Scotland holiday in November
Yes you did read that right, I chose to go to Scotland in November for a holiday. With how the marathon timings worked out and my shift pattern it meant that early November turned out to be the only time I could go. I will say that it wasn't freezing though (temperatures were between 7-13C) so it turned out well. If you're thinking of a staycation in the colder months this is one I would recommend.
The cottage had a log burner, access to a hot tub and pool, and was in the middle of nowhere! It was perfect.
The flat in Edinburgh was a short walk into the centre of the city, had free parking right outside, and suited our needs perfectly for a two-night stay.
We chose to go through AirBnB because it's usually cheaper (getting a Premier Inn for Edinburgh was quoting us around £200) and it means you can do what you want. Through the week we were coming back with wet clothes that we could just hang in front of the fire, something you can't really do in a B&B/hotel. Also, through the week we did a mix of cooking our own meals and going out, another flexibility you get with AirBnB.
There was a worry that we wouldn't be able to do much in November due to it being outside of the peak season so thought staycation businesses might shut down for the winter, but we had no issues with that at all.
We hiked a lot, hired bikes one day, kayaked, and then did Go Ape too which was a first for me and I loved it.
We soon got into a routine of heading out around 10am to do that day's main activity, then getting in around 3pm for an afternoon hot tub/swim and then read and chilled infront of the fire before dinner plans. Even though the hours of light were shorter due to the time of year, we found that routine was enough to keep us busy and entertained, but also meant we relaxed too.
The nearby town (Aberfoyle) was very cute. It was the sort of place everyone knows everyone. Nothing fancy, but lovely nonetheless. We returned a few times to a little cafe that had about 12 freshly baked cakes everyday, and that was where I had my first experience of a square sausage too (verdict - it basically tasted like a beef burger). There was also a little shop selling lots of handmade goods (jams and chutneys were being made right there in the shop) and then we went to the local pub a couple of times too.
In Edinburgh we went to the zoo, went on a night out, and ate great food.
Here are my food/drink recommendations for Edinburgh (I didn't go to all these places, but this is what my friend who lives there raved about):
Woodland Creatures (gastropub)
Down The Hatch (burgers)
BABA (mezze - we went there on the Saturday night and it was INCREDIBLE)
Panda and Sons (cocktails)
The Devil's Advocate (pub)
Chaophraya (Thai, with rooftop views)
Bagel Bross (bagel bar)
Urban Angel (brunch - we went there too and the food was lush, even if I was a bit hungover at the time...)
The Three Sisters (dancy outdoor pub)
You need a car for this sort of holiday. Of course you can do Edinburgh without one, but for the more rural side of things a car is essential. Our cottage was a mile down a very rough track that the car did not get on with.
That being said, I'm so glad we did it this way because it allowed us to do exactly what we wanted and have our own routine. To be honest even if we'd tried there weren't really many buses or anything so if you're wanting to do the countryside break then you've got to have a car - end of.
In Edinbrugh was just Ubered everywhere once we were there which has got much more expensive since I was a student in Leicester, but served its purpose.
I love Scotland! The coutryside was beautiful (I was already prepared for that) but Edinburgh really surprised me with how gorgeous it was. The architecture of it really made me want to move there. With the castle on the hill looking over the city and the tall town houses, I was constantly looking around like a kid in a top shop. It had vibes of Newcastle, London, and a bit of Bath too. I'd only ever been to Scotland for T in the Park, so to go and properly see the quiet and busy side of it was lovely. I'd highly recommend and I will be back.