scotland day 1: holyrood palace and edinburgh castle

Samantha Fagan Holyrood Palace Edinburgh

We woke up early, breakfasted at the hotel (if you follow me on Snapchat, you would’ve seen the huge breakfast bar), and headed out to tour the city of Edinburgh. Even at this point, I’m already in love with the place for its architecture, bustling streets, cloudy skies, green mountains, and sheep. I. love. sheep. We did a lot on day one (Holyrood Palace and Edinburgh Castle, Stirling Castle, and a fancy dinner), so I’m breaking it into two posts.

we’ll never be royals

Our first stop of the day was Holyrood Palace (if you have a Scottish accent it sounds like you’re saying “Hollywood”). Holyrood Palace is the official residence of the British monarch in Scotland. It’s like Buckingham Palace, but in Scotland. We saw some of the Royal Guard preparing for the Royal Family’s arrival that weekend.

Holyrood Palace

I had two goals for my trip: pet a sheep and play a bagpipe. I accomplished one of these, and I’ll let you guess which one. Here are some people playing the bagpipes much better than I ever will.


Day 1 was the last day of the trip that I wore makeup, hahaha. Oh well.

Edinburgh tour group from Arkansas

Back left to right: My wonderful roommate, Elizabeth, and Marilyn. Front left to right: My mom and me, duh.

edinburgh castle

From Holyrood Palace, we walked up The Royal Mile to the castle that overlooks all of Edinburgh. Europe is so cool.

History in brief: There has been a royal castle on the rock since at least the reign of David I in the 12th century, and the site continued to be a royal residence until the Union of the Crowns in 1603.
Edinburgh Castle

Mary, Queen of Scots, gave birth to her only child in this room. #decoratinggoals

Mary Queens of Scots birthing room

View of Edinburgh from the castle.

View of Edinburgh from the castle

Yes, there are ice cream trucks in Edinburgh. And yes, it is really good ice cream.

Diane Fagan eating ice cream in Edinburgh

That Gothic church is St. Giles.

St. Giles in Edinburgh

We stumbled upon The Writers’ Museum, celebrating Robert Louis Stevenson, Robert Burns, and Sir Walter Scott.

The Writers' Museum Edinburgh

The bread they have in this country is ah-may-zing.

little lunch in Edinburgh

Love the minimal design and great font.

Scottish butter packaging

And because too many people still smoke in Europe….

Stub It Out Edinburgh, Scotland



Up next: Off to Stirling we go!











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