To celebrate Tom’s 21st birthday we took a trip to Edinburgh for the weekend. It was only about an hour and a half from Newcastle on the train, so it allowed us to have a lot more time exploring, rather than worrying about having to travel home. We got an earlier train up on the Saturday morning to Haymarket, where we were staying. It was a short walk from there to the Castle and the city centre.
We had such amazing weather both days we were there. It was crazy to think that we were actually in Scotland, with all of the sunshine! We walked up towards the castle in the morning and took all of the many generic tourist photos. I think I got photos of the castle at every angle imaginable, but I just couldn’t help it. It looked incredible in the sun.
After I had filled my camera with photos, we decided to go to an attraction called Camera Obscura, which was just opposite the castle. It was filled with all of these crazy illusions and photos, and mirror mazes, and this vortex tunnel. It also had some amazing views of Edinburgh from the top of the building, as well as some spy vision cameras which allowed you to zoom in on the oblivious public, and watch them taking pictures of the castle. When we were done creeping on everyone, we walked further down the Royal Mile to a cafe for some lunch. We then headed down to Princes Street for a little bit of shopping, and sitting in the park, before heading back to the hotel to change for dinner.
I had booked to go to a hotel and restaurant called the Tigerlily for Tom’s birthday dinner. The restaurant/bar area was so beautiful, all decorated with plants and marble surfaces and candles, and there was even this little secret garden section. We had a gorgeous meal, the food and cocktails were excellent. It was lovely to go out to somewhere really nice as a treat for Tom, and to have some amazing food.
The Sunday was Tom’s birthday, and as a surprise I had woken up in the night and sneakily decorated our hotel room with banners, balloons, confetti, presents, cards and a stack of Oreo cookies as his cake. So when he woke up the whole place was decorated and he felt like it was really his birthday. We spent the morning talking to our families on Facetime and he opened his presents and cards from everyone.
For breakfast we went back to the Royal Mile and had food at a pub called Deacon Brodies, including some haggis, which we weren’t fans of. Sorry, Scotland. After breakfast we went inside the castle and toured through all of its buildings and museums, whilst taking even more pictures. I loved seeing all of the rooms and finding out about how people lived in that time. I also now want to live in a castle.
We then spent the rest of the afternoon walking around Princes Street, stopping for a drink and some food at this lovely little Italian restaurant, before heading back up to the mile to Mary King’s Close. We went on the tour there, going through all of the old streets underground Edinburgh. Some of the buildings were centuries old, all crammed into these tiny underground lanes. It was crazy to imagine life down there, before it was covered over.
After the educational trip through old Edinburgh it was time for our train back to Newcastle. I had such a lovely weekend, and was so happy to be able to spend Tom’s birthday with him.