pink cherry blossom trees on Princes Street, Edinburgh

Cherry Blossom Season in Edinburgh

Last Friday afternoon, Terry and I headed into Edinburgh for a stroll in the spring sunshine, while Max was at nursery. It was three days before restaurants and shops were allowed to open up again as part of the easing of our current lockdown restrictions, and a full six months since our last trip to the city, in September 2020.

Back then, even though we were still a few months away from a vaccine, everything was open, and there were no restrictions on international travel, which meant that, although Edinburgh wasn’t as crowded as it would normally have been at that time of year, it was still fairly busy: enough so that, if I hadn’t known differently, I might not even have realised we were in the middle of a pandemic.

This time, however, there was absolutely no mistaking the fact that Something was most definitely UP. Princes Street was eerily quiet. Rose Street was totally deserted. The adverts on the phone box outside Waverly Station were still advertising Christmas food. We even got a parking space on George Street right away, without the usual driving around in circles, with Terry becoming more and more irate with every turn of the wheel. (We DID still pay £15 for it, though: some things never change, pandemic or not…)

The cherry blossoms, though, were AMAZING:

Cherry blossom trees in front of Edinburgh Castle, Princess Street

I know it seems strange to say this over a year into the pandemic, but I think this little outing, more than anything else, really brought home to me how much the world has changed in the last year. Because Terry spent the first three months shielding, and continued to be super-cautious after that, we completely missed what I assume must have been the most surreal parts of all of this: the days when the world really did seem to stand still, and everything felt different. By the time we started to venture out again, last summer, we stuck mostly to quieter areas: the woodland walks, ruined castles, and other places that didn’t honestly feel TOO different from how they’d been the previous year, because they were the kind of places that never get particularly crowded anyway.

Amber standing underneath the cherry blossom trees on Princes Street in Edinburgh

Edinburgh, though, was different. In fact, in an entire lifetime’s worth of visiting the city in all seasons, and at all hours (Plus three years of living there), I don’t think I’ve ever seen it so quiet: and I somehow don’t think I ever will again. Or, at least, I hope not, anyway, because we might’ve got some cool photos, but it wasn’t really worth going through a PANDEMIC for, you know? And, as much as I appreciated the rare privilege of getting to see some of those famous landmarks without the usual crowds, I really can’t wait to be able to go back when the streets are filled with people and noise, and you can’t walk more than a few steps without falling over someone else who’s trying to snap the same cherry blossom trees as you.

Pink cherry blossom trees on Princes Street, Edinburgh

I can’t wait for things to be normal again, in other words, and I’m hopeful that we won’t have to wait too much longer before we get at least some semblance of that back. This weekend, I get my second dose of the vaccine; my parents and Terry have already had theirs, and this week Scotland took another step out of lockdown, as restaurants and non-essential retail opened up again. Terry and Max have both had haircuts. I’ve booked an appointment to get my eyebrows done. Best of all, the cherry blossom is in full bloom, AND we’re allowed out to see it. All of which combines to make this April at least 98% better than LAST April. Now, roll on May…

Amber standing underneath a canopy of cherry blossom in Edinburgh

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books by Amber Eve
  • Donna


    Cherry blossoms, sunshine and adult time. Sounds awesome!

    April 29, 2021
  • Myra Boyle


    I love cherry blossom and we have one right outside our house which is glorious for about three weeks a year. Darren has one in his garden and wants to take it out because of its brevity in blooming, but Liz loves it and won’t let him.

    Ours has pale pink flowers that fade to almost white. Our neighbour’s is the same vibrant pink as those in your photos (great wide composition Terry). The flowering season is almost over now and when we had a bit of wind the other day I thought it was snowing until I realised the white stuff was petals swirling all around me. As they fall, covering everything, any car parked on the roadside looks like a wedding car. It’s even beautiful then. It’s my favourite time of year – cherry blossom time.

    I’d love to go to Japan for cherry blossom time, it’s on my bucket list. It’s wonderful to think that a British botanist saved Japan’s flowering trees for posterity.

    April 29, 2021
  • Erika


    Such stunning pictures! What a strange time. I remember last year during this month and seeing the major highways, parking lots, and public places deserted was such a strange thing. I wanted so much to go out and take pictures of sights I’d never seen so vacant, but didn’t. Hope I never have to contemplate being out in a deserted city ever again.

    April 29, 2021
  • Danielle


    How stunning. I adore Edinburgh!

    Danielle |

    May 1, 2021
  • Chichi


    Beautiful! I’d love to visit Edinburgh in the spring time! 🙂


    May 31, 2021