As most of you know my heritage is pretty all over the place, but my place of birth is jolly old England! After visiting Ireland, I was so close to HOME, that I had to jump on a flight. 19 euros later and a not so bad Ryan Air flight I chose to land at Gatwick, why you may ask? Well, I always just rush home and see family, this time I wanted to explore a bit more and take my time.
Sameer flew over from Canada to meet me. Luckily our flights were only a couple hours apart so we weren’t waiting too long. Next stop, the Ace Hotel!
Our driver was waiting for us and off we went.
WOW! The Ace Hotel is pretty epic. It has everything you need; a gym, spa, bar, restaurant, and location! The hotel is located in the Shoreditch area of London. Yes I know, party central, but it is actually a pretty cool place. Loads of restaurants, bars, and shops, also super close to the overground station to get you into central London.
Sameer is always a deal hunter with our travel accommodations, actually what am I saying, he’s a deal hunter for everything. Yep I mean everything. So I tend to leave the hotels and flights to his discretion. His go to is Booking.com for the best hotel deals. We love it. Their site is super easy to use and gets you the best rate possible. Some of their last minute offers are often really cheap. So for all those jetsetters out there, get spontaneous.
Since this trip was kind of a last minute thought, we had to leave much of our research to Booking.com. It has customer reviews and even sort’s hotels by location score. It basically gives a score on what’s around the area. Super handy if you have no clue where you are going. Basically me all the time!!! Hey and because you know I like to hook you up use this link and receive $40 off your next stay… you can even save for later!
Some things that I would recommend in the area:
- AIDA Cafe – it’s a clothing shop with a cafe but they make a killer rose latte.
- Pizza Pilgram – basically across the street from the hotel, they make killer pizza, when you need that after bar snack
- Dishoom – if you love a little Indian, this place takes that to a whole notha level, Indian street food at its finest
Also, add a few places a little further away:
- British National Museum – see the world in a whole new light; definitely an interesting voyage. Did I mention it is free?
- Mr. Foggs’s Tavern – pretty cool pub, just check out their page!
- Notting Hill – a beautiful little town within the hustle of London, stop by on a weekend and they close the streets down for a market
3 days and 68k steps later, it was time to leave. On to the next adventure. Sameer and I booked a car from London. Yeah I know, a CAR! I know everyone has horror stories renting cars in Europe, especially if you are used to renting cars in Canada or the US. The rules and regulations are completely different, especially the insurance. We used Rentalcars.com, they are awesome, they basically search every rental agency in the area and break down what each one offers. So some offer insurance built into the cost and others screw you when you arrive. Canadians please note insurance is compulsory in the UK, so sometimes you might see a crazy good deal and you think your credit card will cover it. Not all the time! Hence my horror story from a few years ago. Saw a rental for $170 for a week, awesome right! Wrong! I got there and had to pay another $120 on insurance! Wasn’t expecting that.
But with Rentalcars.com, they break it all down. You know what you’re getting and whom you’re getting it from. Being able to search through all the local car hire agencies makes it so much easier to make a decision. Through Rentalcars.com, we opted for an SUV and rented with Avis. If you need a car hire in the near future, definitely consider Rentalcars.com
Now onto the tricky part… well at least for Sameer, driving on the wrong side of the road and wrong side of the car! AHHH!
With our car from Rentalcars.com in hand, we headed to the NORTH! (cue Game of Thrones fans!). Our destination was Edinburgh, but we had a couple stops along the way.
First stop, home. My gorgeous hometown of Leeds, where I was born and bred is about a 4 hour drive from London. After spending a few days at mi familia we set off for Edinburgh.
Now this is where things get beautiful, the drive to Edinburgh is absolutely gorgeous. With winding roads, endless hills, and so much greenery, the views definitely do not disappoint. Yorkshire is certainly an overlooked travel destination. I hope to change that!
After another 4 hour drive, we reached Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland. WOW! What a sight, so much history, not to mention the beautiful architecture. And ohh Edinburgh Castle, atop Castle Hill, is such a spectacle.
We stayed at the well-reviewed Waldorf Astoria, obviously reserved through Booking.com, because who else would we use. This former railway hotel has been home to so many for over a hundred years. We were super excited to stay because they just under went a 24 million pound renovation and boy does it show. WOW! Pro-tip, it is worth getting a room with a castle view, there is nothing like waking up to a castle lol.
The hotel is very close to a number of restaurants and shops as well as many attractions like: Old Town, Princess Street, Holyrood Palace, and obviously Edinburgh Castle. We highly recommend a stay here, book today using this link and receive $40 off your stay.
Pro-tip: get the hop on/hop off bus, this was a lifesaver, we didn’t need cabs and we got the added bonus of actually knowing what the buildings were and the history behind them.
Ohh the food scene, so many options, so little time! With only one night in Edinburgh we had to act quick. Scouring the streets to find the best eats was definitely a challenge only because so many places looked soooo good.
Here are a few great options:
- Forage & Chatter – great lunch spot
- Southern Cross Café – the patio is nice, and the coffee is awesome
- Three Sisters Bar – this is a cool spot for either pre or post dinner, most of the time they have live music
- Hula Juice Café – now this is great spot for breakfast/brunch, their smoothie bowls are to die for. Plus there menu is 70% vegan!
With only one night to spend in Edinburgh we didn’t even scratch the surface but we will most definitely be back.
All in all this was an awesome trip, we got to explore so many different places, and so many different environments.
If you guys have any questions or comments about our trip leave them below and we’ll get back to you!!!
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