very friendly. It was also nice to see a few independent stores on the streets, selling Whiskey, reminding you were you are in the world!!! It was also nice to see a real market- ones were it feels it was made to a quality level. The Street market was quite large. On top of that the Market was smart with no discarded litter once they packed up and left!!! I also loved the shopping experience. Edinburgh really does have some fine architecture and the shops are placed into it- it even makes an everyday Boots Store attractive. There was also plenty of Traffic pedestrian crossings too. The City is normally crowded with cars so traffic moves slowly enough, meaning traffic is not such a threat as it is in London.
Nightlife; I cannot comment on the nightlife as it was a day trip to the City. However the City hosts many nightclubs and Pubs around the City from what I saw
Verdict; A truly lovely city, a really nice contrast of modern shops with beautiful old architecture- A must see for anyone!
Summary: The best British City one can find