5 Reasons to Love: Edinburgh

Auld Reekie; Athens of the North; Old Smoky—Edinburgh is known by many names, and if you follow me on any of my socials, you'll know I'm crazy about Edi. I fell in love with Edinburgh's quiet charm and chilled vibes during a visit one frosty February, and since then, it's become my cherished home. If you're a seasoned Scot, or have yet to tred the cobbles of Old Town, check out what's so addictive, so enamouring, about the Scottish Capital.


5. The Literature: It's no secret that Edinburgh is steeped in literary history, having been awarded the UNESCO City of Literature in 2004. You may have heard of a relatively unknown book named Harry Potter! It's sold a few copies. How about Robert Louis Stevenson? Or Sir Arthur Conan Doyle? Yes, many a memoir, and certain sonnets have been penned under the shadow of Arthur's Seat.


I'm not entirely sure what's in the water up in Scotland, but they produce some serious talent. Swing by the Edinburgh Writers' Museum or fly in for the Edinburgh Writers' Festival, 11-27th of August. If there's a book in all of us, Auld Reekie might just be the place to write yours.


4. The Green: Nope, not that kind of green. The Scottish Capital is home to an unprecedented amount of natural green spaces: Princes Street Gardens, Inverleith Park, or my personal favourite, the Water of Leith Walk where I popped the question to a certain handsome Italian. There's also Hollyrood Park, Calton Hill, and The Meadows. No shortage of areas to chill in the sunshine with a coffee or something stronger, or places to take your wee dug for a stroll. The absolute best feature of Princes Street Gardens has to be the view of spectacular Edinburgh Castle.

3. The Nightlife: If partying is your thang—as you know it's mine—then Edinburgh is full of amazing hotspots to whet your whistle. Famous for its multitude of whisky to enlighten your tastebuds, and with all tastes catered for, and plenty of funky districts, a night out is always going to be one to remember here. Check out Hoot the Redeemer on Hanover Street, Espionage, Opium in Cowgate—and my favourite, Cabaret Voltaire—on Blair Street. There's also a vibrant LGBTQ scene here, so pop down to the Pink Triangle for a gin and a dance in CC Blooms or The Street with its buzzing basement bar.

2. The Free Stuff: In most big cities like NYC and Paris, you'll spend money the moment you leave the house. Not in Edinburgh. I just love free activities, and as we know, when on vacation, we like value for our hard-earned Pounds. I could write an entire post on all of the freebies in the city—which I will at some stage—but in a nutshell here they are: The National Gallery of Modern Art, St Giles' Cathedral, the National Gallery of Scotland, Arthur's Seat, and the Royal Botanical Gardens.

1. The Scots: For years, I maintained that Irish people were the friendliest in the world, that is until I met the Scots: witty, charming, perpetually hilarious with the gift of the gab to rival their western neighbours in the Emerald Isle. And oh-sweet-lord that accent will make you swoon (hence why I ended up falling for an Italian with a Scottish accent. Truly the perfect combination of culture.

And hey, here's a national [not so] secret: take a train down to Glasgow and you'll find locals who may just be even sounder than their Eastern counterparts. It's a toss-up. I'll have to look into that for you....*plans trip to Glasgow for "research"*

If you've been to Edinburgh and fancy adding to the list, pop your comment below.

Copyright The Bearded Irishman 2020.

All rights to original content belong to Darragh Mullooly

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