Booking overseas holidays currently looks trickier than crocheting underwater, so it looks like most holidays in the foreseeable future will be based right here in good old Blighty.
It’s actually got us thinking about all the places we haven’t yet visited in the UK that are right on our doorstep such as entire countries like Ireland and Scotland and several places in the UK including the Lake District where my husband is originally from, yet I still haven’t ever been!
One place that is top of our list is a visit to Scotland. There is such a variety in Scotland from the most breath taking natural landscapes to bustling city life. It’s even possible to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights!
And the great thing about holidays in the east of Scotland is that with so much lovely scenery and legendary history, there are lots of things you can do for free and finding reasonably priced accommodation is easy if you shop around.
Ready for a taste of city life in cool Caledonia? Read about these three affordable, but popular staycation spots in East Scotland.
Step out onto main thoroughfare Princes Street and you’ll instantly fall in love with Edinburgh ̶ the view across the verdant gardens to the dramatic volcano-perched castle has captivated millions of visitors over the years.
The elegant New Town oozes Neoclassical elegance, the Old Town is full of charming pubs and labyrinthine alleyways and Arthur’s Seat is stunning.
Treat yourself to a sandwich and simply stroll around ̶ this is a city that’s inspired flights of fancy for everyone from Robert Louis Stevenson to JK Rowling, so you’re sure to find it inspirational!
Tip: there are several Travelodge Hotels in central Edinburgh available at decent rates.
Located in the Kingdom of Fife, the former ancient capital of Scotland, Dunfermline is roughly 30 minutes’ drive north of Edinburgh and you’ll cross the River Forth on the Queensferry Crossing to get there.
Several Kings and Queens of Scotland are buried in Dunfermline, most notably Robert the Bruce, who led Scottish forces to victory against England at Bannockburn in 1314.
This is also the birthplace of Scots-American industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, one of history’s wealthiest individuals.
Pittencrieff Park (locally known as ‘The Glen’) is a beautiful green space with tropical glasshouse, manicured lawns and endless winding walks which Carnegie donated to the people of his home town. While away a few cathartic hours watching the squirrels and resident peacocks.
Tip: hire a car in Scotland from Enjoy and explore other hotspots nearby like St Andrews.
Continue northwards through Fife and you’ll cross another famous river, the ‘silvery’ Tay, to reach Dundee, a Scottish city currently enjoying a cultural renaissance on a global scale.
Home to several universities and a host of hip bars and restaurants, it has benefitted from significant urban renewal over the past few years, the centrepiece being the otherworldly V&A design museum which perches on the river bank like a lost spaceship.
This is also the home of DC Thomson, the publishers who created beloved kids cartoon characters like Desperate Dan and Oor Wullie, who both have statues in the city centre.
Meanwhile, another amazing spot to visit just outside the city is Broughty Ferry, a charming town with a waterfront peppered with whitewashed fishing cottages ̶ treat yourself to a delicious bar lunch at the Ship Inn and take a pleasant postprandial stroll along the seafront towards the castle and beach.
Tip: At Dundee’s Camperdown Wildlife Centre you can see everything from bears to lemurs!