Day 2 in Edinburgh
We still needed to visit The Royal Yacht Britannia as part of our Royal Ticket we’d bought with the Tour Bus company, so we headed here first.
The yacht is yet another royal connection and visitor attraction in Edinburgh and of course belonged to the Queen. It is, however, no longer in service and is permanently berthed (not docked, as I first typed and needed to google ) at Leith, in Edinburgh.
The bus ride here, which is a little out of town, took roughly 30 minutes. It was actually a nice route to see some of the lovely houses outside of the city centre in the suburban areas of Edinburgh.
A free audio tour was provided, which had no real set tour route, so we could wander, begin and finish the tour wherever we liked.
I thought it was also nice that taking photos/videos was encouraged, so of course I managed to get some snaps for my blog and vlog! I found the yacht quite astounding to see, for example some areas of this ship were really luxurious, which of course it needs to be if the Queen’s going to be travelling on it. I also didn’t know about the many famous visitors who boarded the ship over the years too, like Bill Clinton, Princess Diana etc.
But then there were areas that left me surprised, such as the Queen’s bedroom. This room had only a single bed – a single bed! Forgive me for expecting the Titanic sort of proportions of size and grandeur, but this shocked me the most. Surely she’d at least get a double bed to sleep in? Anyway, she still had more room than most, if not all, the officer’s on board, I suppose.
It was all very distinctly British, which was interesting to me being British myself, because I felt it was quite ‘homely’, rather than overtly royal. Surprisingly enough, that’s apparently just what the Queen wanted it to feel like too.
Anyway, there was a cafe on board with a sweet shop. So after snacking on some fudge me and David headed back into town.
Mary King’s Close
I was really excited about Mary King’s Close, as we read about it in our rather miniature Edinburgh guide book! This is a series of streets, or ‘closes’, underneath the streets of today’s Edinburgh.
The streets are underground because the government back in the 17th century wanted to build The Royal Exchange in the city, but there was no room. So they practically built it on top of the slums instead! Nice…
Unfortunately no photography was allowed in here, which is a shame because a part of the street and one of its houses were still in tact. Me and David were put within a group that was guided around by an actress. She told us all about the gruesome living conditions of the time and history of the close, really bringing it to life. Our tour guide was called Mel, who was fantastic!
The National Museum of Scotland
We finished Mary King’s Close a little earlier than expected and walked over to the Museum of Childhood that we had heard so much about since being in Edinburgh. This sounded like a great museum, but we didn’t realise it was closed on Tuesday’s – just our luck!
So, me and David still felt like we were in a museum-y sort of mood, if there is such a thing and ambled over to the National Museum of Scotland, not too far away.
This was quite an unexpected delight, as there were many rooms and interactive exhibitions from world culture, science, technology to culture and Scottish history – all of which were in one beautiful building!
Feeling fairly knackered, me and David ate a delicious curry at a restaurant called Slumdog near our hotel and headed back for an early night.
And no! I didn’t miss out on a whisky this day, me and David actually had a whisky cocktail in our hotel bar. It was called a Hot Toddy and included whisky and lemon juice, topped up with hot water. It was quite yummy and something I thought would clear up a nasty cold (if I had one)! Even David liked it, so that’s saying something.
Anyway, I hope you’ve enjoyed my Edinburgh travel diary series! Please share your experiences in Edinburgh if you’ve been in the comments section below, or ask any questions if you’re yet to visit!
Don’t forget I have made a vlog of our trip to Edinburgh, which you can watch here.