As a regular host for the Twitter Chat, #ScotlandHour since mid-2011, it was a pleasure to be invited to share the excitement of the opening of one of the features of Edinburgh’s Christmas and New Year celebrations this year. The Virgin Money Street of Light Read more
We like to participate in the Edinburgh-centric Edinburgh Hour on Twitter – it’s a good way to connect with others around the city and find out more about what’s going on. If you’re thinking about visiting Edinburgh, it can be a good opportunity to find out more about local businesses and places to visit or events. There’s a schedule for each month’s chat, and a theme with questions to keep the conversations flowing. All you need to join in is to tag your Tweets #EdinHour.
In March 2014, the theme is Green Edinburgh, and we’ve been taking a look at some of our favourite green spaces in preparation for the chat.
Q1. Of Edinburgh’s many miles of traffic-free paths, which one’s best for a great day out, or just getting to work?
We like the Water of Leith Walkway, particularly the section between Stockbridge and the Gallery of Modern Art.
From the city centre, it’s also pleasant to walk by the Union Canal from Fountain Park.
Q2. How do you or your organisation reduce, reuse or recycle, what green measures have you taken?
We have a green policy for Craigwell Cottage, and Sandcastle Cottage in Crail. We help guests by providing re-cycling facilities in the cottage as there is no collection from our historic building.
Q3. Which of Edinburgh’s 145 parks and many green spaces do you love for relaxing, frisbee throwing or finding a quiet corner to read?
We’ve chosen 5 which we’d recommend to our guests visiting Edinburgh:
Royal Botanic Garden
Princes Street Gardens
Q4. Which environmental projects, big or small, have enhanced Edinburgh and what issues do we need to address in the future?
We were happy that the Twelve Monuments Project included repairing the Burns’ Monument on Regent Road as it sits above the garden of Nether Craigwell and we didn’t want it to fall down!
We’re eager to see the High School Yards Steps off the Cowgate repaired as they provide a speedy route from the Cowgate up to The Dovecot Studios and the Stag Espresso Café there. We also like the projects which take care of things like restoring street lights.
Guests at Craigwell Cottage have left some wonderful stories in our guest book about the places they enjoyed visiting whilst staying at our city centre cottage.
This very busy family packed a lot in to their week-long trip to Edinburgh in July.
- Edinburgh Castle to hear the One O’Clock Gun
- Princes Street Gardens
- Museum of Childhood
- National Museum of Scotland
- Edinburgh Zoo
- Cinema – Omni Centre
- Open Top Bus Tour
- Royal Botanic Garden
- Climb Salisbury Crags
- Camera Obscura
- Watch Fudge being made
- Have caricatures drawn (on the Royal Mile)
During their stay they found plenty of family-friendly restaurants and pubs
- Foodies in Holyrood Road
- Gusto in George Street
- Lunch at Edinburgh Castle
- The Filling Station, Royal Mile
- Greyfriar’s Bobby Bar, Candlemaker Row
- Jimmy Chung’s buffet, Waverley Bridge
- Frankie and Benny’s at the Omni Centre, Greenside Place
- Zanzero (now Café Moderne), Stockbridge
- Pancho Villas, Royal Mile
Our guests were: A family group
Month of Stay: July
Travelled from: UK
If you’d like to book a weekly stay in Craigwell Cottage, hop over to 2edinburgh.co.uk to find out how.
Stock up on the best local produce at the regular Farmers’ Market in Edinburgh
With Edinburgh Farmers’ Market on every Saturday throughout the year, our weekend break guests are in for a treat when they stay at Craigwell Cottage. It’s a great place to sample the best of local food and drink, and meet some of the producers to find out more.
You can get to Edinburgh Farmers’ Market by walking up the Royal Mile until you reach the Hub (the HQ of Edinburgh Festival at the start of Castlehill). Then take Johnston Terrace on your left and continue down until you see Castle Terrace on your right. You will have walked beneath the south wall of Edinburgh Castle on your route. You can return there for a visit after you have had breakfast or lunch at the Farmers’ Market.
Even if you don’t feel like rustling up a meal while in residence at Craigwell Cottage, you can graze on prime local food at the market itself – breakfast on delicious baked goods, lunch on take-away prime Scottish buffalo burgers or pork rolls, or open up some dressed crab and eat straight from the shell, as we saw some visitors do at this morning’s market.
Scotland has an abundant larder of top quality food, and you’ll find a wide variety on offer each week at the Farmers’ Market. Check their Facebook page to find out who’ll be there each week.
We enjoyed making a quick lunch by following Andrew Fairlie’s recipe for Cullen Skink (buy smoked haddock and leeks at the market), with bread rolls – there will be lots of different types to choose from. You can find out which bakers will be there on the website too.
We hope that you enjoy sampling the best local food and drink at the market. If you go along during your stay, do let us know what you’ve enjoyed and if you have any particular favourites.
When asked to provide “Tip from the Locals” for an accommodation website writing about things to do in Edinburgh in January, I thought long and hard about what to recommend. Ideas sprang to mind, like the Turner Watercolours Exhibition, galleries, cafés to visit, museums and more. Lots of indoor ideas as January can be a chilly month in the city. But then my thoughts turned to the types of visitors we’ve had over the years at Craigwell Cottage, and I thought about the Australians and New Zealanders who come to visit Scotland at that time of year to escape the hot summers in their country, or to come “home” to discover the land of their parent’s or more distant relatives birth.
We’ll be welcoming lots of visitors to Scotland in 2014 who are coming to Scotland for many different reasons, but our January visitors tend to already have a link to the country and want to make connections to places where their ancestors have lived, or to find out more about vital links in their more distant past. For this reason, my insider tip relates to Scotland’s People Centre – the combination of Register House and New Register House, which stand at the east end of Princes Street. Outside there is a statue of the Duke of Wellington on his horse.
Inside, you can attend one of the familiarisation sessions to get you started on researching your family history, or if you have already started to build your family tree, you can access original documents which your ancestors have been required to submit when recording births, deaths and marriages. You can do all sorts of research on-line with Scotland’s People records, but for me there is nothing quite like the feeling of seeing an original signature in the records and realising that the person in question actually touched and wrote on that paper.
My “insider tip” is that to the rear of Register House, accessed via path from the front of New Register House, there is a very special secret garden. The garden is planted with more than 50 varieties of plants which have a story to tell and a relationship with Scotland. The Archivist’s Garden is free to enter while the offices are open, and it’s well worth a visit as it’s a tranquil place amongst the hustle and bustle of the city centre. Even on a December day when I visited there were sculptural forms of plants to enjoy.
We’d love to welcome you to Edinburgh in January – find out more about our family-friendly holiday home: Craigwell Cottage. If you visit the Archivist’s Garden on your trip, let us know in the comments below.
Over the last week, Edinburgh’s been getting all sparkly and ready to celebrate the festive season. I’m excited because I’ve discovered a night-time hand-held setting on my camera, which means I might even be able to share some pretty pics with you to entice you to spend a few days with us in the remaining weeks of the year. If, like us, you’re looking for a way to boost your blogging activity during this fabulous winter season, then take a look at the link below to find details of how you can join in the #Blogmanay project. A chance for small businesses like ours to participate in the excitement of welcoming guests to Edinburgh.
This month’s #ScotlandHourTwitter chat is about the Great Indoors: Visitor Attractions & Museums – and of course, a Hallowe’en special.
As the weather turned wild and windy on Sunday during our weekend walk through Inverleith Park after a trip to the Royal Botanic Gardens, we thought “The Great Indoors” was indeed a good theme!
Ideas for the great indoors if you’re heading for a short break in Edinburgh:
- Within a mile of Craigwell Cottage, there are so many visitor attractions you can walk to. In our research for #ScotlandHour, we took a look at the ASVA Website which has a list of Scottish Visitor Attractions which you can search by location. There were more than 20 within a mile of EH8 8DR (our postcode).
- As the seasons change, there are fabulous opportunities to take advantage of sunny spells in the weather for walks around the city. The Royal Botanic Gardens has several cafés on-site, which means you can pop indoors, or steam gently in the giant glasshouses while sheltering from the elements.
- Find a pub with a cosy fire and enjoy being indoors after your bracing walk. We found at warm fire and a warm welcome at the Blue Goose Country Pub (opposite the Water of Leith Visitor Centre). We’re on the lookout for more to recommend.
- Sample some real hot chocolate at The Cocoa Tree in Bruntsfield.
- Spend a day exploring the National Galleries on the mound and have refreshments at The Scottish Café – a whole day and no need to go outdoors as you walk between the Scottish National Gallery and The Royal Scottish Academy via the Hawthornden Link.
What are your favourite recommendations for visitors to spend time indoors in Edinburgh?
We’re experimenting with QR codes to help you find out more about our cottage.
Thanks for looking in our window!
Craigwell Cottage is available for holiday rental, and we’d love to have you stay with us when you need accommodation for 3 nights or more right in the heart of Edinburgh.
You can find out more by visiting our website: http://2edinburgh.co.uk – or check in via Facebook Places – you’ll find our page here on Facebook. Or send us a tweet and say hello: http://www.twitter.com/2edinburgh
Every so often, when there’s a gap in our bookings, I look back over reviews from past guests for inspiration and reminders of just how much there is to do in Edinburgh. When guests leave us, they’re always offered the opportunity to place a review of our cottage on our listing at TripAdvisor via the advert which we place on their holiday homes site, FlipKey.
Here’s a sample of a review from a recent guest:
“A special cottage; probably the best equipped accommodation that we’ve ever stayed in. So close to everything that matters in Edinburgh, the location could not be bettered. If you have energy, inclination and a sunny day climb Arthur’s Seat; the views are spectacular.” -from guests who stayed with us in May 2011
Do you write reviews when you go to stay at a holiday cottage? I’d love to hear what would stop you from writing a review.