After an amazing 24 hours in Edinburgh, it was time to move on to the next hotel on the outskirts of the city. A short taxi ride and we arrived, ready to take on even more food!
4* Holiday Inn Edinburgh
The second night of our stay was at the 4* Holiday Inn Edinburgh. The differences between this hotel and The Sheraton are immediately apparent, however the Holiday Inn is just as brilliant for its target market – families. Located next to Edinburgh Zoo, (and by ‘next to’ I mean within ear-shot of the animals!) it’s the ideal location for taking the kids on your short break with you, and with free breakfast for under 13’s it’s a great deal. After enjoying canapés at the Holiday Inn City West, which, by the way has stunning views out across Edinburgh, we sat down to eat our Scottish themed meal – delicious Cock-a-Leekie Soup for the starter, Haggis-Stuffed Chicken with a Whisky Sauce for the main and Raspberry Cranachan for dessert. As well as fabulous Scottish cuisine, the hotel offers a taste of the east in its very popular Sampans Oriental Restaurant.
Even with the cosy rooms, a good night’s sleep was never going to happen as my excitement for the trip to Edinburgh Zoo the next day was comparable to a kid at Christmas! Finally, 7am arrived and I rushed downstairs to devour yet another full Scottish breakfast – made even more satisfying thanks to the view of the snow-capped Pentland Hills. The Holiday Inn Edinburgh offers a breakfast option that I’ve never witnessed at any other hotels…make-your-own pancakes. Pop your mix in and press the button to enjoy freshly baked pancakes with a range of toppings. Yum! Suitably stuffed once again, it was time to check-out and head to the zoo.
Again, I must thank the girls who looked after us for making it such a brilliant stay!
As an animal lover it doesn’t get much better than a visit to the zoo, especially when you know you’re going to see the endangered giant pandas! Even though our visit fell during the Easter holidays, the sheer size of the zoo meant that it never felt too busy and we could enjoy the animals at our own pace. Be aware however, the zoo is built on a hill and it does take some strenuous walking to reach the top! Of course there are road trains to take you up, too so don’t let that put you off. As much as I love the leopards and the penguins and all of the other amazing animals that we saw, nothing compared to the panda. As it was reaching mating season the female was hiding from view, but thankfully our luck was in and the male gave us quite a show! Thanks to such a brilliant zoo trip, the whole day is now up there in my list of Top Ten Days!
Overall, I couldn’t have wished for a better short break to Edinburgh. I had very high expectations of the city and it lived up to every one of them. If you’re looking for a staycation this year rather than heading overseas, or you just need a weekend away, make sure you consider Edinburgh wholeheartedly. It really does have something for everyone and is definitely one of my favourite destinations.
To see all of the images from our trip to Edinburgh Zoo, you can find the album here