In this article, I will give you some suggestions for your day trips in Edinburgh. If you are looking for a list of Top Attractions of Edinburgh. (click the link to read our another article.)
Your walking day trips from Edinburgh south to the centre
The map below starts from our guest house, Edinburgh Holiday Guest House or Airdenair Guest House at Newington. And the suggested route try to cover as many famous sightseeing locations as possible. Even if you are not travel from our guest house, just ignore the starting point, the rest of the walking route may still be useful.
Centre Route 1: Classic old town trip – a walking day trip in Edinburgh centre
It can be done pretty easy in 1 day in walking. You will go through Edinburgh old town (Castle, Grassmarket, Royal Mile, Holyrood Palace, Calton Hill, Princes Street etc.). It takes 3-5 hours depending on how much time you spend on each site. Alternatively, an intensive tour can split this route into 2 parts for two days tour. Walk around the old town for one day and walk beyond to new town for another day.
Alternative Centre Route 2: Hike the top and explore the old town
If you prefer some natural environment or hill hiking, this alternative route to the centre may be your choice. It also covers most of tourist attractions in Edinburgh. You can choose to climb up to the summit of Arthur’s Seat to overlook the Edinburgh city, including Portobello beach on east, Pentland Hills on south. Then along the path to the Holyrood Palace and Scottish Parliament. After passing the lower part of Royal Mile, go to Calton Hill and then go to the Edinburgh Castle via the Mount. After castle, walk along the higher part of Royal Mile and then head to the Grassmarket for your shopping and eating. You may also consider to join a walking tour to explore Edinburgh underground town with a few ghost storytellings.
Route 3: Outside the centre – day trips to Edinburgh
This part is not for a single route but to recommend a few good places to explore outside the city centre of Edinburgh. Here a list and how to get there.
- Edinburgh Zoo – Good for family, take bus No.31 from Minto Street or No.26 from Princes Street
- Royal Botanic Garden – superior natural outdoor and indoor environment, take bus No.8 to there.
- Royal Britanian – good experience onboard, and good shopping and leisure place, taking bus No.22 fro Princes Street.
- Scottish National Gallery of Modern Arts at Dean Village and Water of Leith – if you are modern art enthusiastic, this gallery might be your choice. Don’t forget to walk down to the 19th Century’s Dean Village nearby. Take bus No. 3, 31, 37 from Minto Street or No.30, 33 from Airdenair Guest House
- Forth Bridge – it takes 30 mins to get there from the St. Andrews Square/Princes Street. Check Three Bridges Bus and Boat experience for timetables.
- Roslin Chapel – seen in the last scene of movie “The Da Vinci Code”? You may be interested in seeing this 15th Century Chapel with elegent detailed architecture by yourself. Take bus No.37 (Roslin) from Mayfield Gardens.