I know, you will have a busy running weekend in Scotland, but you probably want to know what are the things to do in Edinburgh and surrounding areas, before or after the race. Here are my recommendations!
Edinburgh is beautiful. You will clearly see beauty in the colourful buildings along West Bow/Victoria Street, in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town.
Walking in its cobbled streets, by the stone buildings, it is a jump back in history. It is a city rich of tradition, that you can find in this markets, gatherings and way of living. Speaking of the markets, they feature all year round in Scotland’s capital city selling produce, hancrafts, etc.
If you are into castles or monuments, Edinburgh will not disappoint. The most famous landmark is probably the castle. Dominating the city skyline, Edinburgh Castle is the city’s most visited paid tourist attraction. It holds the Scottish Crown Jewels, which includes the famous Stone of Destiny.
Remarkables among others are the Scott’s monument, and the Nelson monument with its beautiful top view, Laurison and Cragmillar castles. Very popular is also the statue of Greyfriars Bobby, a loyal dog who stayed by his master’s graveside for 14 years until his death.
The cultural side of Edinburgh is however vibrant. You will find festivals, theatre shows and art exhibition that can satisfy most of the requests. If you are going in the running festival weekend the choice will be limited. But Edinburgh across the year hosts a book, a science, a film and an art festival among others.
The food and drink experience
Scotland is not renomated for its cuisine, but there are some interesting opportunities for everyone. You should give a try to the famous haggis, a traditional scottish dish. Haggis is a savoury pudding containing sheep’s pluck, minced with onion, oatmeal, carrots, spices, and salt, traditionally cooked inside the sheep stomach (nowadays it is used an artificial casing).
Believe me if I say that it has a more delicate taste that expected! I paired it with one of the local beers. There is plenty of local restaurants, especially in the old town, which present this experience. I can personally recommend the Arcade Bar and whisky house (the picture below comes from there)
What I admit, I did not dare to try, is the deep fried mars bar (yes, it is a thing here!). Another local specialty are the meat pies.
Visit the surroundings
The scottish capital is very beautiful, but the surroundings deserve some attention. You can easily book some guided tours that will show around, through the unique green Highland landscapes where, if you are lucky, you could meet the local star: the Highland cow.
The area presents many abbeys with their fascinating, beautiful and severe, aspect. Notable is the Rosslyn Chapel, a 15th-century chapel located in the village of Roslin, Midlothian, Scotland.
But we cannot say Scotland without talking of whisky, right? Some of these tours will offer a visit to a local distillery, to discover how the whisky is produced to rest for many years, before becoming enjoyable. A tasting experience navigating the complexity of the whisky flavours is part of the tours.
There is much more to discover: I hope you can enjoy the beauty of this land so particular as much as I did!