4 Days In Edinburgh: Day 3
So after a late night I woke to the sight of a half eaten kebab. I dragged myself into the shower in the hope of finding my 3rd or even 4th wind at this stage. The Pub Crawl the previous night was brilliant but my liver didn’t quiet appreciate my commitment to the cause when I went for the Scotch behind the bar! So here’s 4 Days In Edinburgh: Day 3!
I do love history. Mind you I was crap at it in school. But I do love taking in the history of cities and finding out some interesting facts you might not get in books or on the History channel. So with that I strolled up to the Royal Mile to join a free walking tour. They leave at 10am, 11am and 2pm daily if my memory is correct. The idea is that at the end of the tour you tip the guide what you think the tour was worth. Lads if you have about 2 and half hours to spare before lashing back into the pints I’d suggest doing it.
Our tour guide was a small little man by the name of Wray from Middlesborough. He visited Edinburgh and never left. After the previous 2 days I can see why. He brought us along the Royal Mile and explained all the history of the city, monuments, statues, government buildings, the castle and even a place where Hearts and Hibs Fans spit on before derby games. Honestly this is an actual place and do not walk over it. You could slip into a pile of phlegm.
Wray took us down the side streets, closes and regaled us of how the buildings became to be. He also told a story how the term ‘Shit-Faced’ came about. The people of Edinburgh late at night would empty there chamber pots from their windows. They’d let out a call for passers by. Gardyloo! Which meant mind the water. However, the Scots love to drink and a few guys would be walking home from the pub, not hear the call and end up with, well shit on their face.
Not sure if this is true but I thought it was a great story either way.
As we meandered through the closes and side streets Wray showed us a great little pub called the Jolly Judge. It’s a basement bar not far from the castle and it’s a brilliant place for pints and hot ports. Definitely worth checking out on your Edinburgh stag party lads. The guys working there are bang on too.
We then made are way past the castle, taking in views of Castle Rock and the history about who lived in there. We then made are way gingerly down some steps to Grassmarket. The drink from last night was still not out of my system, so I took the steps slowly. Grassmarket is a street lined with pubs. An ideal location for a pub crawl or a round of pub golf even.
Grassmarket is also the area where the gallows used to reside. The pub called the Last Drop was where the criminals of the time would have their last dinner and drink. To be fair it was a tasty pint in there. At night time this street is hopping lads. The sheer amount of pubs makes it so and if you’re looking for somewhere to watch the sport this is your go to area.
Only around the corner is a place called Greyfriars cemetary. It has close to 50,000 buried in it’s grounds. The Scots however treat it like a public park, have picnics there and even a kick around. Now I’m not a Harry Potter fan at all, but if you so happen to be you’ll love this area of the city.
This graveyard is located next to the school that inspired JK Rowling to create Hogwarts. The place looks exactly like the school in the movies, has 4 houses and all the school children wear the scarfs of their houses. The tombstones in this graveyard is also where JK Rowling got the inspiration for characters such as Prof MacGonagall, Sirius Black and Tom Riddle aka Voldemort. Thousands come to view that tombstone, take pictures and even some people right stuff on it telling Voldemort to not come back.
After the graveyard with heard the story of Grayfriars Bobby. A dog that guarded his owners grave for years after he passed away. They loved this dog so much he has his own shrine in the graveyard. He also got awarded a title in the city which actually allowed him to vote. This was years before women were allowed to vote. Crazy stuff.
The tour ended by the National Museum of Scotland. We tipped Wray accordingly as I thought it was one of the best tours I had been on in years. Seeing as we were at the Museum I decided to pop inside for a look. It’s free entry lads and if you have a free hour or so it’s well worth it.
The museum is packed full of pictures & art both new and old. Inventions from down through the years as well as an impressive dinosaur and animal display. It also has a modern area which is interactive and brilliant craic. You’ll feel like a big kid trust me. They even have Dolly the sheep, the first cloned sheep, in the museum. I really can’t do the place justice so here’s a sneak peak of what you’re in store for once you walk through the door.
I had certainly worked up a thirst so I popped back into the Jolly Judge to rest my legs, lash back more pints and hot ports. After a quick change back in the hostel I made my to Broughton Street down by the playhouse to enjoy some of the finer things in life. I enjoyed a bottle of red and a meat and cheese platter. I don’t care what ye think lads, it was savage.
After my fancy pitstop it was off for a late night walk around the dungeons and vaults that Edinburgh is famous for. Just make you aware lads that there are tours you can go on with actors. These actors will be hiding along the route and in the vaults waiting to scare the be-jesus out of you. So if that’s not your thing double check before going. That or bring a spare pair of trousers.
These vaults are creepy and it’s a strange feeling when you’re down there. You can hear the footsteps above but I won’t lie a part of you will be tense down there. Not one for those who suffer from claustrophobia. After the vaults it was back up onto the streets to settle in for another night of some great pints and live music. This city seems to have something happening every night. No chance of you getting bored lads!
This has been 4 Days In Edinburgh: Day 3! Join me on my final day in Edinburgh where I visited the Queens residence and set about spending every last bit of sterling I had to knock me out for the flight home.
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