Edinburgh’s Hidden Gems

Edinburgh is full of attractions and things to do, which is why it is the second most visited city in the UK. It offers something for everyone, no matter what their age or interests. However, there are also some not so well known places that are well worth a visit – you can call them hidden gems, if you like.

Before you go hunting for some of these, settle yourself into your accommodation. There are hotels of course, but there are also Edinburgh apartments to rent in all different parts of the city. They often work out cheaper and give you more freedom than the restrictions of a hotel.

The Wild West

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Edinburgh has its very own wild west which you can fine down a side street in Morningside. It was built in the 1990’s to increase awareness of a Southwestern style furniture venture. It is a bit dilapidated now, but visiting this perfectly preserved Western world gives some brilliant photo opportunities.

Dr Neil’s Garden

This is a calm and peaceful place in the Old Church Lane, and it is not just a hidden gem, it is a hidden treasure. Devised by doctors Andrew and Nancy Neil this secret garden has an abundance of greenery and colours.

Sheep Heid Inn

Located on the Causeway in Duddingston, this had been a pub for more than 600 years. It is said to be the oldest surviving licensed premises in Edinburgh, and possibly in the whole of Scotland. Its bowling alley has been in use since 1870, and this, with the combination of good ale, excellent food and a friendly atmosphere make for an unrivalled experience for travellers. Pop in and you’ll instantly make lots of friends and have a great time.

National Museum Rooftop

Although the museum is a jewel itself, its rooftop garden is a real hidden gem. Take the lift to the seventh floor and get 360-degree views of stunning scenery.

Pickles

Pickles is ideal for foodies, a real gem of a different kind. Tucked away on Broughton Street, Pickles serves the most delicious nibbles including cheeseboards, platters, chutneys, olives, pates, and don’t forget: pickles. The wines are not expensive and it has a very cute outside patio. It makes the perfect place for a good natter.

Edinburgh Kyoto Friendship Garden

Although this was created only 16 years ago, it is nonetheless a hidden gem of Edinburgh. Situated within the grounds of Lauriston Castle, it is a place of incredible beauty close to the centre of a city. It was built to honour the twinning of Edinburgh with Kyoto and has flowers and plants representing both cities. There are bamboo, stepping-stones and gushing waters all in a picture perfect setting full of colour.

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Cramond Waterfalls

Cramond is a village that has loads of history and Scottish vernacular architecture.  To some, it is more of a treasure chest than a gem with its elusive waterfalls almost casting a magic spell on all who gaze upon them. Whether you want a light stroll or a full day out, the serenity of this hidden water feature is well worth a visit.

What will you do first?

Tips for Longterm Exercise Success

It doesn’t matter what type of exercise you’re into, one of the toughest challenges you’ll encounter is figuring out how to be consistent with your efforts. Consistency is the key to achieving long-term, sustainable results, so here are a few ways that can help you stay motivated.

Keep Track of Your Goals

When it comes to exercise, having a goal in mind is the number one motivator. Perhaps you want to lose weight, tone up or build muscle, but knowing what you’re working toward will give you something to think about on those days that you’re struggling to get up and go. Set smaller, realistic goals that you can keep track of more easily while you work toward your main achievement.

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Stay Focused on Your Nutrition

While regular exercise is important, so is having the correct nutrition. If your goal is to lose weight, then you can’t do this unless you’re in a calorie deficit. This means that you have to be eating fewer calories than you’re expending and, understandably, it can be difficult to keep track of. Using online calculators such as MyFitnessPal can help you keep track of the foods you’re eating and where you may need to improve. Once you’ve got your nutrition down to a tee, everything else should be (almost) smooth sailing.

Vary Your Routine

Even those that find it easy to stick to an exercise regimen will soon tire of it if they’re doing the same exercises week in week out. In that case, make sure you vary your routine every month or so to both avoid boredom and avoid reaching a plateau in workout performance. This means you’ll reach a stall on your progress, and it’s usually down to the simple fact that linear progression can’t continue at the same rate.

Get to Know Yourself

If you’re someone who’s tried to establish (and stick to) an exercise regimen before, but failed, think about why. Perhaps the exercises were too challenging for you, too boring, or didn’t fit in with your regular schedule. By understanding what exercises you enjoy and can fit into your normal routine, you’ll be much more likely to keep it consistent. That’s why many people who struggle to find the time to workout opt for a 45-minute bootcamp that will allow them to reach their daily exercise goals.

Find a Good Support Network

Research has found that exercising with other people is one of the best ways to ensure success. Working with a group of like-minded people will give you the motivation you need to push yourself harder, and give you a support network when you feel as though you’re in a workout rut.

Keep your goals in mind, and remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint!