This past weekend, Paddy and I were lucky enough to be able to go up to Scotland to stay with my twin brother, who lives in Edinburgh, for a mini break away. We stayed in the centre of Edinburgh (literally the Royal Mile was around the corner) for 3 nights and explored all around the city. 

[BE WARNED: THERE ARE A LOT OF PICTURES!] :)

We saw a lot of Old Town on our first day - the University of Edinburgh - which is beauuuutiful and makes me wonder why I didn't consider it when I was applying - and its grounds, Grassmarket - which is full of the cutest little boutiques - the famous Edinburgh Castle, and the Royal Mile. We visited some Christmas shops which I went to last time I visited the city, and bought a couple of decorations for our family tree, as well as stopping for hot chocolates along the way. It. Was. FREEZING. Genuinely, it was in minus numbers. I really love the Royal Mile, as it has so many interesting places to stop and explore along the way, like museums (I've been to the Museum of Childhood before, as well as the Museum of Edinburgh, worth a visit), individual shops and pubs; you really should check out the pubs there if you're after a very cosy atmosphere! For dinner, we went to Clerk's Bar, which is a really nice bar/restaurant with American-style food; I had the 'Sloppy Jessica' which is a sandwich filled with beef chilli and mac & cheese! It was amazing but soooo filling.

Our second day started on the Royal Mile, where we had breakfast at the Filling Station. This was a good recommendation from my brother; they serve full breakfasts, pancakes, waffles, eggs...so good! I had the scotch pancakes with strawberries and cream, and an oreo milkshake, yuuuuum. The rest of the day was more spent in New Town, across the bridge. Paddy and I had a wander up Princes Street and popped into Jenners, which is a huuuuge department store. It was all decorated for Christmas and was so lovely! We stopped for a drink there while we looked out over the Christmas market and lights. So magical! We carried on down the street before doing a loop and going back up through Princes Street Gardens. They're beautiful, with amazing views of the castle, and I can really imagine they're lovely in the summer for picnics. We then went to the Christmas market, and it was INCREDIBLE. The lights were magical, the stalls had the most gorgeous and delicious looking items...we even went on the huge ferris wheel which I'm so glad we did! I had a small bout of anxiety at first, but when you see the view...the entire city was lit up and it was just something else. I highly recommend! We also made sure (at my request) that we visited the Christmas tree maze, which is essentially my idea of heaven. If you're not Christmassy after that, I don't know what's going on! We had dinner at Vittoria, an Italian restaurant in Old Town. It's a little pricey, but the food is very good and there's a lot of choice. The waiters were really sweet and friendly too, and it's a lovely atmosphere, very family friendly if that's what you're looking for.

On our last day, we had a morning walk around the Meadows, which are also gorgeous and very popular for students - which really made me miss Southampton Common, as I used to go there with friends in the summer when I was at uni! We walked up to get breakfast at the Elephant House Cafe, famous as J K Rowling wrote some of the Harry Potter books in there. The food was delicious - no joke, one of the best pain au chocolats I've ever had - and the staff were really friendly. Lastly, we killed some time before our train by going to the National Museum of Scotland, which was actually really interesting, and covers all sorts from natural history to technology to culture...I'd go again if I had more time.

Honestly, if you're looking for a Christmas break, I really would recommend Edinburgh! It's got the winter weather (which adds to the atmosphere), the beautiful markets, great food and drink, and it's fairly cheap!