Lothian Things to Do

  • Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh
    Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh
    by spidermiss
  • Views from the castle
    Views from the castle
    by slothtraveller
  • Exterior (2)
    Exterior (2)
    by gordonilla

Lothian Things to Do

  • Castle, including National War Museum...

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    Edinburgh Things to Do

    Definitely worth seeing if you are in the city. The castle towers above the city, affording visitors panoramic views to the north, south, east and west. It's history is turbulent and tragic and definitely worth looking into while there. Go in the morning or book your tickets in advance online. This way you'll avoid the massive lines of tourists...

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  • Linlithgow Palace

    Linlithgow Things to Do

    Fifteen miles from Falkirk and Edinburgh rears Linlithgow Palace, one of Scotland's most visited ruins. A splendid 15th-century fortress, it rises impressively on the edge of Linlithgow Loch. From here, and their three other palaces, the Stuart kings and queens ruled Scotland. Mary Queen of Scots entered the world here in 1542, but ended it in...

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  • Arthur's Seat, Holyrood Park and...

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    Edinburgh Things to Do

    Whenever I am in Edinburgh I try and do this hill. 5 minutes from the city centre but when you are on it it's a world away from the cars, noise and pollution that comes with any city. The views are exceptional and the history of the hill is also interesting. Definitely worth checking out.

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  • Blackness Castle

    Linlithgow Things to Do

    We just happened to stumble onto this castle. You might say that we were a little lost; and then we saw a sign for Blackness Castle. It just happened to be included in the *L[http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/p/m/2439e4/] Explorer Pass so since the admission was free we popped in for a look. Blackness Castle was built around 1440's .At this...

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  • Calton Hill

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    Edinburgh Things to Do

    The Scottish National Monument is enigmatic but unfinished. It was intended to be something much grander - a homage to the Parthenon, a Scottish Valhalla to inter the greatest people in the land. But it was never completely funded, and despite several attempts, nobody seems to have the will, drive or imagination to finish it.

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  • Greyfriars Kirk or Church including...

    Edinburgh Things to Do

    Of all the history and tales about Greyfriars, there’s probably one that captures the public imagination more than any other - that of Greyfriars Bobby. During the 1850s, a man by the name of John Gray, walked the streets of Edinburgh as a night watchman for the local police, and with him, went his trusty Skye Terrier Bobby. They trudged the...

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  • Scott Monument

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    Edinburgh Things to Do

    The high esteem in which Sir Walter Scott is held by the Scottish people is shown by this huge monument to him in East Princes St Gardens. He is regarded as not only the first writer of historical novels but also arguably, the best. Born in Edinburgh in 1771, his poems and books brought him world wide acclaim during his lifetime and when he died in...

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  • Tours

    Edinburgh Things to Do

    Did this tour last week with and had a great time. Chris the guide is very friendly and accommodating but he also knows a lot about the city and Scotland. We didn't book a private tour but we were the only ones there and that added to the experience. The tour lasted for 3 hours and we covered a lot of ground seeing the Old and New Towns. Worth...

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  • Royal Mile aka High Street

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    Edinburgh Things to Do

    The Royal Mile has many different attractions, historical buildings, cafe's, restaurants, pubs and of course souvenir shops. It is a very popular place, it is always packed with people day and night. It's great though as you can find anything you wish on this street. Whether you're out for supper, looking for that special trinket to bring home to...

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  • Camera Obscura

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    Edinburgh Things to Do

    Welcome to the world of illusions! Camera Obscura has 6 levels of amazing illusions. This is a very interesting place to visit - from a maze of mirrors, a vortex tunnel, fiber optics to the top of the roof where you can peek through telescopes at the people below on the Royal Mile. My son and I decided to take a run through here while we waited...

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  • Holyroodhouse Palace and Abbey

    4 out of 5 stars

    Edinburgh Things to Do

    At the foot of the Royal Mile you will find Holyrood Palace, the official residence of the British Queen. She visits Edinburgh for one week every year, at the start of summer, and during that time the palace is obviously closed to the public. Unfortunately she was there for my visit. The palace has been a central part of Scottish history since the...

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  • Military Tattoo

    5 out of 5 stars

    Edinburgh Things to Do

    The Military Tattoo is one of the many events that happens in August in Edinburgh, there are nightly performances at 9pm and on Saturdays there are two performances at 7:30pm and 10:30pm. I imagine every year it's a little different, this year they were celebrating some of the countries that were/are associated with the Scots with music and dance...

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  • National Museum of Scotland, including...

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    Edinburgh Things to Do

    The Story of Scotland is housed in the modern section that sits at the junction of Chambers St and George IV Bridge. It has its own entrance at the tower on the corner, but if you’ve not been here before I reckon it’s best to enter from the main entrance further down Chambers St. (See Pt 1 - Planning your visit) At first I found this part of the...

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  • St. Giles' Cathedral

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    Edinburgh Things to Do

    Hovering over the top half of the High Street is the crown shaped steeple of St. Giles’ Cathedral. Technically speaking it’s not a Cathedral at all as there is no Bishop, so officially it’s known as the High Kirk. Architecturally, it’s not one of Europe’s outstanding ecclesiastical gems even though it’s been here since 1124. The main reason for...

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  • Princes Street

    3.5 out of 5 stars

    Edinburgh Things to Do

    Princes Street is one of the main thoroughfares of Edinburgh. It is the main shopping street. There is a lot of foot traffic here. Stores such as Boots, Jenners, Marks & Spencer, HMV, H&M and many more. Surely you'll be able to find anything you are shopping for on this street. If you happen to have chosen not to drive while in Edinburgh, it looks...

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  • Royal Yacht Britannia, Leith

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    Edinburgh Things to Do

    It was not the first visit to Ocean terminal, however it was the fist visit to the Royal Yacht Britannia. The interesting thing that the visit does is to confirm the class divide as a tour of the cramped staff rooms are compared to the Royal apartments. The ticket includes an audio guide available in a number of languages. There is a shop and...

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  • Eating and Drinking

    Edinburgh Things to Do

    Next to the entrance to the castle, this centre is an attraction well conceived and planned to please adults and children. The tour is simple but pleasant, the tasting demonstrations are quick but concise, and the shop is large and varied. We had lunch in the restaurant, at a reasonable price, with a common meal (nothing to remember or...

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  • Rosslyn Chapel, Midlothian

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    Edinburgh Things to Do

    I’ll be the first to admit that until I’d read Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code I’d never heard of Rosslyn Chapel, and although the book had its critics, it obviously captured the imagination of plenty of other people too. When the book was written in 2003 the chapel was receiving around 45,000 visitors a year, but in 2004 the numbers were nearer to...

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  • National Gallery of Scotland

    Edinburgh Things to Do

    Scotland perhaps doesn't have the greatest reputation for painters as it has in other areas, and this is reflected in its National Gallery. It has collections from some of Scotland's most famous painters, like Andrew Geddes, Sir Henry Raeburn and Edward Atkinson Hornel. These are not really household names, but the gallery backs them up with a...

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  • Festivals

    Edinburgh Things to Do

    It's "The Fringe" because to begin with it was on the fringes of the "official" International Festival. Now it seems to be bigger than the official version. Venues are all over the city, and free shows abound - not just in the streets during the day. Downsides are that accommodation is full, and so are the restaurants, pubs, public transport...

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  • The People's Story Museum @ Canongate...

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    Edinburgh Things to Do

    A real standout feature of the Royal Mile is the clock of the Canongate Tolbooth. It was built in 1591 as a tolbooth for the then separate district of Canongate - a tolbooth being a combined gaol, courthouse and meeting house. It looks older - like the remnants of a medieval castle with faux loopholes, but that look was added by a Victorian...

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  • Scottish Parliament Building

    4 out of 5 stars

    Edinburgh Things to Do

    On 12th May 1999, after a wait of 292 years, Scotland once again had its own Parliament, but it took another 5 years for the brand spanking new Parliament Building to be officially opened. From start to finish the building was controversial and its location and design were immediately criticised. It was due to be completed in 2001 at a cost of...

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  • Zoo

    4 out of 5 stars

    Edinburgh Things to Do

    In July 2014, we took a train over to Edinburgh from Glasgow and decided to visit the zoo. After a short bus trip from Princes Street, we arrived at the zoo entrance. The entrance fee was £16.50 for an adult which turned out to be a fair price considering we spent a good part of the day there. We enjoyed visiting the animals, especially the...

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  • John Knox's House

    3.5 out of 5 stars

    Edinburgh Things to Do

    The John Knox House is also part of the Scottish Storytelling Centre which is quite apt really because it’s not entirely certain that the famous reformer actually ever did live here. If he did it was only for a very short time. I think it would be more appropriate to call it the James Mosman House. James Mosman was the owner of the house in the mid...

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  • Botanical Gardens

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    Edinburgh Things to Do

    It is always nice to visit the botanic gardens, but in the case of Edinburgh, it is especially advisable. I recommend a guided tour. An expert will explain the hidden treasures of the garden and many features of the plant species you will see.

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  • Edinburgh Castle

    Edinburgh Things to Do

    Over on Calton Hill, at the top of Nelson’s Monument, is a time-ball similar to the famous one at Greenwich in London. Just as at Greenwich, this time ball was introduced to help ships (in the Firth of Forth) to calibrate the time with the sun in order to aid navigation. This, of course, was when timekeeping wasn’t as sophisticated as it is today...

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  • Edinburgh Dungeon

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    Edinburgh Things to Do

    The Edinburgh Dungeons is a good way to spend part of the day particularly if its a rainny day(rain in Scotland who would think lol). The dungeons are underground and are supposed to tell the story of Edinburgh in the past. There are Witch trials with audience participation (i was the witch during one of our trials) as well as trials for other...

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  • Princes Street Gardens

    Edinburgh Things to Do

    The Princes Street Gardens are conveniently located on the opposite side of the street from the shops. It's a public park, great for a nice Sunday afternoon picnic - should you get a nice sunny day. It is divided into to sides, the Mound being the dividing point. The East side runs from the Mound to Waverley Bridge covering 8.5 acres, and the West...

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  • Mary King's Close

    Edinburgh Things to Do

    Imagine being able to step back in time and see what it was like to live in 17th Century Edinburgh. Well you can do that when you take a tour at Mary Kings Close. The tour begins with a small introduction from your guide - letting you know who it it that you've received for the tour. It can be the Foul Clenger, Mary King's Daughter, the Merchant,...

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  • Nelson Monument

    4 out of 5 stars

    Edinburgh Things to Do

    On my first ever day in Scotland I suffered a moment of national scotoma, a condition unique to the English - it's a form of neuropathy that renders its victims blind to the existence of other nations in the United Kingdom. My diplomatic fumble was to talk to my hotel receptionist of my "English" credit card. More famously Nelson suffered a similar...

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  • Writers' Museum

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    Edinburgh Things to Do

    The Writers' Museum is situated off of the Royal Mile in Lady Stair's Close. It's dedicated to three prominent and well-regarded Scottish authors - Robert Burns, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Walter Scott. On display are letters, portraits, manuscripts, and various objects associated with the authors, such as the desks on which they wrote and the...

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  • Museum of Childhood

    4 out of 5 stars

    Edinburgh Things to Do

    In Hyndland''s Close on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, which runs between the castle and Holyrood Palace, my wife and I visited the Museum of Childhood. We expected to have a quiet look around but parents were shouting excitedly: I had one of those! I used to play with that! We have one of those in the attic! Squeals of pleasure and excitement rang...

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  • Gladstone's Land

    Edinburgh Things to Do

    Gladstone's Land is a surviving 17th century high-tenement house in the old part of Edinburgh. "Land" is the old Edinburgh name for houses built on the sloping sides of the ridge supporting the High Street. Restored and refurnished by the National Trust for Scotland Gladstone's Land now serves as a popular tourist attraction. The building is the...

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  • Scotch Whisky Experience

    Edinburgh Things to Do

    I am not normally a spirits drinker and on the odd occasion when I do indulge, whisky would be well down the pecking order in my choice of preferred tipple. However, when I attended a (Scottish) friend's stag weekend in Edinburgh and he asked us to go to the Scotch Whisky Experience, it seemed churlish to refuse. In the end I was glad I did....

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  • Forth Road and Rail Bridges

    Edinburgh Things to Do

    For anyone not familiar with Edinburgh the Forth Rail Bridge is situated at (South) Queensferry about 10 miles from the city centre and therefore requires a bit of thought on how best to get there. Apart from driving, there are 3 alternative options - train, bus or sightseeing tour. The train stops at Dalmeny which involves a walk of approx 15...

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  • Museum of Edinburgh

    Edinburgh Things to Do

    Dropping into the many museums of Edinburgh is a good tactic for dealing with the occasional brief downpour. One excellent example on the Royal Mile is the Museum of Edinburgh, and it's completely free. It's a great place to get an idea of how the city developed - giving you clues to the development of the city's hills and bridges. There is a full...

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  • Dynamic Earth

    4 out of 5 stars

    Edinburgh Things to Do

    Near the Scottish Parliament there is another controversial new building called Our Dynamic Earth, which describes itself simply as a "visitor attraction" but seems to be a modern interactive museum of the Earth Sciences. I arrived to late to go inside, but it's on my list because I always like this sort of thing, and I'm told it is competently...

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  • The Witchery

    Edinburgh Things to Do

    We signed up a week in advance through the Witchery's web site for the "Ghosts & Gore Tour." There was also a "Murder & Mystery" tour offered by this company, but we decided the former would hopefully be scarier. We were mistaken in assuming that it would be scary--nevertheless, we had a great time because it was so humourous. Sometimes the tour...

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  • Water of Leith Walkway

    Edinburgh Things to Do

    There is a beautiful walk path along the river Leith taking you through the city as well as nature. We discovered it by change and it should be in the guide books. You leave the busy streets and walk past the fast flowing waters, under bridges, passing houses and factories. The paths is very well laid out, but at some points not very well...

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  • Scottish National Portrait Gallery

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    Edinburgh Things to Do

    Another of these places I've been past a thousand times and never gone in. Well, in December 08 I righted a wrong and went in. It's free, so that's a good start. We only had 30 minutes to spend, but managed to see some interesting portraits of figures from a broad range of Scottish public life. Enough to entice me back the next time I have some...

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  • Free Walking Tour

    Edinburgh Things to Do

    I really enjoyed walking around Edinburgh with its beautiful old buildings. There is a free three-hour walking tour every day which covers almost the main sights of the Old City of Edinburgh. The guide is really nice and I got a lot of interesting information from her. The meeting point is in front of the Starbuck cafe on the High Street, see more...

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  • Edinburgh Vaults tour

    Edinburgh Things to Do

    A great bridge spans a deep valley to the south of the Royal Mile in Edinburgh. Under its enormous arches exists a catacomb of underground chambers. Within them a community thrived. Trades first legal and then illicit flourished. This happened as a result of Edinburgh’s geography. The volcanic rock on which Edinburgh Castle stands sheltered the...

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  • Museum on the Mound

    Edinburgh Things to Do

    Not on the VT list of things to do in Edinburgh. This museum in Edinburgh opened in 2006 in a building formerly occupied by the Bank of Scotland head offices, and still houses the headquarters of Lloyds Banking Group. There are a half dozen exhibit rooms in the museum covering the building itself, Bank of Scotland founding, famous customers, money...

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  • Floral Clock

    Edinburgh Things to Do

    If you enter West Princes Street Gardens from the Mound you will pass a floral clock. There is a new design of the clock every year and about 20 000 plants are used. The floral clock was first created in 1903 and is the oldest floral clock in the world. Well, it is a nice looking clock, but when I passed it was not working.

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  • The Hub

    Edinburgh Things to Do

    Once a church, this building from the 19th century in Gothic style kept its high tower (74 m). Is is used in public events, and it has a restaurant in regular operation. A couple of hours was enough to get a comment from a Scottish VTer that explained that it was his high school. In edinburgh-royalmile... I read: "This Gothic style building was...

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Lothian Things to Do

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