Highland ‘Coos’ and Deep Fried Mars Bars – 24 Hours in Edinburgh

Hello lovely people, here’s a surprise  – original non academic related material just for you! I’ve finished my second year of university this week so can’t wait to give my blog a little TLC for a while. So here you go: I ran a Twitter Poll a couple of weeks ago asking what people most wanted my next post to be about – and 75% of votes wanted to hear about mine and Josh’s recent weekend away in Edinburgh! It would be rude not to comply… But just before I get into reviewing our 24 hours in Edinburgh, I had a jam packed few days prior to this that I couldn’t leave without mentioning. (Feel free to skip this section if you wish).

Thursday 18th May was Loughborough’s annual Academic Awards and only a few days prior I had received an email informing me that I had been nominated and shortlisted for my work this year as a Programme Rep for my English course. I was completely elated and in a state of shock for a few days after, then realisation hit that I had to go to the awards ceremony. Fortunately my friend Livv was also nominated for her role on committee and our Department Chair, Kit, was also up for an award too.

I’d never been to such a posh event at Loughborough and we were seated with our Lecturers from English and served a three course meal which was delivered at points through the ceremony. I had such an incredible night, one of my best at university so far. Although both me and Livv missed out in our categories, we were over the moon that Kit received the recognition that she undoubtedly deserved for all her hard work this year!To top off the night we found out that the English and Drama department had come 5th out of 17 in department of the year (an even greater achievement as we possibly came 17th last year!)!! I couldn’t have been more proud of my little but fierce department and all the achievements we have celebrated this year ❤ ❤ ❤

Loughborough Academic Awards Shakespeare Ball

Now for a little fashion interlude. I wore the Boutique Aliza Lace Double Layer Skater Dress in Rose to the LAA’s from Boohoo Boutique – I dropped incredibly lucky as it’s no longer available in Rose and, at the current time of writing, there’s actually only one Navy dress left! Its not clear in the image above, but as the description states, the dress was made of two layers of lace, one much shorter one which just came down over the bust giving it a figuring enhancing shape.

In addition, the under-layer came in two sections, from neckline to waist and then from hip to hem which meant that the waistband was merely one layer of lace to enhance your waist which showed against the rose fabric. I kept referring to the hem as a ‘mullet’ as it was knee length at the front then calf length at the back! I adored this dress as it was a little different from what I’d usually wear and it was surprisingly comfortable so despite the amount of standing ovations and trips to the stage throughout the night, I left looking as fresh as when I got dressed (first time for everything)

The second outfit here was from the following day (don’t know how celebrities do one event after another each day!) was my Lace Cold Shoulder Dress from Oasis which I wore to the Shakespeare Society Summer Ball and, I’m not going beat about the bush here, it’s quite possible my ultimate dream dress. No exaggeration! I tend to favour the vintage classy lace look when it comes to evening dresses and have long had a love affair with pastels and baby blue. The scalloped hem gave me a seashell feel for the ball as this years theme was ‘The Tempest’ and the silk underskirt is just the right balance between figure hugging and still loose enough to feel like you can’t move all night! However the open shoulders Oasis have added to update this classic were what ultimately cemented my love. I’m very self conscious of my upper arms and bust but the neckline and ‘cold shoulder’ details left me feeling so confident and I certainly celebrated the end of term by dancing all night!


On reflection I should probably have done a separate post about the LAA’s and Shakespeare Ball, but as I only had these photos I felt it would be best to embed it into this post. Well done for persevering until this point – now onto Edinburgh!!

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The Scottish capital was somewhere I’d had on my must visit list for a couple of years now, however it’s not a particularly easy place to access from the East Midlands! I’d never been further north than the Lake District and had always planned on visiting the Edinburgh Fringe Festival at some stage and then exploring the city when there. However when I discovered that LSU Trips were running an overnight trip up to Scotland on a weekend where Josh was visiting, I threw my revision out of the window and booked us onto the trip. Only slight issue was the fact we had to be on the coach at 7am after a night out at the Shakespeare Ball so I wasn’t feeling particularly fresh for the 8 hour coach journey :))))

We arrived in Edinburgh after a couple of food stops at around 3ish and immediately dropped our stuff off at the hostel we were staying in, which was conveniently called ‘The Hostel: Edinburgh’ which was just opposite Haymarket train station and only a 20 minute walk into the centre of Edinburgh. I hadn’t stayed in a youth hostel since I went on a Geography field trip for my A Levels and that had been with a group of friends, so I was initially a little nervous about sharing a room with a bunch of strangers. Looking back now, its something I would definitely do again as the staff were incredibly friendly, the rooms were secure and clean and it was perfectly suitable for the student budget.

We left the hostel and walked along the main high street in the New Town area of Edinburgh from which we had gorgeous views of Edinburgh Castle towering above us on the right and also a fantastic view of Calton Hill peeking over the horizon. I’ll be very honest here, the weather was atrocious when we arrived and as we crossed over the bridge to the Old Town and The Royal Mile it begun to hail. We had to run for cover into an American diner restaurant called The Filling Station which in hindsight wasn’t the worst decision we’d ever had! I got quite upset about the fact that the trip I’d planned was going to be ruined by the weather but fortunately by the time we’d finished eating, The Royal Mile was basking in beautiful sunshine! Apparently its just unpredictable Scottish weather!

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We had the remainder of the afternoon to wander and explore the city. I’d read a couple of  travel blogs about the city and the top picks of where you should visit, but once we arrived I discounted this information in favour of exploring unaided to see what jewels we could uncover. We did have to take a visit to the Scotch Whisky Experience however as Josh had specified it was one of his conditions after the 8 hour coach journey. The gift shop had whisky older than both of us and price tags that would cover my annual rent :O We picked up souvenirs, just with significantly cheaper price tags!

We made our way down the remainder of the Royal Mile, stopping to look into local markets, to watch street artists, to have a well deserved drink and – of course – to try the much speculated about Scottish classic, The Deep Fried Mars Bar. Despite not looking particularly appetizing and potentially taking a few years off my life expectancy, it was absolutely gorgeous

In the evening, we trekked up to the top of Calton Hill from where we had stunning 360 degree views of the city as the sun went down. You could never have guessed from the photos that we’d had to duck into a restaurant to avoid a hailstorm several hours earlier. Despite my initial pessimistic outlook and upset earlier in the day due to my perfectionist tendencies, our first day was actually better than I could ever have expected.

We had Shanghai noodles for tea in what we thought was a little Chinese takeaway but it turned out to have a gorgeous rooftop restaurant and we had a beautiful view over the New Town as the sun set. Went for a drink with the rest of the group in a little pub opposite the hostel and then fell straight asleep – 8 hour coach trips do wonders for a good nights sleep. Even though we were sharing a room with sixteen others on Triple-Decker bunk-beds (I’m short, but wanted the top bunk – apparently it was funny to watch), I slept through everyone coming in and out of the room at night.

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The next day we had to check out of the hostel by 10am and the coach dropped us off at the base of Edinburgh Castle for another day of exploring. The uni had offered us an optional extra of booking a ticket for a guided tour around the castle but I hadn’t taken this up which part of me does regret now. I wanted to be able to explore the city at my own pace and didn’t particularly want to be tied down to certain times. It was a shame because I would have loved to see inside the castle and particularly the stunning views of the city; however I was glad we chose to explore in our own time.

In our final few hours we found ourselves strolling back up the Royal Mile unsure what there was that we hadn’t managed to cram into the trip. We were heading back up to the meeting point where our coach would pick us up and head home when we spotted a street artist offering quick caricatures and charcoal portraits. I don’t know what made me say yes when he offered: maybe it was because we hadn’t taken any photos of us on the trip to keep as memories; maybe it was out of sheer vanity and I really wanted to be drawn by a professional.

Either way he offered us a great rate to draw us both – it looks like we posed together but he actually drew us separately so I had to angle my head so it looked like I was leaning on Josh’s shoulder. I was incredibly impressed with how it turned out and even more amazed how well I think he captured Josh! Told him I actually find him more attractive in charcoal! 😉

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We were all so paranoid about missing the coach back down to Loughborough as no one particularly wanted to spend £100 on a train ticket, but thankfully we all made it back. Equipped with my new Highland ‘Coo’ slippers which we can all agree are adorable!
We got back to Loughborough around 11pm and I have never been so glad to get off a coach in my life. For an impromptu trip, this weekend turned out to be one of the best adventures I’ve had whilst at uni and I’m definitely hoping to go on more of the trips in the future.

I’m so glad I finally got a chance to visit the Scottish Capital because, as I said, it’d been on my list for many years. I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog post as much as I have reminiscing. You’ll know by now that I sort of use this blog as a place to write and record my adventures so I hoped you’ve enjoyed this post. As always let me know what you think in the comments below.  Thank you so much for reading!

Hannah

xxx

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