Top picks for a visit to Edinburgh, Scotland

Tour the Edinburgh Castle

Step back in time via the historic Edinburgh Castle that commands attention and respect from high on top of Castle Rock. Overlooking the city, this fortress has all the amenities a great castle experience should have, including a Royal Palace, a Great Hall, the Stone of Destiny, Crown Jewels, cavernous stone vaults that once held prisoners of war, a chapel that is Edinburgh’s oldest building, the Scottish National War Memorial, and a Regimental Museum. Make sure to catch to one o’clock cannon firing.

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Wander the halls of the Palace of Holyroodhouse

This is the official residence of Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom, when she comes to town. While you can’t see the private suites that she uses, you can take a tour that includes the Throne Room, the Morning Drawing Room, the Great Gallery, the chambers that belonged to the ill-fated Mary, Queen of Scots, and the moody ruins of Holyrood Abbey.

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Sip cocktails at The Dome

The Dome was first built as the headquarters of the Commercial Bank of Scotland in 1847. Now it is a number of social venues, including a posh place to have afternoon drinks.

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Dine above the National Museum of Scotland

After you have sated your hunger for history in the National Museum of Scotland, head up to the Tower Restaurant on the top floor of the building for a posh dining experience.

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Pretend you’re a guest on the Royal Yacht Britannia

Step aboard Her Majesty’s former yacht and see how the royals spent their time and entertained dignitaries. They say it took about three hours just to set the table in the State Dining Room!

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Swoon over sticky toffee pudding

I’m not a fan of the smoky Scotch Whiskys, but add one to the sauce in a classic sticky toffee pudding and my heart will sing. Wedgwood The Restaurant does it best with Caol Ila!

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Explore the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

Plan to spend at least half a day exploring this cultural icon’s 22 themed galleries that hold more than 8,000 objects. Perhaps, like me, you will find the red sandstone building just as fascinating as the art.

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Sample Scotch whiskys at the Balmoral Hotel

My husband was speechless at this hotel when faced with more than 400 different bottles of Scotch whisky in their whisky bar.

Whisky tasting room at Balmoral Hotel, Edinburgh, Scotland

Watch the weaving of tartan plaids

Nothing says Scotland like a tartan plaid fabric, so while you’re strolling the Royal Mile, visit the Tartan Weaving Mill to see working looms.

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Fuel up with fish and chips or bangers and mash

For those times when you feel like a good craft beer and classic pub grub, Edinburgh offers so many places to pick from!

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Buzz with sugar at Patisserie Valerie

Get your afternoon sweet on at this delightful cafe chain. The menu includes cakes, pasteries, continental breakfasts, lunches, teas and coffees.

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Walk the walk around town

Wear comfortable shoes because Edinburgh is a very walkable city. We found leisurely strolls a great way to balance out all the fine meals and desserts we had been eating during our vacation.

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About Kristine K. Stevens

Book Cover200Kristine is the author of "If Your Dream Doesn't Scare You, It Isn't Big Enough: A Solo Journey Around the World." This nonfiction book tells the story of how she sold her house, quit her job and traveled around the world.

Kirkus Book Review: "... Stevens makes a friendly, relatable narrator ... plenty of colorful stories to make this an enjoyable, inspiring read... An often sweet memoir about finding oneself in many different places."


Next travel book to spotlight Iceland

25817249396_f6c787ef9f_z Kristine broke free from a desk job once again, and this time ended up volunteering in the far corners of Iceland!

Details about the release of this book will be posted on Facebook.