Fort William isn’t your typical destination, but we we’re really into the idea of visiting the highlands to squeeze in some good hiking. We were originally going to summit Ben Nevis, then realized we didn’t have the proper gear – and although we could have rented it on the cheap, the trail was insanely busy (and clouds hovered over the summit all morning) so we opted for a self guided hike through the highlands, instead.
Spice Tandoori – They’ll make you feel extremely uncomfortable if you don’t order papadums or a starter, but laugh it off. The main courses are delicious and the view of the loch isn’t all that bad.
Cobb Cafe – Vegan options available, but the kicker for me was that they were the only cafe (in town) that had soy milk for my morning coffee.
Morrisons Supermarket – Great for premade salads, baguettes, trail mix, raw fruit/nut bars, etc. We visited nearly every day so I could get my fill of leafy greens.
Grog and Gruel – We went here every night. Great atmosphere, good food, and even better brews.
I cannot recommend our B&B as I booked it over the phone and it turned out to be a bit outdated (and one of the furthest from the town center), but there are a handful of charming (on the outside, at least) B&Bs at the end of High Street. No need to prebook.
I fell in love with Edinburgh. In fact, it’s my favorite of the places we visited in Great Britain. It’s an incredibly charming and cozy town – and if you can get over the fact it was built on a hill (meaning you spend a lot of time walking up steep inclines), I think you’ll find it charming, too. We didn’t wander into New Town too much, but that was fine because Old Town did it for me. There’s loads of greenspace, quaint cafes on every corner, and a variety of entertainment for the masses. I’d plan for 5-6 nights in the area – we only had 3 and I felt like we could have used a couple more.
The Edinburgh Larder – This cafe is small and cozy, situated just off the Royal Mile. They have delicious coffee, homemade baked goods, and super healthy, whole grain salads available.
Cafe Gurkha – Oh man, this is the Indian food of my dreams. The vegetable curry was so good we went back for dinner the next day.
Spoon – If I had to pick a favorite breakfast cafe, Spoon would be it. I had porridge swirled with jammy strawberries and Thom had the vegetarian haggis. Both were delicious and filling.
Circus Bistro – Lots of vegetarian and vegan breakfast/lunch options.
Viva Mexico – I didn’t particularly care for my tacos, but if you can do the whole cheese + sour cream thing, you’ll be golden. Be warned: it costs a fortune.
Black Medicine Coffee Co. – Strong coffee and simple, takeaway eats.
Brew Dog – A local brewery with Colorado beers on tap. I was digging the low key vibes and could have hung around all day.
Roseleaf – Booze comes in quirky tea pots. Need I say more?
Arthur’s Seat – An incredibly quick climb, with a steep incline. We made the summit in 30 minutes but didn’t get to reap the usual benefits of the climb, as the fog was wildly thick that morning.
City of the Dead Tour – Terrifyingly disturbing. And cold, so bring a jacket.
Wander. For real, just walk aimlessly around the city. Leave early in the morning before the locals rise and explore Edinburgh at its finest hour.
We stayed at a sunny flat on Cockburn Street – and I highly recommend you do, too. The apartment was airy and comfortable, and I thoroughly enjoyed spending my mornings sitting at the kitchen window and watching as the city came to life. It was the perfect location – literally 1 minute (up the nearest close) to the Royal Mile, 5 minutes to the train station, and 10-15 minutes to Arthur’s Seat. Mind you, Thom and I are incredibly fast walkers so it may be longer for some.