Christmas Yule Blog: Edinburgh 2021

by Craig WILLIS

It’s been a pretty quiet year over here at Ronin HQ this year. With various events either cancelled or postponed, there hasn’t been too much too report. So this years Christmas yule blog is going to be slightly different. Whilst continuing the tradition of the Christmas blog not really being related to Christmas, this one also has a little less to do with anything two wheeled and a bit more to do with travel.

Now, for everyone this year, travel has been difficult and still continues to be an issue at the time of posting. However, one place I did get to visit this year was Edinburgh, Scotland. My first journey of the year that wasn’t just a trip to the local supermarket.

So, without further ado please enjoy this years Christmas yule blog, which all being well, will also be available as an audio podcast. Just search Two Wheeled Ronin wherever you listen to podcasts.

This would be my third trip to Edinburgh and i’m sure it won’t be my last. There is something truly remarkable about this city and so much to keep an adventurer busy. I could go on and on about all the things I love about this amazing place but rather than write an entire novel, lets just stick to my top five highlights from my last visit.

But just before I get into the top five, an honourable mention to the Wolf Burger at Bread Meats Bread. This award winning burger is probably this best burger i’ve ever eaten. It’s the restaurants signature bacon cheese burger, with a ton of pulled pork and fortunately doesn’t contain any actual wolf!

No. 1 – Edinburgh Castle

Photo by Craig WILLIS

Every direction you walk in Edinburgh is uphill and nowhere is this more evident than when making your way to Edinburgh Castle. To be honest, I almost didn’t include the castle on this list as it’s just such an obvious place to visit. It’s almost a given that if you come to Edinburgh, you are going to visit the castle. Despite it being such a tourist trap, it’s still one of favourite places to go to and up there as one of my favourite castles. The views of the city below alone are worth the entry fee.

No. 2 – Princes Street Gardens

Photo by Craig WILLIS

One of the main shopping streets in Edinburgh is Princes Street and probably one of the busiest streets for tourists. So my recommendation would be to take the shortcut through the Princes Street gardens. Actually, it’s less of a shortcut and more of a scenic route. At one end you have the Royal Scottish Academy and at the other, Ross fountain, and in-between a wonderfully kept public garden, open for everyone to enjoy.

No. 3 – Whisky tour at the Glenkinchee Distillery

Photo by Craig WILLIS

Usually, I prefer my whiskey spelt with an E. A lovely Kentucky bourbon is my go to spirit. But as they say, when in Rome…

Venturing a little further out of the city centre, I visited the Glenkinchee Distillery. You might not recognise the name but they are one of the four distilleries in Scotland that produce Johnny Walker whiskies. They have a fantastic tour of the distillery that included lots of interesting facts about the history of whisky, the factory itself and, the best bit, a tasting of just a few of the whiskies they produce there. For the vintage bicycles fans, they also have a penny farthing up on the wall.

No. 4 – Two Wheels at the National museum of Scotland

Photo by Craig WILLIS

Speaking of two wheels, obviously I couldn’t write a Christmas special without mentioning something about vintage bicycles and motorcycles. So imagine my surprise when I visited the National Museum of Scotland to find a literal wall of two wheeled treasures. From an 1888 Rover bicycle to a 1964 Honda CB92 Benly motorcycle there is literally something for every kind of two wheeled enthusiast. There is so much to see and do in this museum, so if you are planning to visit make sure to set aside a good few hours to get around the whole place.

No. 5 – Haggis at The Scotch Malt Whisky Society

The final evening was something very special. A friend of mine and resident of Scotland, arranged a table for us at The Scotch Malt Whisky Society. A members club on Queens Street, right in the centre of town. Based in a refurbished Georgian townhouse, with its brown leather seats and whisky aromas, I did feel like I was in a PG Wodehouse story or something. As for the food, a trip to Scotland wouldn’t be complete without a traditional meal of haggis with neeps and tatties, all washed down with a lovely glass of whisky. It was the perfect way to end the trip.

So there we have it folks, my top five highlights of my recent trip to Edinburgh.

I hope you enjoyed reading/listening and a big thank you to everyone hopes helped and supported me this year. I hope to be back in the new year with more articles, pictures and general, two wheeled fun.

Until then, stay safe, happy holiday and see you in 2022!

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