About Zoe E
Lives in Dunedin, New Zealand
Since Apr 2014
18-24 year old female
I love adventure!
Speciality Museums, Historic Sites
Gardens, Art Galleries, Points of Interest & Landmarks
Flea & Street Markets
Neighbourhoods, Historic Walking Areas
Lookouts, Geologic Formations
Cemeteries, Points of Interest & Landmarks, Sacred & Religious Sites, Architectural Buildings, Historic Sites
Bars & Clubs
Dean Village is only a short walk from the Princes Street Gardens, but I believe the village is so much prettier. Like an oasis in the middle of New Town, the village makes you feel as if you have walked into a tiny... well... village. Beautiful in winter or summer, take a stroll and stop on the small bridge overlooking the bend in the river. See more info and pictures here http://life-gazing-and-wildstrawberries.blogspot.com/2014/12/dean-village.html
A bit further out of the way, but still worth a visit is the area of Cramond. By walking out at low tide, you can reach an island populated by history - WWII history to be exact. The village itself has a seaside feel, and makes for a great half-day trip.
After a lot of research over a four month period, I narrowed down my list of 'The Best Cafes in Edinburgh', and this one is at the top of that list. Lovecrumbs is nondescript from the outside, but inside you will find a haven of warmth and cute style. The cakes are always great, so are the brownies and scones, and the tea comes with a thermos so you can refill to your heart's desire.
Located outside of the main tourist route - just ten minutes walk from the edge of Holyrood Park, is this hidden gem. And it is truly hidden - walk through a carpark to find this beautiful secret garden. You can find some peace and solitude here, or admire the small ponds, bridges and herb gardens. This is a true favourite of the locals! Read more info and see pictures here: http://life-gazing-and-wildstrawberries.blogspot.com/2014/09/dr-neils-garden.html
This small pub serves great food, but also holds an interest for any history buffs - as the oldest inn in Edinburgh! Rumour has it, a king James liked to frequent the place, back in the middle ages. Nowadays, the decor reflects the age of the inn, and the food is still fantastic! I must have sampled most of their items, so I have a good idea of the place. Try the bangers and mash, they are superb. You won't see too many tourists here, mainly locals enjoying a pint or two. See more pictures of the area around the inn here (it is a very quaint place called Duddingston, well worth a look): http://life-gazing-and-wildstrawberries.blogspot.com/2014/09/duddingston.html
While this is not exactly a secret of Edinburgh, it is true that many tourists give the park a miss. Don't miss out on it! Although it is a further away from the main tourist route, you will not regret making the trip. Walk to the top of Arthur's Seat for great views and a feeling of the Scottish Highlands! See more info and pictures here: http://life-gazing-and-wildstrawberries.blogspot.com/2014/09/wild-edinburgh.html
There are about a billion closes and wynds in Edinburgh's Old Town, but this has to be my favourite. Located down a small alleyway, the courtyard opens into a beautiful secluded garden where you can sit and contemplate the wonders of the city. For photos of the garden and other closes and wynds, click here: http://life-gazing-and-wildstrawberries.blogspot.com/2014/10/winding-lanes.html
The Lady Stairs Close is not only a beautiful remnant of the Old Town, it also holds its own secret: a small writers museum, with free entry! The close itself is one of the larger ones on the Royal Mile. Just walk down the alley, (have no fear, locals use the alleys all the time), and you're there. Another plus about the closes and wynds: they are very quiet compared to the bustling Royal Mile. For more info and pictures of the wynds and closes of Ediburgh, click here: http://life-gazing-and-wildstrawberries.blogspot.com/2014/10/winding-lanes.html
This is another place high on the tripadvisor list, but one that deserves a mention. If you find yourself with half a day to spare, and you like gardens, then I would definitely recommend coming here. There are many unusual things to see inside the gardens: the rock gardens beside the giant glasshouse look like they have leaped off the pages of pinterest; the Queen Mother's memorial gardens are delightful and include a small shelter tiled with seashells; and you can also find interesting crafts and plants in the community gardens. For more info and photos, click below: http://life-gazing-and-wildstrawberries.blogspot.com/2014/09/sunday-stroll.html
I must have come to this cafe every morning for about a month! I love their food, and the simplicity of the cafe. The chairs are comfy, you can stay for a while and use the free wifi or read a magazine. The crepes are amazing, savoury or sweet, and the hot soup of the day is cheap but good!
Every Sunday the small urban village of Stockmarket holds a market with some of the best food, drink and produce in the city. The market is tiny - held in a small carpark, but it packs itself in there, and you can find all manner of yummy and pretty things! I love the handmade jewellery, soaps, and woolly knitted articles. For more info and pictures, check out the link: http://life-gazing-and-wildstrawberries.blogspot.com/2014/09/sunday-stroll.html
Take a walk around New Town to get a feel for the other side of Edinburgh. Every tourist will make it to the Royal Mile, and will get a taste of that Old Town feel, but New Town is interesting too. Like a Scottish Paris, the streets are wide and lined with tall trees. Ladies walk their small dogs in private parks, and boutiques sell high end items. I like to simply walk around the New Town, but you can also stop by Charlotte Square, and make your way to the National Portrait Gallery.
Ok, so here is the secret to seeing Calton Hill. Be patient, and wait till sunset, then you will be rewarded with the best views! At sunset, there are less tourists too, and you can enjoy your time in a relatively calm manner. For photos of Calton Hill at sunset, click below: http://life-gazing-and-wildstrawberries.blogspot.com/2014/11/calton-hill.html
If you are a bit of a weirdo like me, and you love hanging around in graveyards, then this should be top of your list! The Greyfriars Kirkyard is full of history, thrills and Harry Potter mania. Harry Potter? Yup, you red that right. Further back in the kirkyard, past the old walls of the city, you can find the real life grave of one Tom Riddel. If you look closely, you can also find McGonagall, and a few other notable names. On top of the nerd factor, you have the spook factor of the Mackenzie Ghost. I love to simply wander in the graveyard and get away from the throngs of tourists around Greyfriar's Bobby. For more info and pictures of the kirkyard, check out the link: http://life-gazing-and-wildstrawberries.blogspot.com/2014/10/spooky-edinburgh.html
These tours are a wee bit kitschy, and not for everybody's taste. But, after taking their graveyard tour twice, I can highly recommend it as good for both history buffs and thrill seekers. Sadly, nobody on my tours spotted the Mackenzie ghost, but I did see something very strange myself: a black shadow in the shape of a six foot tall man. It was watching me too... Needless to say, the experience was thrilling for me! For more info and pictures of the graveyard, click here: http://life-gazing-and-wildstrawberries.blogspot.com/2014/10/spooky-edinburgh.html
You will find great live music at the Royal Oak, but be aware - this bar is tiny! The bar is quite close to the Royal Mile, and is an old favourite of the locals.
The park located next to the University is quite a pleasant one for walking. You may find small vans selling food, buskers singing songs, and dogs fetching sticks. Then make your way through the university for a glimpse of the architecture and student life.