Visit Edinburgh and the Borders on Your Next Holiday
As one of the most breathtakingly beautiful cities in the world with deep-seated history and a wealth of culture, it's easy to see why Edinburgh attracts millions of tourists year upon year. Close to the bustling city lie the rolling hills and moorlands of the Scottish borders, a must-see whilst visiting the southern part of the country. Enjoy everything from ancient castles and serene landscape to gastronomical delights and five-star shopping in the country's capital.
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Things to do in Edinburgh and the Borders
With world-renowned attractions such as Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh Dungeon, the National Museum of Scotland, and, not forgetting, the city's magnificent castle, you'll find plenty of places to explore. If you're looking for something to do in the countryside, there's archery, horse riding, quad-biking, and Go Ape activities for some outdoor adventure.
Places to Visit
A tremendous wealth of history and world-renowned attractions aren't the only attributes Edinburgh is known for - it's also regarded as the leading festival city in the world. Famous events include the International Film Festival, Hogmanay, the Royal Edinburgh Tattoo, International Science Festival, and the Fringe. Since there's so much sightseeing to do in Edinburgh, day tours are an excellent way of making sure you see as much as possible. There are plenty of options to choose from, including City of the Dead, Haggis Adventures, and Eat Walk Edinburgh to experience the best of what the city has to offer.
Home to many of Scotland's top attractions, including Stirling Castle, The National Wallace Monument, and Bannockburn, Stirling is a vibrant city that is steeped in history. It's where the legendary William Wallace fought and won the battle of Stirling Bridge against the English army in 1297, as well as the setting for the battle of Bannockburn, where Scottish independence was secured in 1314 led by Robert the Bruce. Stirling is easily accessible by rail and road, with Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park right on its doorstep. Make sure you visit the famous Deanston Distillery that produces fine artisan whisky as well as the beautiful Doune Castle.
Nestled within a landscape of spectacular beauty just 23 miles from Edinburgh, Peebles is one of Scotland's most hidden treasures. Since 1152, this market town has been cherished by locals and visitors for its scenic and unspoilt character. Make sure you check what's on before you visit, as there are various festivals and annual celebrations going on throughout the year, including the renowned Beltane Festival, showcasing Scotland's history and traditions, and the Peebles Jazz Festival. Whilst visiting here, why not try your luck salmon fishing in the world-famous river Tweed? "Against the stream they multiply" is the Peebles motto, after all. Or, if you're looking for something a little more indulgent, the town is home to many award-winning restaurants, offering the ultimate gastronomical experiences.
Where to Stay
Whether you’re looking for a retreat in the countryside, a luxurious city break, or a journey back in time, we have a range of options across Edinburgh and the Borders for you to choose from. Use our links below to find your ideal location and take the first step towards your dream holiday.
The Water of Leith Walkway is a fantastic opportunity to visit and take in a number of interesting sights, such as the Dean Gallery and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, whilst enjoying the magnificent surroundings along the river. The path starts at Balnero, then runs through the charming Dean Village area in Edinburgh city centre, before ending its trail at Leith. It's not only popular with walkers and cyclists, but also fisherman, as it's a great spot for a catching Wild Brown Trout, Grayling and the odd Pike.
Explore Pentland Hills National Park
The beautiful Pentland Hills National Park offers 100km of signposted routes, filled with wildlife, bucolic hills, and captivating views across the Lothians. Many visitors come here for an enjoyable hike among nature and its elements while others come for the many activities the park has on offer. There are some excellent camping spots dotted across the 35-mile radius of the park, perfect to set up base and head out for a day of orienteering. If you're looking for something a bit more adventurous, there's also horse riding, cycling routes, golf, mountain biking, and fishing in one of Pentland Hill's six reservoirs.
Dare to go on a Ghost Walk
Edinburgh has a huge selection of tours to choose from, with guided ghost walks being amongst the most popular. And it's not hard to see why - this spooky city has more than its fair share of ghosts, grim tales, and hauntings rooted in its history. In fact, its location inspired many well-known horrors, such as Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and The Body Snatchers. The tours are spread out across the city and cover places such as the Edinburgh Dungeons, the castle, and the infamous catacombs that lie underneath the streets.
National Museum of Scotland
Visit the National Museum of Scotland and venture on a journey of discovery with the many wonders of science, art, design, nature, and technology from around the world. From fossils and Egyptian artefacts to Scottish pottery and samurai swords - there's thousands of exhibitions all under one roof. Make sure you check to see what special events are on before you visit, as there's always fun activities and demonstrations held throughout the year.
Dominating the city skyline in all its glory, Edinburgh Castle is a magnificent piece of Scottish history that should be the top of your list when visiting the area. It's not hard to see why the fortress from the Bronze Age is Scotland's most-visited paid tourist attraction, reeling in over 1.4 million visitors a year. The castle was built on Castle Rock, which is a 700-million-year-old extinct volcano right in the middle of what is now Edinburgh city. Over the centuries, the castle has been used as a prison, a royal residence, and an army garrison. Make sure you take a tour inside, where many of the dungeons, rooms, and great halls are still open to tourists.
Discover the calm away from the storm and retreat from the rush of the city to an oasis of tranquility and unrivalled views. Arthur's Seat is an ancient volcano that sits in the middle of Edinburgh, 251m above sea level. It's located within Holyrood Park - just a stone's throw away from Edinburgh's Royal Mile. Within the park, you can also visit Salisbury Crags - a collection of 150 ft. cliff faces towering over the city's skyline, Duddingston Loch - a fresh water loch rich in wildlife, and St. Anthony's Chapel - a 15th century medieval chapel.
The Royal Mile
A trip to Edinburgh simply wouldn’t be complete without an obligatory walk down The Royal Mile. The name refers to the succession of streets that used to form the main thoroughfare of Old Town Edinburgh. It’s lined with hundreds of shops, restaurants, bars, and pubs and is the busiest tourist street in Old Town. During the Edinburgh Festival, the strip becomes packed with an eclectic mix of buskers, musicians, and entertainers – bringing in millions of tourists every year. Make sure you check to see what’s on before you plan your trip.
My Perfect Stay
Edinburgh is a truly unique city, steeped in history whilst embracing modern culture. As one of the most visited cities in the UK, Edinburgh has something for everyone.
Taking in the history and architecture as you walk the Royal Mile you will find a wide range of independent and interesting shops all under the imposing spectre of Edinburgh Castle - a must visit. With countless attractions and landmarks, you can do as much or as little as you like. A walk through the Royal Botanic Gardens, around Holyrood Park or for the more adventurous up to Arthurs Seat will give you the work out you need before relaxing in the diverse range of restaurants and bars. Everything can be found from traditional Scottish fayre to Michelin starred fine dining using some of the finest local produce on offer.
If shopping is your thing then look no further. Princes Street, with its range of high street department stores on one side and gardens with a view of the Old Town on the other, offers all you could need. Parallel to this is George Street's mix of fashion stores and well known bars and restaurants. On the other side of the town is Grassmarket and Victoria street where you will find independent shops and fashion outlets giving a true Edinburgh experience.
With superb travel links, Edinburgh is an easily accessible city and a not to be missed destination.