When I travel I am usually on a tight budget and seek out the sights/attractions/activities that are within that budget or even better, free! I know that this is the case for a lot of other travelers and free is a word that appeals to everyone, so I put together this list of the best free things I have done in Edinburgh so far.
Hairy Coo Highlands Tour
People weren't lying when they said Scottish weather is miserable. The last few weeks I have had a bad case of cabin fever. It's either raining, snowing or just too damn cold to go outside. I've been able to go out for a few hours at a time before it gets dark (at 3.30PM may I add, still not used to that) to see the best of what Edinburgh has to offer which included a graveyard.
This weekend Will and I got up early (in fact the earliest we have been up in months) and headed for The Highlands! A friend recommended a tour company called Hairy Coo as they do a free day tour of The Highlands. Too good to be true right? Not in this case, the goodness was aaaaall real. You secure your place online and just turn up on the day - no payment in advance. Hairy Coo work on the philosophy that you pay what you think the tour is worth which pushes them to provide the best tour possible. So the tour works on a tips basis where you pay as little or as much as you like at the end. I cannot recommend this tour highly enough. If you are only in Edinburgh for a few days and want to see a bit more of Scotland, this is the perfect way.
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Each time Will and I move to a new city we do it the same way - no house, no job. Now, don't get me wrong it is incredibly exciting. We both love doing things this way and it does always work out. However, after the novelty of a new city wears off and reality sets in you're left in this weird area of limbo. Three weeks in Edinburgh and limbo has hit - hard. I can't go out and enjoy myself because life costs money and with no job I feel guilt with every swipe of my card watching my bank account drop. During this time my self esteem joins my bank account in the action of dropping. I know I shouldn't take every rejection from a job personally, but I do - bastards. I kid mostly, I'm not that negative about it. But setting yourself up in a new city each year is a strange thing. Leaving the life that you've worked towards familiarizing, to throw yourself in the deep end and start from scratch. It is the gypsy life I chose though and one that I ultimately love.
Some of you may have seen the photos I posted on Facebook and Instagram of the hike Willem and I made up to Arthur’s Seat this week. A little something you should know about me is when I was young I was extremely lazy. Physical activity and the outdoors did not interest me in the slightest. There was no way you would get me climbing any kind of hill. Willem can testify that I am an extremely stubborn woman – the poor guy. So for me to be out and about loving nature as much as I do now, it’s kind of a miracle.
I have been in Edinburgh for just over a week now and already my time has been filled with ups and downs. We trained from Banbury two days after Christmas. Yes, we are idiots. We didn’t have seats for a good three hours, we spent that time cramped with other disgruntled travelers in the small section between carriages. It could of been worse though and we got to Edinburgh eventually. As soon as I exited Waverley Train Station and was in the middle of the Christmas Market I was in love. Edinburgh is such a beautiful city. The bright lights, carnival rides and the sound of bag pipes filling the air. But you know the way the universe works, every high is followed with a low. So we hopped in a black taxi, feeling good and filled with hopes, dreams and all that jazz. As it happens we chose the stupidest possible time to move to Edinburgh. We moved the week of a little thing called New Years Eve – ever heard of it? Well Edinburgh does New Years big time with a festival called Hogmanay. This means that accommodation prices are ridiculous and all reasonably priced places are booked out months in advance so the only place we could find was a wee way out of the city. We told the taxi driver where we were staying which was Sighthill to which she replied “why are you staying out there?” As soon as we got to our accommodation I knew that it was the low I had been waiting for. The house was down a quiet, dark street, well away from the city. I had booked it through Air BNB but for the place we were staying it was the first time they had ever used Air BNB so didn’t really know what they needed to provide for two people to stay. I’ll give you a little hint – you need to provide two pillows. We got inside and were shown to our room which looked fine until I noticed the one single pillow. I asked if there were any others and the host got confused and said no. The place was also filthy and smelt like burning Chinese food but that’s neither here nor there. Let’s get back to Edinburgh itself shall we!
A writer, explorer, and music enthusiast. This site is where I share my thoughts, aspirations, adventures, and mishaps.