Beyond the Tourist Sites: Pretending to Be a Local: Edinburgh, UK

You have a day to wander Edinburgh. Perhaps you have been there before or you just don’t fancy riding around on a red tourist bus being lectured on history. Perhaps you just want to chill and go local for the day. If so, consider this your mini guide on how to wile away a day in a non-touristy way in Edinburgh.

Chilling in Prince’s Park:

If you have been to Edinburgh before you are sure to know Prince’s Park. Located in the shadow of the castle on Reagents Street, the park is a great place to stop for a spell and appreciate the day. Its free to enter and anyone is welcome. In the summer it is a great scenic haunt to catch the sun’s rays or grab an ice cream in. In the winter, it’s a nice place to meander on its snowy walkways taking in the views of the snow dusted castle. No matter the weather, its just the spot for a sit down while you take in the city.

Check out the Charity Shops:

It is doubtful that tourist websites or leaflets will even mention this little secret. But if you are into good old thrift store haunting, then you will find a plethora of high quality charity shops in Edinburgh. From Shelter to PDSA to Cancer Research charity shops, you will have a wonderful opportunity to do some treasure hunting in Scotland’s capital. Who knows? You might find some of the Queen’s old crowns for sale.

Go Botanical:

Heading away from the main thoroughfare, a keen adventurer like yourself will discover the Royal Botanic Garden of Edinburgh. For a small fee, you will be ushered into a paradise of plants spanning numerous gardens and sublime buildings. A personal favourite is the lily pads as big as boats. (Though I suspect they wouldn’t get your very far on a boat trip). Its an amazing way to spend a few hours, as you find yourself wandering through different habitats and parts of the world all based on their flora. Make sure to bring a camera along because this is a great bunch of captive still life models.

Grab tea and cake in a cozy teahouse:

No, I am not talking about Starbucks. Support local businesses. There are loads of little cafes and teahouses dotted down the streets near the university just over the Royal Mile. These are the haunts of students and locals rather then camera toting tourists. Pick the one that appeals to you most and head in for a warm cuppa brought to you with the teapot. And for the sweet teeth among you, all these little teahouses have a selection of sinful cookies and cakes.

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