Bring in the New Year in Edinburgh #blogmanay

Bring in the New Year in Edinburgh #blogmanay

It’s been a while since I’ve written about spending New Year in Edinburgh – mainly because we’re usually booked well in advance.  We’re all booked up again this year, so don’t delay if you’re looking to bring in 2016 in Edinburgh.

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Edinburgh’s Green Spaces #EdinHour

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.

green spaces gallery modern art

From the city centre, it’s also pleasant to walk by the Union Canal from Fountain Park.

A walk by the canal, Edinburgh

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:

Calton Hill

calton hill edinburgh

Holyrood Park

visiting holyrood park, edinburgh

Royal Botanic Garden

Glorious colours at the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh

Inverleith Park

Inverleith park

Princes Street Gardens

 Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh by 2edinburgh

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!

burns Monument edinburgh


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.

Getting ready for #Blogmanay

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.

EH14 Blogmanay Itinerary-FAW

winter in Edinburgh

How early should I book for Hogmanay and New Year in Edinburgh?

Fireworks on Calton Hill

Torchlight procession – Fireworks on Calton Hill


Having received an enquiry to book Craigwell Cottage for 2013/14 New Year celebrations this morning (on 12:12:12), I took the opportunity to look back over the last 6 years of bookings for guests bringing in the New Year in Edinburgh.  Our earliest booking came in a full 18 MONTHS before celebrating the New Year 2009/10 from guests who came from the Netherlands.  They were certainly well prepared to enjoy the celebrations.

We’ve welcomed guests to our little cottage from all over the world in the years since our first guests arrived from Belgium back in April 2007.  Our New Year guests have come from Germany, the Netherlands, Canada (via Bulgaria) and England (after Christmas in the USA).  Wonder where our next guests will come from?

The New Year celebrations in Edinburgh are certainly well established in the world’s great places to celebrate the start of a New Year, and we love the fact that the celebrations can be enjoyed by people of all ages.  The Torchlight Procession is a firm favourite with our family, and we’re looking forward to trying out the new route this year from the National Museum of Scotland down over North Bridge and up onto Calton Hill.  We’d also like to make it to the “Big Bang”  street theatre on the 1st of January 2013 – although as always when the family is involved, we’ll have to wait till the last minute to see how the plans for the day work out.

This year, we’re also very excited to be attending a Blogmanay Tweet-up at Skyscanner HQ with Kash (@Budget Traveller) and many other travel bloggers who are coming to find out why so many people choose to celebrate New Year in Edinburgh.

If you’re planning to visit Edinburgh for Hogmanay and New Year celebrations, we’d be very pleased to welcome you to our little Edinburgh city centre cottage, and we’ll even teach you a New Year toast: “Lang may yer lum reek”!

Weekend breaks in Edinburgh – Edinburgh Farmers’ Market

A weekend break visit to Edinburgh Farmers' Market

Edinburgh Farmers' Market

Some of our guests come to Edinburgh to have a break from everyday routine, and like to eat out while they’re here.  Others arrive keen to find out more about the wonderful Scottish produce on offer here, and are delighted to find that if they’re here on a Saturday morning they can head to the Edinburgh Farmers’ Market to stock up on goodies for their stay.  We’ve got a reasonably well-equipped kitchen in Craigwell Cottage, and think that most keen cooks would find it possible to rustle up a feast there.

We really are lucky that in recent years the Edinburgh Farmers’ Market has settled to a regular Saturday morning slot at Castle Terrace, and as Edinburgh residents who live within walking distance of the Market we make forays there as often as we can to stock up.  If you’re resident at Craigwell Cottage, then walk to the top of the Royal Mile then take a left at the mini-roundabout by the Hub and go down Johnston Terrace where you’ll see the Farmers’ Market to your right on Castle Terrace.

We like to buy fresh seafood from one of the seafood stalls, follow it up with a purchase of meat from one of the many different producers, some fresh vegetables, bread and maybe some cheese and oatcakes or something sweet for dessert.  There is also an opportunity to stock up on preserves, oils and soaps – all of which might be a great souvenir or gift to take home from your weekend break in Edinburgh.

If you can’t bear to wait to get there for the surprise of which producers will be in attendance on any given day, then our top tip is to follow Edinburgh Farmers’ Market on Facebook where they regularly post the ‘running order’ for each market and keep us updated with news.

You’ll find some recipe books in our book case if you need inspiration or want to make up a shopping list before you go to the market, but if you’re in any doubt remember to ask the stallholders – often they’ll give you recipe leaflets or provide you with inspiration on how to prepare the delights you’ve purchased.  Or for an easy evening meal, smoked salmon, dressed crab, fresh salads, a wide variety of pies, oatcakes, cheese or baked goods will give you a fabulous repast for little effort.

Let us know what you enjoyed buying and cooking on your stay, by leaving a comment below, or letting us know via the Craigwell Cottage Facebook page.  Happy shopping!


Things to do in Edinburgh – August Bank Holiday weekend

Taking a city break in Edinburgh for the August Bank Holiday weekend means that you’ll have plenty of activities to choose from, with our top attractions like Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh Zoo, Royal Yacht Britannia and the Royal Mile. But if you’d like to try a host of different activities, we’ve put together a little list to suggest some different ideas for you.

Ten things to do in Edinburgh – 26 – 29 August 2011

  1. Visit the Elizabeth Blackadder Exhibition at the National Gallery of Scotland.
  2. Go to a show at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe
  3. The Edinburgh International Book Festival is staging its final events of the year this weekend
  4. Find a haven of peace in the city by visiting the Royal Botanic Garden
  5. Have fun at the Free Fringe on the Royal Mile or Mound Precinct
  6. Go for afternoon tea – the Signet Library is only open from 5 – 29 August for a very elegant Champagne Afternoon Tea
  7. Visit the Camera Obscura
  8. Go underground and find out about Edinburgh’s Old Town life at Mary King’s Close
  9. Climb a hill – we’re right between Arthur’s Seat and Calton Hill
  10. Debate the future of the web at Edinburgh Tech Festival.

We’d love to welcome you to Edinburgh!

St Andrew’s Day 2010 – a winter wish

It’s still snowing outside as I write this post, but it’s been a lovely day with the schools closed because of the severe weather. However buses were running, so we got out and about and made a little video for you to wish you a Happy St Andrews Day and to say hello from Scotland for all the expats who pine for home on days like this. Come and visit soon – we know a lovely little cottage where you can stay right in the centre of the capital city.