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Travel: Exploring the capital at your own pace

The Royal Garden Apartments are well placed for visiting a range of tourist attractions, including the Royal Mile.
The Royal Garden Apartments are well placed for visiting a range of tourist attractions, including the Royal Mile.

It seemed like a long time since I had made the trip to Edinburgh. So when the opportunity came about to set off and explore another part of the country for the weekend to escape the stresses of the pandemic, I certainly couldn’t turn it down.

My dad and I ventured to the capital and based ourselves at the Royal Garden Apartments on Queen Street, which is a brisk five-minute walk from Waverley train station. Therefore it is in a prime location for people travelling to the city by rail, and for exploring all that Edinburgh has to offer in terms of tourist attractions and world-famous sights.

This can be done easily on foot or from the comfort of an open-top bus, which is very handy. And it was great to escape the desk and laptop.

The private and safe accommodation at the Royal Garden Apartments was cleaned to a high standard. There was a self check-in and contactless service where you receive a PIN from the Sonder app to enter the building and your apartment.

The Royal Garden Apartments is a great base from which to explore Edinburgh.

Despite experiencing this for the first time, there was virtual and phone guest support available if we had required during our stay.

Throughout the corridors there was social-distancing signage and floor stickers on display as part of coronavirus measures, which put us at ease straight away on our arrival.

Once the unpacking of our bags was completed, it was time to relax on the balcony, taking in the magnificent skyline of Edinburgh and beyond.

Meanwhile, from the front windows, you could see the picturesque Scottish National Portrait Gallery which was right across the road from the accommodation. Below the apartments there were also beautiful gardens to admire.

Our accommodation certainly delivered comfort and ease with a fully-equipped kitchen, and everyday amenities were provided as well.

There were two spacious rooms with double beds and an en suite. A big TV sat in the living room as well, which was great for relaxing in front of after hours of walking around the city, and it came with Amazon Prime and Netflix to enjoy at our leisure.

The spacious accommodation at the Royal Garden Apartments.

After a comfortable night’s sleep, my dad and I woke up and went to the popular National Museum of Scotland on Chambers Street, which is a 15-minute walk away from the apartments.

It is certainly a tourist attraction that you have to visit when coming to Edinburgh.

We were required to book tickets for the museum in advance, in light of government restrictions. Everywhere was safely mapped out with one-way signs to easily walk around and everyone had to wear masks while inside the building.

Every time I visit this museum I really enjoy it as I like learning about history, and I would fully recommend it to anyone. From the age of the dinosaurs up to the current period, the museum took us on a journey through history around the world, taking in the wonders of nature, art, design and fashion and science and technology.

Hours can be spent enjoying the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.

In the animal section there was even a stuffed seagull on display, which had us laughing as we are used to these birds annoying people back in our hometown.

The top floor was cordoned off, however that didn’t take away anything from the magical museum where you can spend endless hours exploring the different sections of history.

After having a great time at the museum we popped into a wee café nearby to tuck into a tasty burger and chips to get away the crowded streets in the capital.

A room with a view at the apartments.

Then we enjoyed the nice weather while walking back to the apartment for a deserved rest.

As we headed up the stairs to our apartment we had a brief socially-distanced chat with a smiling and welcoming cleaner.

For the rest of the day we just took it easy at the apartment and enjoyed a drink while taking in the great views. We had done our fair share of walking around Edinburgh and wanted to get away from the crowds of people – some of whom were not respecting social-distancing measures.

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the Royal Garden Apartments and exploring Edinburgh for the first time in a while.

It was a great experience to visit the capital. Despite the wearing of masks, large volumes of hand sanitiser and bumper crowds at times, it was a relaxing, fun trip away.

Royal Garden Apartments
2, York Buildings, Queen St, Edinburgh EH2 1HY
Call: 07403 925488
Prices from £90 per night for a one-bedroom apartment.

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