15 Aug 2014

Journey :: #VisitScotland Pt 1

Oh HI!  Hello.  Good day to you.  The past few days, weeks (months?  I'm losing track) have been a blur.  I'm working for Social Sheffield in my spare time again and a lot of other opportunities have started to make their way to me as well.  Naturally I keep trying to say yes to all of them, so I end up with no time and a messy brain.  I even had to buy a filofax last week in an attempt to keep tabs on everything!  Tis a challenge but I'm enjoying it.

Today's blog post is the first of four about Edinburgh and the Isle of Skye in Scotland.  A few weeks back I discovered an email from Visit Scotland in my inbox.  The tourism bigwigs for Scotland.  GUYS!!!  They invited me to go on a short press trip to Skye as part of their #HomeComing2014 campaign.  They organised my travel and accommodation and gave me plenty of suggestions for stuff to see and do whilst up there - in return I had the utterly pain staking task of going on a short holiday in Skye.

As is always the way with travel however, there were a few mishaps on the journey up there meaning my first night was spent in the grand city of Edinburgh.

Not complaining!
I love travelling and seeing new places.  I know this is already common knowledge but I really do love it.  It makes me feel calm, happy and content.  I have needed some sort of holiday for a while now to refocus and recharge.  Travel is good for you!

Here's some of the stuff I packed:


This camera case is technically from Peugeot UK, if you search #RandomActsOfJoy on Twitter you'll see they're doing a lovely joy-spreading online campaign.  I was lucky enough to be picked and they sent me an Amazon gift voucher - with which I purchased this beautiful camera case.  Thank you Peugeot!



These bad boys are a gift from Zeal Media & Inntravel.  Inntravel specialise in walking holidays and as part of publicising their Switerland holiday packages, Zeal Media sent me a #MySwissKit.  Pretty good timing as one of the things I really wanted to do in Skye was a walk!  Kitted out for it, literally!  They gave me a rucksack, a flask, a Swiss army knife and some chocolates just because.  Many thanks guys!  (They actually set aside a second #MySwissKit, which is part of giveaway you can enter by following this link)

Once these and all my computing gadgets and chargers were bundled into a bag, I made for Doncaster station to catch the first of three trains up to Inverness!  Did feel a bit like a hobbit starting a voyage to mordor, only without the orcs and impending doom (and the hairy feet).

However, once I was en route to Edinburgh I learned that heavy rain and flooding had caused all trains to Inverness to be cancelled.  A few phone calls here and there with Calum the PR guy, and I'd been booked into a guesthouse in Edinburgh for the night instead.  The thing I love about travel is the fact that you have no control over anything, you're forced to go with the flow!


I last visited Edinburgh when I was about 15 years old.  It's a really welcoming city.  The colour of the brickwork and the way the city is laid out makes me feel like I'm in a Scottish cocoon.  It's a walking city, and no matter where you're stood you're facing something brilliant to look at.  I felt very lucky to have wound up stranded here!


In need of a coffee and a sit down I took to the internet and soon found a great little place not far from the station.  It's called Fredericks Coffee House and is nestled on the first floor of a rickety old building.  Loved this place, a really great find!





After recharging on caffeine and caramel, I checked in at the Edinburgh Regency Guesthouse and then walked back into town to explore.







This is the Box Office, here I picked up an Edinburgh Fringe pamphlet and started pouring over who was performing where & when.  I think with something like the Fringe you definitely need to plan ahead, but I still managed to find something to see on the spur of the moment.  I bought my tickets online with my iPhone and then got some dinner at The Red Squirrel.




Definitely recommend.  The staff helped me work out directions to the show I was booked to see later and the food was reasonable, high standard pub grub.  Just what I needed after a long journey.

More exploring came after dinner, but you'll have to wait until the next blog post for that!

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