Whether you’ve days, weeks or months left of exams, no one can deny that it’s going to be way easier to get through with the knowledge of something to forward to (beyond your next meal/sleep). With that in mind, I say it’s time to grab yourself some train tickets and get ready to get yourself straight out of the city and soon as you can. And although my exams are rolling on for the next couple months, I took it upon myself to very kindly dip my toe into a short-break before the storm has even begun, obviously just to check it’s a suitable option for you, the humble reader, to embark on in the wake of exams. (No, this was not a last minute attempt to escape revision, how dare you suggest that).
So anyway, I packed my bag to the brim with every coat and piece of knitwear I own and jumped on the train at Kings Cross for the 4/5 hour trip up to Edinburgh. Speeding up the east coast by the sea, past the Angel of the North and through Durham and Newcastle, the journey out of London is pretty bliss. This is my excuse for getting none of the work done that I had planned for that journey, anyway.
Rolling into Edinburgh Waverly, you’re confronted with exquisite, historic architecture from the word go – Edinburgh isn’t shy. And as I dragged my excess bag of knitwear out of the station, I learned very quickly that I had massively underestimated this city, it’s really pretty incredible.
“So, what to do in this pretty incredible city?”, I hear you ask. Well, first things first is the obvious answer. Go to the castle. Human occupancy has been up here since the iron age and a royal castle since the 12th century. It’s super, bloody old and even more amazingly, it’s still in use now. You can hang out in in King James IV’s Great Hall, see the prisons and EVEN see the old dog’s graveyard. I know you’ve been desperate to see that bit. Although the price of entrance will require you to take out a mortgage at a slightly rude price of £17 with no student discount option (gross), my review is that it’s probably worth it. I mean, there’s a castle dog graveyard. Anyway, I’m no castle connoisseur, but this guy goes in my top 3 castles of all time at least.
And when you’re suitably castled out, and exhausted by the haunting realisation that you have almost no knowledge of the history of Scottish royalty (oops), you’ll be ready for something a little different. In fact, by this point you’ll obviously have a desperate craving to see some gross old body parts in jars and Edinburgh is READY to quench your questionable thirst. Enter: The Surgeons’ Hall Museums. Made up of The Wohl Pathology Museum, The History of Surgery Museum and The Dental Collection, you get plenty of gross-ness for your lovely student-discounted price of £4 (much better). The museum is essentially a really well curated collection of awful-looking, diseased body parts with some history thrown into the mix. This place is both extremely interesting as a museum and as a self-assessment to find out how strong your stomach really is.
And although I have only touched upon everything that Edinburgh has to offer as a post-exams escape from London, I can assure you – you won’t run out of things to do. However, obviously I can’t assure you that you’ll find anything better than the dog graveyard. Sorry.
For more information on the castle go to:
Find out more about the Surgeons’ Hall Museums:
by Ellie Jackson
21, graphic designer from the south east London. I work with a range of elements of marketing with design to produce both offline and online print services.