48 Hours in Edinburgh .

notes from a first time traveller .

Edinburgh City is jam packed with things to see and do.

As a first timer visiting for only a short time it can be a bit overwhelming.

Where to start ?

Read on to find out


Fortunately the train stops smack bang in the middle of the the city

4 - 5 hours from Londons Kings Cross.

First class advance tickets worked out excellent value as we were feed and watered non stop all the way from London - all included in ticket price.


Edinburgh New Town crescent of houses  iron railings lead to front doors , Juliette Balconies
A crescent of houses - Edinburgh New Town

Getting about

Everywhere is easily reached and walkable in the City .

Wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to climb lots of steps .

Edinburgh has two distinct areas -

Old and New, don’t be fooled by the names as both are full of historic buildings .

I recommend consulting a map to familiarise yourself with the different areas of the City before setting out to explore .

We brought this guidebook which had an insert old school map


which was invaluable.

Things to do

Galleries, Gardens, Shops, Historic Places and an abundance of to eat and drink !

Pub Culture is thriving here, look out for the ones offering live music .

Our pre planning lead us to downloading the app for

this a walking trail to cover the first day and to orientate us.

Free to download -


Hop over to -

https://edinburgh.org for more inspiration on places to see in Edinburgh .


The Royal Mile - St Giles Cathedral - bang opposite our apartment -

Magnificent stained glass windows.

Free entry .


The Milkman Coffee Shop


A pain au chocolate par excellence paired with a great coffee.

An Instagram Favourite.


Gladstones Land

This ancient house gives a glimpse into life in the city from 16 -1900's .

The Museum is set over three floors from the six of the house covering the lives and times of the residents alongside the changing fortunes of this part of the City.

From wealthy Merchants House, Edwardian Shop, and finally to Working Class Boarding House all are replicated to a very high standard.

Entrance fee payable .

Free - National Trust Members

Start point of the free walking trail - Old Town to the New Town - 1.2 miles.


Beware as it could take longer than you think to walk the route, it’s very photogenic.

Princes Street Gardens is along the route with the Scott Monument, dedicated to a Author Sir Walter Scott.

Usually visitors can purchase tickets to climb the steps for magnificent views but the monument is currently closed. Check the link below for updates https://www.visitscotland.com/info/see-do/scott-monument-p254951

Rose Street - New Town

The Black Cat Pub


Friendly pub - large selection of whiskies and craft beers. We indulged ourselves with scrumpcious cheese and onion toasties with home made soup .

Live folk music .


Dean Village Edinburgh

Next we headed over to the historic Dean Village.

An experience not to be missed, chocolate box pretty houses in a conversation area.


West Bow - Victoria Street

La Barantine

Cake Break

Curved , Colourful and Cobbled Victoria Street is one of the prettiest in Edinburgh. Lots of interesting independent shops to explore, including a kilt makers and a Harry Potter shop https://museumcontext.com

We couldn’t resist a Coffee and eclair at the local favourite https://www.labarantine.com

The Dome Restaurant

New Town - George Street

The Dome Restaurant


Recommended by a local couple as a Christmas Essential .

Food is excellent and Christmas Decorating is taken VERY seriously.

Booking Advisable .



Scottish National Gallery

Old Town - Cockburn Street




Great freshly home cooked wholesome food, in a cosy, friendly cafe.

Scottish National Gallery

Unmissable masterpieces by Botticelli, Raphael, Rembrant, Gainsborough, Constable and Turner.

If you love Old Masters this is a must.

Photographers this is a your dream location.

Free entry.


The Royal Residence of Holyrood Palace

A treat for history buffs and art lovers. The Palace has an impressive amount of rooms open to the public .

The free audio guide really made all the difference bringing the rooms "alive" with stories and pointing out details we would otherwise of missed. Most notable were the tales of Mary Queen of Scots.

The gift shop is well stocked with tasteful souvenirs.

Entry fees apply .


The Register Club - Cheval Grand Hotel

Afternoon Tea

After all that walking a rest for afternoon tea.

Sinking into the luxurious leather sofas we

devoured the treats layer by layer and lost an afternoon to indulgence .

The Register Club is like an exclusive private club, the original panelled walls have an air of old school elegance .


Grey Friars Bobby


Bobby is on guard next to the famous graveyard, Grey Friars Kirkyard.

JK Rowling took names for her Harry Potter Characters from the headstones in the graveyard.

Harry Potter Guided Walks are available which cover all the must see places .

Or plan your own tour of the sights -



We stayed at fabulous and newly refurbished https://www.chevalcollection.com/cheval-old-town-chambers/

Serviced Apartments.

There is lots of this type of accommodation in the city.

Guests can enjoy free wifi, laundry service, and a concierge.

There was a free welcome hamper which included local cheese and pickles and a bottle of fizz .

We ate dinner on our first night at the in-house restaurant which is also open to the public.

The Old Town Chambers accommodation is similar to a hotel but typically with more living space and fully fitted kitchen .

The apartment we found to be comfortable , clean and stylish.

A home from home.

But with amazing Edinburgh Views to wake up to and everything we could wish for literally on our door step.

Writinh  Old fashioned Postcards from Edinburgh Scotland
Postcard Writing

We choose this location in the middle of on the Royal Mile as it is slightly quieter than the New Town at night.

The Royal Mile stretches from Edinburgh Castle to the Palace of Holyrood.

Opposite is St Giles Cathedral and next door is the popular tourist attraction - Mary King's Close .

Other nearby attractions include National Museum of Scotland (0.2 miles), Bow Quarter and Camera Obscura and World of Illusions.

Have you been inspired to visit Edinburgh ?

The City has so much to offer 52 weeks of the year - vibrant nightlife , excellent food , culture and shopping. Festival and the Festive Season are inevitably the most popular times to visit, but I would urge you to consider choosing outside of these times away from the crowds .

For more information on the city visit


Red brick Hotel Building. Cadogan Hotel Chelsea. Famous for the arrest of Oscar Wilde
The Belmond Cadogan Hotel Chelsea

Chelsea maybe synonymous for a football club, the Kings Road, Punks & Sloane Rangers but not necessarily holidays! It's a well kept secret that Chelsea has a collection of stylish boutique hotels that have been quietly looking after their guests for many years.

I was recently invited to stay at The Grand Dame of them all - The Cadogan Hotel on Sloane Street . Incredibly there has been a hotel operating from the site since construction was completed in 1887 . Currently it is run by the Belmond Group . You may know the name from the Orient Express.

21 Pont Street . Building shown looking up at Blue Plaque for Lillie Langtry .
Lillie Langtry English Heritage Blue Plaque

The history of the building is easily spotted .The Pont Street side has an English Heritage Blue Plaque declaring that Lillie Langtry, the Kings Mistress lived at No 21 between 1852 and 1929.

After her apartments were sold to the hotel she made a cheeky agreement to keep residence and grandly courted the King from here.

Lillie's front door is a side entrance which leads to a stunning hallway featuring original floral mosaic floor tiles and 130 year old wood panelling .

Oscar Wilde was a regular at the hotel and was famously arrested here in 1895, inspiring the poet John Betjeman to write the poem "The Arrest of Oscar Wilde". You can even stay in Oscar's room - 118 - which is now part of the Royal Suite.

With another nod to local literary connections the lift lobby now has a bronze feature wall of 600 books .

The attention to detail in the hotel is impeccable, completed by a curated selection of books in each guest bedroom from the nearby John Sandoe Bookshop.

Other notable residents were many of the Super Models of the 1990's who stayed here secretly away from the press who had absolutely no idea they were there !

Welcome to The Belmond Hotel

I was welcomed to my room with a card and cake and was very pleased to find I had a balcony sat in one of the pretty turrets allowing me to watch life passing by along the stylish street below.

The hotel has recently been refurbished and the standard of my room reflected this. All rooms are themed around the artworks dotted about the hotel and decorated in restful tones.

My room had a walk-in dressing area with more space than my small over night bag could handle.

The bedroom area was completed with a small lounge and TV that I didn’t have time to switch on - the street view was far more interesting to watch .

An unexpected feature was a cute windowside nook with stylish desk and some very interesting books - including ‘How to be Invisible’ by Kate Bush .

I was spoilt for choice between the freestanding bathtub, complete with TV or the walk in shower in the glamorous marbled bathroom. I choose a shower for the evening and bath in the morning. I ditched my toiletries in favour of those provided by Bamford - so pure and vey indulgent .

We kicked off our stay with an afternoon tea picnic in the private Cadogan Place Gardens

(residents have full access to the gardens) .

Adam Handling provided an abundant afternoon tea picnic - the scones rated highly .

Royal Florist Simon Lycett adorned the picnic with beautiful roses and Lay London the prettiest tableware. The embroidered napkin for each guest was gifted as a lovely keepsake from The Embroidered Napkin Company.

English Afternoon Tea Picnic in gardens with picnic basket , cream tea , scones , English Roses and pretty tablecloth .
Belmond Cadogan Hotel Afternoon Tea Picnic

After the picnic Simon walked us back to the hotel pointing out interesting features of the garden, including the Queen's favourite species of tree - Liquid Amber .

Then we began a Floral Workshop. Simon has a wealth of experience and knowledge which he freely shared, alongside fascinating stories from his career . One of his favourite commissions was for the Memorial Service at St Pauls Cathedral for Jim Henson - The Muppets creator.

We created a seasonal arrangement using British flowers from Essex and Hampshire brought at the London Flower Market that morning.

My arrangement I made which was thoughtfully delivered to my room filling it with a delightfully fresh Summer scent .

Simon Lycett Books

Simon kindly gifted us a copies of his latest books The Flower Market and People of The Flower Market.

One covers a whole year of flowers month by month from the market with ideas to make your own arrangements. The other a year in life of the market through the eyes of the traders.

Both books showcase life with flowers from an entirely different viewpoint than I’ve ever considered before and are beautifully photographed by Michelle Garrett.

You can watch Simon Reading extracts from the books here


The books are available from Simon

directly with special discounted offer


Night View from my room at the Cadogan Hotel

In the evening we met in the bar and had a very late dinner in the Adam Handling Restaurant.

I am sorry to say I did not manage to eat much as it was very late and I was full from the afternoon tea !

I ate just one course, a pasta dish which I can report was very good.

A big feature of the stay was the emphasis on sleep. The Hotel offers complimentary sleep concierge service in conjunction with local sleep expert Malminder Gill. This included an email prior to our stay for us to choose pillows, a sleep mediation via the hotels app, bedtime tea service and lavender sleep mist spray.

The perfect end to a busy day.

Roof top terrace London Hotel Breakfast . Belmond Cadogan Hotel
Breakfast on the terrace Belmond Cadogan Hotel London

The following morning we ate our breakfast on the terrace, watching the bustle of London before us as we chatted and read the newspapers.

Cadogan Estate Chelsea London Red Brick Mansion Blocks
Red Brick Mansion Blocks of Cadogan Estate Chelsea

After breakfast I managed a quick wander to soak up the atmosphere of Pavillion Road, situated next to the hotel .

Recently converted into shops the area was an old stable mews. Crammed with independent food outlets, it is extremely pretty and bursting with life.

London Skyline Pavilion Road Chelsea
Shops of Pavilion Road Chelsea

Why a Chelsea Staycation ?

Chelsea is an ideal choice for a Family or Friends Weekend Away, Romantic Getaway , Special Birthday Trip or any other Celebration .

Close to Museums of South Kensington, Knightsbridge & The West End for Shopping . Theatre Land and The Royal Parks for walks and seasonal outdoor concerts.

Useful links

Find out more about the New Covent Garden Flower Market , it's history, future, and how to visit https://www.newcoventgardenmarket.com/redevelopment

Read Simon Lycett Blog https://www.simonlycett.co.uk/blog

The Belomond Hotel Grouphttps://www.belmond.com

Adam Handling https://www.adamhandling.co.uk/private-events/

Pavilion Road https://pavilionroad.co.uk/shops-%26-restaurants

Malminder Gil https://www.hypnotherapy-directory.org.uk/hypnotherapists/malminder-gill

Cadogan Hall https://cadoganhall.com

Lay London https://laylondon.com

The Embroidered Napkin Company https://theembroiderednapkincompany.co.uk

NB - I stayed at the Belmond Cadogan Hotel in exchange for social media coverage on Instagram.

I was under no obligation to write a blogpost .

All view points are my own .

The first of a series of postcards from day trips around the UK.

Seagull St Ives Cornwall
Parading St Ives

Cornwall is an intriguing county of rugged coastline and ancient fishing ports.

The beauty of Cornwall attracts artists, surfers, walkers, and holiday makers from all over the world.

Falmouth Harbour Boats in Cornwall
Falmouth Harbour Cornwall

We made our base in harbour town of Falmouth.

From here we walked the coastal path, indulged in fish and chips, Cornish ice cream and Pasties. We wandered around the shops and afterwards sat soaking up the atmosphere and views whilst drinking cider seated outside the Harbourside Pub.

Point to note - the shops closed at 5pm and most restaurants needed to be pre booked .

Falmouth beach Cornwall

We drove from Falmouth to explore St Ives and Barbara Hepworth's House.

Traditional Houses of St Ives Cornwall surrounded by  cobbled streets
Love Lane - St Ives

Cottages in cobbled streets of St Ives Cornwall
Cobbled streets - St Ives

Seagulls in St Ives Cornwall on the beach with fishing boats
St Ives Locals

Tate Gallery St Ives
The magnificent Tate Gallery over looks the sea

Places to eat St Ives  Bakery Cornwall
Stopping off at Ives Bakery

Interior of Barbara Hepworth House St Ives
Barbara Hepworth's House

Barbara Hepworth Studio St Ives Cornwall
Exploring the Garden Studio

Barbara Hepworth Studio
Looking into the studio

Barbara Hepworth House Garden St Ives Cornwall
Barbara Hepworth's Garden View

St Ives Beach Cornwall
St Ives Beach

This town has so much to offer, ancient cobbled streets, Independent Shops , Art Exhibitions and a beautiful beach for surfing and strolling .

As the Summer Months can get very busy you may prefer to consider a trip outside of this time.

We also visited Leech Pottery which I will cover in a separate post. I plan to write a series in this format of

postcards from days out in the UK to share with you. I think we will all be needing inspiration with the current situation still limiting travel .

Further links to explore

https://www.visitcornwall.com/st-ives https://www.tate.org.uk/visit/tate-st-ives



Shops in the historic high street in the conservation area of Deal, Kent . UK
Conservation Area Deal - Kent

If you enjoyed this post you may like to read my guide to the seaside town of Deal in Kent.



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