To bring you something a bit different, with very little mention of mental health(!), I’ve teamed up with Edinburgh Bus Tours to bring to you this piece about my greatest recommendations for a trip to Edinburgh, Scotland…
When I was younger, if I was going to visit somewhere, my first ‘must-see’ was the stores! If I spotted a River Island or New Look then who cared about a huge castle or an impressive cathedral?! However, now that I’m thirty-one, I’m finding that when I go on a trip these days, I’m more interested in seeing the sights because I recognise that I can’t see them back home; so booking a tour route (there are a number to choose from – or you can purchase a ticket that allows you to do any/all of them!) with Edinburgh Bus Tours seemed like an obvious way to do this on my trip.
I chose the Majestic tour because it included some city sights and a costal one (The Royal Yacht Britannia on Leith coast) – I like the Coast in terms of photographs, but I’m a ‘city girl’ at heart! And this tour seemed to be the best of both worlds! The variety of the tours; their mix of theme and their different routes around Edinburgh really provide a brilliant opportunity for absolutely anyone’s preferences to be catered to.
Even though I’ve actually been to Edinburgh a number of times, I’ve only ever visited the shops on Princes Street and Edinburgh Castle, so I didn’t really know my way around when it came to finding where the bus tours begin. Fortunately, though, their starting point of St Andrew’s Square is a pretty easy location to get to – especially when you’ve travelled by train to the Edinburgh Waverley station. That, and the fact the Majestic tour buses run every fifteen minutes meant that there was actually already a bus there when I arrived, so I could get straight on it.
I checked how it all worked with the friendly driver who explained that you could get off the bus at any of the stops on the route just by pressing the bell and then, without having to buy another ticket, hop back on another when you’re done visiting the sight you’ve gotten off the bus for. And you can do that as many times as you like!
Sadly, in the current climate, it’s relevant – and important to a lot of people – to mention that the buses are cleaned regularly. Similarly, it might be also good for you to know that whilst I went up the stairs to sit on the top deck, the buses have two wheelchair accessible spaces downstairs which have display screens showing live footage from the top deck – a feature to ensure everyone benefits from the panoramic views afforded to those riding the tour buses because of the bespoke design of their glass windows. Also! In general information terms, the bus’s carbon emissions are now reduced by 40% - making them ‘greener and cleaner!’
Having looked ahead at the route and researched entry prices etc for the sights the route will be passing, I decided to get off at the Royal Botanic Gardens first and had then planned to look around the Royal Mile – where the bus passed the Palace of Holyrood House and the Scottish Parliament. Unfortunately, I missed the stops for these sights (which is just another reason why I’ll be going back!). I also, kind of wish I’d gotten off on Leith Cruise Terminal because the photos I took from the bus of their harbour still make me swoon and it would’ve been lovely to have gotten more and to have some closeups. But I’d looked up the main sight there (the Royal Yacht Britannia) and thought the ‘admission ticket’ quite expensive…
Finally, on this recommendation, whilst the website states the length of time the tours would last if you stayed on the bus the entire time, please remember to consider traffic conditions too (there were a lot of roadworks in Leith).
Princes Street Primark for some bargains and their café on the top floor has a lovely view of Edinburgh Castle
Bella Italia on Hanover Street for a budget Italian meal
Hotel Indigo on Princes Street for a medium/high budget hotel room
The Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh to spend some time with nature (and very friendly squirrels!)
Edinburgh Castle for amazing views of the city and some historical education
Edinburgh Bus Tours links…
Fortunately, this collaboration means I’ll be travelling back to Edinburgh to do more of Edinburgh Bus Tours other tour routes so look out for more posts like this. Also! If you have any recommendations of your own for me to go see next time I’m there, please get in touch through the ‘contact’ page!