Oh HI! Hello. Good day to you. The past few days, weeks (months? I’m losing track) have been a blur. I’m working for Social Sheffield in my spare time again and a lot of other opportunities have started to make their way to me as well. Naturally I keep trying to say yes to all of them, so I end up with no time and a messy brain. I even had to buy a filofax last week in an attempt to keep tabs on everything! Tis a challenge but I’m enjoying it.
Today’s blog post is the first of four about Edinburgh and the Isle of Skye in Scotland. A few weeks back I discovered an email from Visit Scotland in my inbox. The tourism bigwigs for Scotland. GUYS!!! They invited me to go on a short press trip to Skye as part of their #HomeComing2014 campaign. They organised my travel and accommodation and gave me plenty of suggestions for stuff to see and do whilst up there – in return I had the utterly pain staking task of going on a short holiday in Skye.
As is always the way with travel however, there were a few mishaps on the journey up there meaning my first night was spent in the grand city of Edinburgh.
I love travelling and seeing new places. I know this is already common knowledge but I really do love it. It makes me feel calm, happy and content. I have needed some sort of holiday for a while now to refocus and recharge. Travel is good for you!
Here’s some of the stuff I packed:
This camera case is technically from Peugeot UK, if you search #RandomActsOfJoy on Twitter you’ll see they’re doing a lovely joy-spreading online campaign. I was lucky enough to be picked and they sent me an Amazon gift voucher – with which I purchased this beautiful camera case. Thank you Peugeot!
These bad boys are a gift from Zeal Media & Inntravel. Inntravel specialise in walking holidays and as part of publicising their Switerland holiday packages, Zeal Media sent me a #MySwissKit. Pretty good timing as one of the things I really wanted to do in Skye was a walk! Kitted out for it, literally! They gave me a rucksack, a flask, a Swiss army knife and some chocolates just because. Many thanks guys! (They actually set aside a second #MySwissKit, which is part of giveaway you can enter by following this link)
Once these and all my computing gadgets and chargers were bundled into a bag, I made for Doncaster station to catch the first of three trains up to Inverness! Did feel a bit like a hobbit starting a voyage to mordor, only without the orcs and impending doom (and the hairy feet).
However, once I was en route to Edinburgh I learned that heavy rain and flooding had caused all trains to Inverness to be cancelled. A few phone calls here and there with Calum the PR guy, and I’d been booked into a guesthouse in Edinburgh for the night instead. The thing I love about travel is the fact that you have no control over anything, you’re forced to go with the flow!
I last visited Edinburgh when I was about 15 years old. It’s a really welcoming city. The colour of the brickwork and the way the city is laid out makes me feel like I’m in a Scottish cocoon. It’s a walking city, and no matter where you’re stood you’re facing something brilliant to look at. I felt very lucky to have wound up stranded here!
In need of a coffee and a sit down I took to the internet and soon found a great little place not far from the station. It’s called Fredericks Coffee House and is nestled on the first floor of a rickety old building. Loved this place, a really great find!
After recharging on caffeine and caramel, I checked in at the Edinburgh Regency Guesthouse and then walked back into town to explore.
This is the Box Office, here I picked up an Edinburgh Fringe pamphlet and started pouring over who was performing where & when. I think with something like the Fringe you definitely need to plan ahead, but I still managed to find something to see on the spur of the moment. I bought my tickets online with my iPhone and then got some dinner at The Red Squirrel.
Definitely recommend. The staff helped me work out directions to the show I was booked to see later and the food was reasonable, high standard pub grub. Just what I needed after a long journey.
More exploring came after dinner, but you’ll have to wait until the next blog post for that!