Edinburgh Castle & Double Tree Hilton – REVIEW

Edinburgh Castle

Our hotel was conveniently located near Edinburgh Castle. It’s an attraction that used to be a part of Scotland’s rich history. We spent the entire day learning about the times of war, such as how people were put in prison, the kinds of tactics that were used in the war and how Scotland used to be ruled back in the day. Plenty of ground to cover!

Castle entrance

The various buildings of the castle were remarkable! Here’s a photo of the Great Hall where banquets were held… it was massive! I would love a party space like this in my house.

The Great Hall

We also got to see where the crown jewels were held in Scotland. After entering a snug room that could hold about 10 – 12 people, we saw the jewels! They were so polished that they glistened in glass display cases. From what I remember, there was a crown, a few scepters, and some jewelry as well.

Entrance to the crown jewels
One of many windows around the castle entrance

Throughout the castle they had various gift shops, that sold a variety of Scottish souvenirs and drinks. There was even a little cafe and a high tea restaurant, but we didn’t try these as it was a little bit pricey! It probably would have been a very highlighting experience for those with a bigger budget or who only had some time to explore the castle and not nearby places for dinner.

Amazing art and architecture
The view from the castle

We probably spent a good 3 – 4 hours at Edinburgh Castle, and learned so much about the deep wartime history of Scotland. I would recommend going here for a day of learning and sightseeing.

Hotel

Like I mentioned previously, our hotel was near the castle. We stayed at the Double Tree Hilton in downtown Edinburgh.

I have to give a special shout out to them because at both check-in and check-out the concierge would pull out fresh and warm chocolate cookies from their drawer to give to us as a treat. The cookies were chewy and super delicious!

The lobby

I didn’t take a photo of our room right away as we headed out ASAP to The Scotch Whisky Experience.

The room was very spacious and the beds were so comfy! I fell asleep quite fast each evening while being in Edinburgh for two nights. Our room had a smaller bathroom with a powerful shower head, and I learned that hotels in Europe have little bags on the side of the toilet for feminine products. I thought that was a really unique and a good way to keep things sanitary.

They also had a set of instant tea and coffee packets with shortbread and a kettle, as well as two bottles of complimentary water (sparkling and still) included in the refrigerator. There were also a set of comfy and fluffy robes for us to use to get cozy during the evenings!

They also had a continental breakfast offer for
£12, which was a pretty decent price as you could eat as much as you wanted. We didn’t end up going with this, but it was really nice to know that was an option.

I would recommend staying at the Double Tree Hilton if you’re looking to walk around a lot in Edinburgh. There is no parking available though, but they do give you a discount on parking in a parkade just a few minutes away from the hotel!

If you went to Edinburgh, where would you go? Let me know in the comments!

The Scotch Whisky Experience – Edinburgh (REVIEW)

I recently went traveling in Europe and our first stop was to Scotland. One of the places we went to was Edinburgh, a city full of rich architecture, history, and a lot of sights to take in!

It was very much an impromptu road trip. We had not researched Edinburgh much (and I am usually someone who researches reviews and everything before planning things) so we were definitely in for a surprise.

In my next few posts, I will share some of the places we went to so that you can see what Edinburgh has to offer!

The Scotch Whisky Experience

When checking out places to check out first while we still had a little bit of daylight left, we decided to head on over to The Scotch Whisky Experience to learn how whisky was made.

Going into a barrel ride…

Instead of a traditional walking tour of the facilities, we rode in a barrel ride that stopped at different areas of the attraction. Each stop had a short video of the different steps it takes to make whisky.

The barrel in front of us

Scratch and sniff!

After the ride, we watched a semi-IMAX experience like video to learn about the different types of whisky produced in Scotland, and even got a cool scratch ‘n’ sniff card that allowed us to smell the flavours of each region. There are five different regions: Highland, Islay, Speyside, Lowland and Campbeltown.

After the video, we headed into the tasting room where projectors made little circles appear on our tables. To select the whisky we wanted to sample, we had to place our cup on top of the colour of the region. Neat!

Into the whisky room…

They also had really cool holograms of whisky bottles projected in various areas of the room. It was really neat and reminded me of Harry Potter.

Afterwards, we were brought into their whisky room. There were lots of glass displays with tons of whisky bottles, it was quite colourful and felt like we were in a movie, looking at all of them… priced in the lows and highs!

Time to taste!

Did you know that every year, 2% of whisky evaporates from the bottle? They showed us one whisky bottle in the corner of the room that was unopened, but had no whisky in it. This is because whisky just fades away every year! So if you want to have your whisky, don’t leave it for too long!

When the tour was finished, we ended up in the cafe area where you could order more whisky or get a flight if you held a gold ticket.

I thought it was a pretty unique experience. I would have liked a more personal tour of the facilities, but this is not really a distillery, so they don’t actually make anything at this location. If you like whisky, or want to learn more about it and try something new, I recommend giving this attraction a try!

Have you ever had whisky before? Let me know in the comments!