St. Giles, Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh: Old Town Love

Alex finally managed to get out of Edinburgh this morning around 10AM, which left me with my first day of solo sightseeing. I started by hitting up a few shops on Princes Street (H&M, TopShop, the normal haunts) to pick up some warmer clothing for my trip. Seeing as how I only had clothing intended for the Mediterranean warmth, my wardrobe is a bit limited. Afterwards, I grabbed my luggage from the Royal British Hotel, where Alex & I stayed for two nights, and moved them over to a hotel in the Old Town where I’ll be staying for the remainder of my journey. I was actually a bit sad to be moving out of my Royal British Hotel residence — the people were great and the rooms were surprisingly comfortable for the price. Though the New Town really isn’t that new, there is a stark contrast between Edinburgh Old Town and New Town. After crossing the bridge, I felt like I’d fallen through a rabbit hole into Old World Scotland: narrow streets, cobblestone roads and kilt makers galore. The architecture is absolutely stunning and the shops are perfectly quaint.

Old Town Edinburgh, ScotlandOld Town Edinburgh, Scotland

Despite not having internet, my hotel in Old Town is way better than I expected. The room is incredibly spacious, the bathroom is practically as big as my entire room in London (not sure that’s saying much) and the view is a great reminder that I’m Scotland over the holidays.


After walking down the main thoroughfare, the Royal Mile, I stumbled across St. Giles Cathedral and a statue of Adam Smith. The Cathedral was absolutely gorgeous and admission was free so I was able to pop in and take a quick look around.

St. Giles, Edinburgh, ScotlandSt. Giles, Edinburgh, ScotlandSt. Giles, Edinburgh, ScotlandSt. Giles, Edinburgh, Scotland

I grabbed some tour information and am working on planning out the next three days of my adventure. I’m looking at exploring Rosslyn Chapel first thing in the morning  and then Edinburgh Castle in the afternoon. After that, I’m heading to the Lyceum Theatre to check out Peter Pan for its 7PM showing. I’m so excited to see all the history in the town — it’s truly an amazing city and the Old Town is jam-packed with history in every nook and cranny. Thus far, I would say that Edinburgh is the most inspiring city I have seen. Just stepping outside and looking around is breathtaking. The history is palpable and the buildings are incredible. Plus, the pride Scots take in their country is pretty exciting; so many fun Scottish stores and proud, haggis-eating Scotsmen.

I’m still hoping to do a trip to the Highlands & Loch Ness on Tuesday and I’m leaving Wednesday open to leave a little bit of room for spontaneity. Despite the fact that my bones are frozen, I’m loving this town! Hoping to catch the town’s famed Ghost Tour tonight at 930PM. Edinburgh is supposed to be the most haunted town in the world… hoping I can make it through without too many nightmares.

Lots of love,

More about Shannon Kircher

Shannon Kircher is the founder and editor of The Wanderlust Effect. Founded in 2009, she has continued to document her international escapes as an expat in Europe and the Caribbean. Additionally, Shannon is the founder of Compass & Vine, a luxury boutique travel design firm, and is the Director of Marketing for the Frangipani Beach Resort. Shannon holds an MSc in Social Policy and Development from the London School of Economics and is a current candidate for WSET Level 3 in Wines & Spirits.