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Weekend Breaks in Edinburgh

Angela Wood

Senior Contributor

If you’re looking for a weekend break with everything, look no further than the Scottish capital. With architecturally splendid boutique bolt holes, chic and unique bars, Michelin star dining and historic castles on offer, we give you the ultimate weekend break in Edinburgh including what to see and where to stay.

Gain the Best Views from Edinburgh Castle

You can gain exceptional views of Edinburgh’s Princes Street and gardens and across to the Firth of Forth from Edinburgh Castle. The castle sits atop an extinct volcano and is home to some of Scotland’s iconic treasures. Step inside and you can see the Stone of Destiny – a symbol of Scotland’s monarchy which was used in the inauguration of Scottish kings. You can learn about the Wars of Independence at Argyle Tower or visit Mons Meg – a six-ton siege gun which could once fire its cargo over 2 miles! 

Edinburgh Castle as seen from Princes Street Gardens

Credit: Greig Gallagher

Shop till you drop on George Street

Edinburgh has a huge variety of shops, from high-street stores to independent retailers and craft shops, but if you want a great choice, begin your shopping spree on George Street. Leading from Charlotte Square at the West End to St. Andrew’s Square in the east, there’s a plethora of leading upscale stores to choose from. Whether you wish to browse MacIntyres of Edinburgh, peruse the diamonds at Rox, purchase organic skincare products from Neals Yard or designer shirts from Thomas Pink, there are stores to tick all the boxes. In addition, the street is peppered with elegant wine bars and eateries, so if your credit card needs a break, relax with lunch and a cocktail before you start again!

George Street, Edinburgh

Credit: lou armor

Enjoy a Whisky Tasting on the Royal Mile

If you don’t know your floral from your oaky and wish to enhance your knowledge of Scotland’s fiery nectar, it’s time to visit the Scotch Whisky Experience on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile. During your tour, you won’t just sample the whisky, you’ll also learn how it’s distilled, what goes into each one and enjoy some of the most famous brands from Scotland. You will discover the difference between a blended whisky and a single malt and which regions they come from, so at your next dinner party, you can impress guests with your liquor knowledge. Whether you wish to experience a morning masterclass or opt for a silver or gold tour, you’ll depart knowing a great deal more about Scotch Whisky, and you’ll probably be a little tipsy too! The gold tour includes a whisky barrel ride through the production process, viewings of the world’s largest collection of Scotch Whisky and a wee dram or two to keep you warm!

Whiskey tasting

Credit: g_dasha

Eat at a Michelin Star Restaurant

With a Michelin star under its belt, Paul Kitching’s 21212 restaurant has plenty to shout about. The restaurant opened in 2009 and sits close to Calton Hill where you can find panoramic views of Edinburgh city and its castle. Paul and his partner Katie have over 60 years of combined restaurant experience, and it shows. The restaurant has received numerous accolades and has been awarded the Prince Philip Medal for services to the catering industry. Menus at 21212 change each week and from Wednesday to Saturday you can enjoy a choice of 2 to 5-courses depending on how hungry you are. The restaurant also offers an extensive wine and champagne list which can accompany scrumptious dishes such as Spanish barley stew, smoked salmon with haggis sauce and deconstructed tiramisu.

Michelin Star Paul Kitching’s 21212

Credit: Leonard Zhukovsky

Stay in an Elegant Georgian Townhouse

The Bonham is perfect for couples and romantic weekends in Edinburgh. Its rooms are light and classically designed with views over leafy Drumsheugh Gardens and the New Town. With welcoming lounges decorated in opulent velvet and rich hues, this 49-room boutique hotel transports you to a bygone era - a place where writers, poets and politicians would sit sipping whisky and sharing ideas. Accommodations have recently been refurbished to display original cornicing, wood panelling and glistening chandeliers, they also feature comfortable Hypnos beds, so you always enjoy a good night’s sleep after dinner and drinks. Dining in the hotel is courtesy of No. 35 at The Bonham. Under the expert guidance of Head Chef Marco Drumond Nobrega, the restaurant presents an inspired menu of European cuisine with a Scottish twist, all created with local produce. Don’t forget lunch either, The Bonham’s famous ‘Boozy Snoozy’ lunchtime menu includes a delightful 3-course meal with wine.

The Bonham Lounge

Credit: The Bonham

Or… Opt for an Eclectic Boutique Bolthole

Perfect for city stays with friends, Tigerlily is becoming Edinburgh’s most talked about boutique hotel. As soon as you enter, you’re bedazzled with pink hues, pistachio greens, chandeliers and mirrored walls, and oddly enough, even inside a Georgian building, it doesn’t look out of place. The hotel effortlessly blends original features with a contemporary design that is straight out of Vogue. There are 33 attractive guest bedrooms with King beds, plasma screen TV’s, Bluetooth speakers and a fully stocked minibar. All the little extras are here for your weekend in Edinburgh too, including a set of GHD hair straighteners and White Company toiletries. Rooms range from Georgian mini-suites to the Black Room with integrated fireplace and a rattan egg chair suspended from the ceiling.

Tigerlily’s bar is a popular city meeting place for those in the know. Their cocktails are legendary and with over 100 recipes and an After Dark table service complete with mixologists, you can’t fail to be impressed. They also play a great deal of attention to their menus, using Scottish suppliers and fresh produce to create stunning dishes guaranteed to make your mouth water. If you really want a day to remember, indulge in a Tigerlily Champagne Afternoon Tea with friends before browsing high-end stores on George Street.

Tigerlily Mini-suite

Credit: Tigerlily

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