Edinburgh is beautiful all year round. It really is. There’s the spring cherry blossom along Middle Meadow Walk, the hustle and bustle of the summer’s festival season, and the golden riot of autumnal leaves in Princes Street gardens… Even in the depths of the dreaded Scottish winter, there is beauty to be found. Waking up to a snow day will always be exciting, and heavy snow in central Edinburgh is quite rare. It often snows on the hills, or on the outskirts, but this particular day was a complete white-out. And I knew I had to get out with my camera and capture the best of it….
The National Museum of Scotland
First stop? The National Museum of Scotland on Chambers Street, which happens to be one of the most impressive buildings in Edinburgh. And the best part? On a snowy day, chances are you’ll have the view to yourself…
“A snow day literally and figuratively falls from the sky unbidden, and seems like a thing of wonder.” – Susan Orlean
If you walk up Chambers Street, you’ll reach the statue of Greyfriars Bobby, one of Edinburgh’s most famous residents and beyond it, Greyfriars Kirkyard. The kirkyard (or graveyard) is one of the city’s most popular tourist hotspots owing to its connections with Bobby and, lately, its associations with Harry Potter (but more on that another day!) On a snowy day, though, you’ll likely find it deserted – making it the perfect time to explore.
We wandered around until our fingers were frozen, and we couldn’t feel our toes anymore. Which, in my book, usually means it’s time for lunch.
We popped into The Outsider on George IV Bridge (a two-minute walk from Greyfriars) – it’s one of my favourite restaurants in the city and they have an excellent lunch menu. Plus, if you’re lucky, you might just get the holy grail of all Edinburgh restaurant views… I practically skipped to the table when the waiter showed us in. I would definitely recommend calling ahead to see if you can reserve this table, it really is the best seat in the house. Just look at that view!
After that, we took a stroll through the Grassmarket and up towards ‘The Vennel’ – one of Edinburgh’s most Instagrammable viewpoints. In every city there are some classic photo spots that everyone wants to capture, and this is certainly one of Edinburgh’s most popular (of course, I couldn’t resist snapping away either!) The vennel affords one of the best views of Edinburgh Castle, and during peak tourist season it is often crowded with people. On a winter’s day though, you might just have it to yourself…
“If ever there is a day where we can’t be together, keep me in your heart. I’ll stay there forever.” – A. A. Milne
Having utterly frozen my hands by making heart snowballs (as one does) we called it a day and wandered home through the snowy streets as the evening drew in. Have you been to Edinburgh in the winter? It’s a great time to explore the city without the crowds!