Welcome to #TravelTuesday, a new series on Caroline Made This about anything travel related – from adventures to advice to all out awesome stories about traveling.
Last year, we traveled to Edinburgh, Scotland for a quick mini-moon after our wedding in Somerset, England. We spent 4 days exploring old castles, climbing rolling hills and of course, sharing some Scottish whiskey with friends. I want to keep each part of these Trip Reports as short and sweet (and maybe picture-filled) as I can, so you can easily pick out the major details.
This Part 3 in a series about our trip to Scotland. Stay tuned for more.
Edinburgh, Scotland – Trip Report Index
Part 3 – Edinburgh Castle & The Whiskey Tour
Our amazing flat we rented through Airbnb was a hop, skip and a jump away from Edinbugh Castle, so we coordinated with friends and decided to hit there first after we arrived and I got all jacked up on cold medicine. Woo!
Tickets are £16.00 each for adults, £9.60 for children. They have a “fast pass” option if you pre-pay your tickets online which means you don’t have to queue at the ticket office. We didn’t have any problem and just walked right up. Additionally, they offer an Explorer Pass which gets you into 78 historical properties in Scotland. Plus, it gets you 20% off the audio tour of Edinburgh Castle. We didn’t buy the Explorer Pass, but did get the audio tour, so it could work out well for your budget if you’re going to see more than a few properties in Scotland.
The history of Edinburgh Castle is incredible. But, I won’t lie.
I came for the views.
Since I had been here before, I was pretty well aware of the detailed history…and this scary looking wax figure.
Edinburgh Castle sits high on the “hill” overlooking the beautiful city and was a good way to intimidate anyone who wanted to conquer it.
You just can’t beat these views.
Give yourself at LEAST 3 hours in the castle. It can easily turn into a day if you want to explore every nook and cranny or giant artillery.
They offer multiple-day passes if your family enjoys history and you think you’ll be heading back for more.
An important note: The castle is busier than usual during the wonderful Military Tattoo. It’s an annual event every August and something to either avoid if you don’t want more crowds or go to if you love, love bag pipes. (raises hand.)
The Whiskey Tour
Remember how I mentioned I was sick? Perhaps not the smartest choice, but we went on The Scotch Whiskey Tour in Edinburgh. Hot Toddy anyone?
The Scotch Whisky Experience is located steps away from Edinburgh Castle. It would seem it’s a tourist trap of sorts because the gift shop (read: WALL OF WHISKEY FOR SALE) is displayed proudly in the front. But, what can I say? It was a great little whiskey tour and we did find out a lot of about scotch whiskey.
Side note: The Scots spell whisky without an ‘e’. It’s not incorrect, but it’s tough for me to adapt to. Sorry if I switch back and forth. Actually, just deal with it, we’re talking about yummy whiskey, okay?
We decided on The Gold Tour. They had us at: “A tasting tray of four Single Malts with tasting notes.” You can choose from various tours and times, but we thought this was our best bang for our quid.
See what I did there? (quid = pound, like buck = dollar)
You begin your tour by riding in a whiskey barrel. No, I’m not kidding. The whiskey barrel takes you around the history of Scotch Whisky in Scotland via an automated ride. Think: It’s a Small World, but with alcohol and no scary automated children. Basically, it’s way better.
When we finished up the quick ride, the employee who was letting me out of barrel asked me where I flew in from. I enthusiastically said, “England.” She looked quite confused, but smiled nonetheless.
I looked at my newbie hubby and said, “What the blimey was that about?”
He said, “Well, basically, you were sleeping in a whiskey barrel before she let you out, so she probably thought you flew in from the states today and were jetlagged…”
Did I mention I was really sick?
Moving onto drinking…
We went into the “Sense of Scotland” room and got a quick lesson about where each scotch whisky comes from Scotland and how the notes taste different depending on which region they are from. I FELL ASLEEP AGAIN. I swear it was awesome, I was just so sick. Don’t base going on this whiskey tour on my sad state of sickness. It’s a great tour!
Next, we went into THIS ROOM:
It’s the oldest and largest display of scotch whisky in the world.
And. it. is. glorious.
After that we had our flight, errrrr, tasting of whiskey. The water is given in case you want to put it in your whiskey. I didn’t use my H2O. I was feeling mighty good again! Thank God for good pals and their peer pressure ways.
Next up: Our trek up Arthur’s Seat (twice) and The Ghost Tour.
Until next time, travel pals!