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Daytrips from Edinburgh

Print this guide Created by Anne Harvey
Daytrips from Edinburgh
Head to Braveheart Country around Stirling for Scotland's premier castle experience, to Glasgow for shopping and the stunning architecture and design of Charles Rennie Mackintosh in Britain's most interesting Victorian city, to the Borders for fine medieval abbeys in the land of Sir Walter Scott, to the Highlands for glorious scenery in one of Europe's last great wildernesses, and to Pitlochry for spectacular scenery, adventure trips and all the woolens you could want less than two hours from the capital.
Good for: Families, Groups, Seniors, Individuals
Seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall
2 ratings 2 ratings
 
Stirling
Stirling

There’s no finer place to take a crash course in Scotland’s bloody history than this compact university city. The magnificently-sited, and thoughtfully conserved, castle which stands atop a plug of volcanic rock made it the key to holding Scotland during Anglo-Scottish wars, and a substantial core of the medieval and Renaissance buildings of this royal burgh remain. The Castle... More

There’s no finer place to take a crash course in Scotland’s bloody history than this compact university city. The magnificently-sited, and thoughtfully conserved, castle which stands atop a plug of volcanic rock made it the key to holding Scotland during Anglo-Scottish wars, and a substantial core of the medieval and Renaissance buildings of this royal burgh remain. The Castle – probably Scotland’s most interesting - is the must-see sight, but other aspects of history are explored at the gloriously Gothic National Wallace Monument, which commemorates William (Braveheart) Wallace, and at the Bannockburn Heritage Centre, close to the site of the battle in 1314 which guaranteed Scotland’s survival as a nation, and which is about to be comprehensively revamped ahead of the battle’s 700th anniversary. A large student population gives the place a youthful vibe, and it’s a short distance from the superb scenery of the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. Note also that Corrieri’s is one of the country’s finest family-run Italian cafés. En route you can take in the engineering innovation that is Falkirk Wheel – a rotating boat lift that transports boats between two different canals. Less

Glasgow
Glasgow

Scotland's largest city is a friendly, bustling town with imposing 19th-century buildings, vibrant theater life, the most talked-about independent music scene outside the U.S. and watering holes that run the gamut from trendy bars to traditional pubs. The city's buses and subway system make it easy to explore. Don't miss the reopened Kelvingrove Art Museum, the Victorian Necropolis, or... More

Scotland's largest city is a friendly, bustling town with imposing 19th-century buildings, vibrant theater life, the most talked-about independent music scene outside the U.S. and watering holes that run the gamut from trendy bars to traditional pubs. The city's buses and subway system make it easy to explore. Don't miss the reopened Kelvingrove Art Museum, the Victorian Necropolis, or the surprisingly delicious local delicacy: deep-fried pizza. Glasgow is the gateway to the Highlands and Islands. Less

Borders
Borders

A short distance from Edinburgh is a landscape strewn with sturdy hill forts, ancient castles and ruined abbeys that hints at the tumult of the past. It's quite at odds with the picturesque rolling, if windswept, sheep-studded hills and quiet valleys that make all seem agreeably placid to today’s visitor. At its heart are the ruins of four medieval abbeys with Jedburgh, the most... More

A short distance from Edinburgh is a landscape strewn with sturdy hill forts, ancient castles and ruined abbeys that hints at the tumult of the past. It's quite at odds with the picturesque rolling, if windswept, sheep-studded hills and quiet valleys that make all seem agreeably placid to today’s visitor. At its heart are the ruins of four medieval abbeys with Jedburgh, the most complete, the best to visit first for its insights into monastic life. Of the others, Melrose is both the pick of the bunch, and also close to Abbotsford, the sometime home of the Romantic novelist Sir Walter Scott, and a splendid receptacle for his engrossing collection of historical curios. There are fine country houses to visit, notably Mellerstain for its exquisite Robert Adam interiors, and Manderston, the enjoyable swan song of the Edwardian Country House. Anglers should note that the River Tweed is also one of Scotland’s finest salmon-fishing rivers. Less

Scottish Highlands
Scottish Highlands

The moody, romantic Scottish Highlands start at Loch Lomond just north of Glasgow. Comprising a slew of mountain ranges, this sparsely populated land is best seen by train on the West Highland Line. Mountains, lochs, bright heather and rhododendrons give way to white sand beaches and rugged coves as the train nears Mallaig. For a more active take on the region, hike the West Highland... More

The moody, romantic Scottish Highlands start at Loch Lomond just north of Glasgow. Comprising a slew of mountain ranges, this sparsely populated land is best seen by train on the West Highland Line. Mountains, lochs, bright heather and rhododendrons give way to white sand beaches and rugged coves as the train nears Mallaig. For a more active take on the region, hike the West Highland Way or visit the Trossachs National Park. Ben Nevis, a popular climbing spot, looms over the town of Fort William. Less

Pitlochry
Pitlochry

Highland Perthshire places some of Scotland’s most spectacular scenery within easy reach of both Glasgow and Edinburgh, and Pitlochry is the most geared-up base from which to enjoy it. It’s been a bustling mountain resort since the railways arrived in 1863, and these days manages to be both a cozy favorite for tourists who enjoy browsing in its woolen mills and taking in the repertory... More

Highland Perthshire places some of Scotland’s most spectacular scenery within easy reach of both Glasgow and Edinburgh, and Pitlochry is the most geared-up base from which to enjoy it. It’s been a bustling mountain resort since the railways arrived in 1863, and these days manages to be both a cozy favorite for tourists who enjoy browsing in its woolen mills and taking in the repertory of plays at its famous Festival Theatre, and a magnet for adrenalin junkies in search of bungee jumping, canyoning, tubing and white water rafting adventures. Visitors of any age will be intrigued by the Pictish carvings on the huge Dunfallandy stone at nearby Ballinluig and, after a bracing mountain walk or visit to the famous salmon ladder, adults can enjoy a warming dram of malt whiskey after a tour at one of the two local distilleries, Edradour and Blair Athol. Less

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.