The Solo Project #11 - Edinburgh

Solo edinburgh day trip
man playing bagpipes in edinburgh

If you’ve seen my Instagram recently, you’ll probably have noticed that I visited Edinburgh. A lot of people said to me that it’s a bloody long way to go for an afternoon, but in reality, when you’re exploring somewhere by yourself, you get through things so much faster and you end up seeing as much as you would in a day. I also didn’t want to risk it being absolutely crap weather as it’s a long time to spend dodging puddles by yourself too!

view over Edinburgh

My journey started in Leeds, and I went over to York before jumping on the train to Edinburgh. It took about two and a half hours from York to Edinburgh and what I hadn’t anticipated is that the train goes through some of the most beautiful countryside and right up the coast, so the journey in itself kept me entertained.

I had a bit of a checklist of things I wanted to see whilst I was there, but my first stop once I got off the train was H&M as oh hello there home section. I managed to walk myself out the shop before I bought absolutely everything in sight as dear Lord they do metallics so damn well in there. I also spotted that they were stocking the infamous tassel earrings in multiple colours but you have to be a certain level of cool kid to pull those off and quite frankly, that’s not me. Sob.

I headed to the old town which is where the Royal Mile, castle and everything else is in Edinburgh, and my first stop was the library. Yeah, I know, I’m wild. I was imagining scenes from Beauty and the Beast, but in reality, I wandered around an exhibition about a ship that sailed to the arctic circle and left it at that. Next up was the Scottish Museum, which is absolutely massive and seems to have a bit of everything in it. I must admit, I was a bit disappointed by the museum as it was so hard to navigate. The animal section was a bit like a dead zoo and it grouped them randomly, so rather than by species or habitat, it was by characteristic, so the rhino was with a triceratops etc. All in all, bit of a weird experience, though I’m sure history buffs would be loving life in there. I only went because I thought they had dinosaurs.

After I left the museum, I got my HP nerd on and went to find the Elephant House, which is a cafe where JK Rowling wrote some of the Harry Potter books. I ended up seeing it from the outside as there was a wait for a table, and then headed to the graveyard opposite to see the graves which inspired some of the names. No joke, there was a tour going on of the graveyard, pointing them out, so I tagged along after that so that I didn’t have to look at every gravestone to find Voldemort. If you’re a Harry Potter fan, I’d recommend going for a wander around here, especially as the streets around the cafe and graveyard inspired Diagon Alley too.

elephant house edinburgh

voldemort's grave edinburgh

I stopped for lunch in Pizza Express and as I’d already done all of my planned activities for the afternoon, regrouped and spent the duration Googling things to do in Edinburgh. My friend Hayley recommended going to the Camera Obscura, which is a museum/experience full of illusions. The Camera Obscura itself is a Victorian piece of equipment which uses light and mirrors to reflect what’s going on in the street onto a screen inside and for the first time, I found use in my Physics A Level as I actually understood how it works. After a short talk about how it works, there are five floors full of optical illusions, light tricks, a mirror maze and so much more. I’d definitely recommend a visit, especially if you have kids as there’s loads in there and it’s all interactive.

camera obscura edinburgh

After my trip to the Obscura, it was time to head back to the station and get my train back to York and then to Leeds. It may have taken over three hours each way to get to Edinburgh and back in a day but in my opinion it was 100% worth it.  


  1. I'd quite happily go all that way just for an afternoon as I bloody love Edinburgh! It's such a stunning city and I think you're 100% right in saying you get through things so much faster when you are on your own. Glad you had a lovely day, I had so much fun in the obscura.


  2. Aw love this. You did so much!
    Edinburgh is still on my list to revisit. I haven't been since I was 10
    I think I'd definitely stay over though.. really don't know how to manned it!


  3. I love Edinburgh! Though we were only there for the day when we went we felt like we saw loads in our time - including a Harry Potter tour that pointed out all the graves you mentioned, cake at the Elephant House - and the kids LOVED Camera Obscura!