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Edinburgh Viewing points

Our most recommended Edinburgh Viewing points

Edinburgh: Skip-the-Line Walking Tour of Edinburgh Castle

1. Edinburgh: Skip-the-Line Walking Tour of Edinburgh Castle

Discover the home of Mary Queen of Scots on this guided walking tour of Edinburgh Castle. Admire the 16th-century Great Hall where parties and feast took place. Learn about the bloody history of the kings and queens who lived in this castle.  Meet your guide and walk to Edinburgh Castle which dominates the city skyline from its seat on the extinct volcano of Castle Rock. Stroll on the castle's promenade and hear about the the origins and sieges of the castle. View where the Royal Military Tattoo is performed. Enter the castle and make your way to the three museums and two prisons. Go to the National Monument to the fallen of Scotland and a canine cemetery. See the oldest building in the city at the Chapel of Saint Margaret. Be captivated by the grandeur of the Great Hall and a Royal Palace. After the tour you will have time to explore all of the buildings inside the castle until its closure.

Scottish Highlands & Whisky Full-Day Tour from Edinburgh

2. Scottish Highlands & Whisky Full-Day Tour from Edinburgh

Enjoy a fabulous day trip from Edinburgh to experience Scotland’s beautiful countryside just minutes from the capital. Drive to the stunning Highlands, and stop to sample a drop of the national drink to get a complete taste of Scotland. Leaving Edinburgh, the tour makes its way to the ancient capital of Stirling, where the skyline is dominated by its castle on the rock and the iconic Wallace Monument. Stop to hear of Scotland’s most famous patriot and his part in the medieval Wars of Independence.  Say hello to “Hamish the hairy coo”, before driving through the scenic Trossachs National Park. Heading further into the Highlands, pass the shimmering waters of Loch Earn, before stopping for lunch at The Famous Grouse Experience, one of Scotland’s best-known whisky distilleries. Once revived, enjoy a “wee dram” of Scotch whisky and drink the “Water of Life.” Continue to the Hermitage in the heart of Perthshire for a short woodland walk to see the spectacular Black Linn Falls on the River Braan. On the return journey, visit the quaint village of Dunkeld, an area associated with Macbeth, where the stunning cathedral sits on the banks of the River Tay. Pass the iconic Forth Bridge on the way back into Edinburgh, admiring the fantastic 19th-century feat of engineering.

From Edinburgh: West Highland Lochs & Castles Full-Day Trip

3. From Edinburgh: West Highland Lochs & Castles Full-Day Trip

Explore the Scottish Highlands on this bus day trip from Edinburgh. Take in classic sights like Stirling, Doune, and Inveraray castle. Admire natural landscapes like Loch Lubnaig, Glen Ogle, and the Arrochar Alps. Hop aboard the spacious and airconditioned bus in Edinburgh and travel west, passing in the imposing show of Stirling Castle which rests high on its volcanic rock. Visit to Doune Castle which was featured in "Monty Python and the Holy Grail". Drive into the Highlands, past the lovely Loch Lubnaig, and up through impressive Glen Ogle. Stopping nearby at a place where you can purchase lunch with views of the surrounding natural scenery. After lunch, drive further into the Highlands, stopping to view one of the most photographed castles in Scotland, Kilchurn Castle. Marvel at this relic which juts into Loch Awe and is stunningly framed by mountain peaks. Venture to Inveraray, a quaint town built in the mid-18th century, on the shore of Loch Fyne. Have free time to explore the town and pick up some Highland souvenirs, or pay an optional visit to Inveraray Castle (closed Tuesdays & Wednesdays), the historic home of the Duke of Argyll. Begin your homeward journey, driving over the Arrochar Alps, an attractive range of mountains, with a brief pause near the top of the "Rest and Be Thankful Pass. Reach Loch Lomond, and visit the charming village of Luss before returning to Edinburgh.

West Highlands Lochs & Castles Tour from Edinburgh

4. West Highlands Lochs & Castles Tour from Edinburgh

Enjoy a small group tour of Scotland’s Western Highlands, and explore some of its most atmospheric lochs and castles. Traveling in a comfortable 16-seat Mercedes minibus, you will depart Edinburgh and head west past Stirling Castle. The first stop will be Doune Castle, built for Robert Stewart, the Duke of Albany, over 600 years ago. You might recognize it from the famous comedy film, Monty Python and The Holy Grail.   Continue to Callander, where you will pause for a coffee, before leaving the rolling farms for the wild mountains and forests of the Highlands. Visit Loch Luibnaig, and continue over the Braes of Balquhidder, the final resting place of Highland outlaw Rob Roy MacGregor. Made famous by Sir Walter Scott, Rob Roy was a sort-of Highland Robin Hood, who stole from the rich but never quite got around to giving it to the poor. From Balquhidder, the tour winds its way through the tough knot of mountains known as Breadalbane. Stop for lunch in a small West Highland village.  Continue past Kilchurn Castle in the middle of Loch Awe, and on through Campbell country to the picturesque town of Inveraray on the shores of Loch Fyne. Visit the 18th-Century castle, home of the Duke of Argyll, chief of the Campbell clan. Depart Inveraray, and drive up through the steep mountains of the Arrochar Alps, to the great viewpoint at “Rest and Be Thankful,” given its name by the weary soldiers who had just finished building the military road up through Glen Croe.  Skirt Loch Long, and drive down to the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond, Scotland's largest loch. Stop at the conservation village of Luss, to admire its quaint houses and stunning views across the loch, and then make your way back to Edinburgh, with a short stop underneath Stirling Castle.

Full-Day Edinburgh Military Tattoo & Scottish Highlands Tour

5. Full-Day Edinburgh Military Tattoo & Scottish Highlands Tour

Storytelling is one of the best and most important parts of Scottish and Irish culture. Here in Scotland, it brings the scenery, sites, and their characters alive for a tour that you won’t soon forget. You will experience the moving and incredible Edinburgh Military Tattoo, sample local whiskey, and see breathtaking scenery along the way. Scotland’s Highlands are beautiful and green, the land of forests, mountains, rivers, and glens. From Edinburgh, the tour goes through Stirling. Take in the views of the castle and learn the history behind the Wallace Monument. Continue to the Trossachs National Park, former home to the infamous cattle thief Rob Roy MacGregor. Characters and scenes come alive in your imagination as you take in the park and surrounding area. The tour follows the shoreline of Loch Earn on the way to a local whisky distillery. Here, you'll take a guided tour that will give you an insight into how ‘uisce beatha’ (the ‘water of life') is made, as well as going on a journey to discover the history behind one of Scotland’s most iconic exports. Explore the peaceful Hermitage, stretch your legs and take a woodland walk to Black Linn Falls on the River Braan. See Dunkeld and the spectacular cathedral on the banks of the River Tay. Return south past the Forth Bridge, to Edinburgh. There will be time to return to your hotel or explore the city a while before the evening event: the Military Tattoo at Edinburgh Castle.

Edinburgh: Isle of Skye and Loch Ness 5-Day Highlands Tour

6. Edinburgh: Isle of Skye and Loch Ness 5-Day Highlands Tour

Make the most of your time in Scotland with a 5-day tour of the best of Loch Ness and the Isle of Skye. Ride on the Fort William viaduct featured in the Harry Potter movies, sample Scotch whiskey, and sail along the waters of Loch Ness. Accommodation and breakfast are included. Day 1:Leave Edinburgh and head to the iconic Kelpies. Travel north to Stirling and the towering Wallace Monument, taking in stunning views of the Castle along the way. Enter the Highlands heading through wild Rannoch Moor and Glencoe and on to the fishing port of Oban, where you'll stay overnight. Day 2: Take the steam train from Fort William, crossing the viaduct featured in the Harry Potter movies, where a monument to Bonnie Prince Charlie’s campaign now stands. Take the ferry to Skye where you can explore striking cliffs and mountains, before driving north to your overnight destination. Stay overnight in the Isle of Skye. Day 3:Explore more of the mysterious island that's full of awe-inspiring mountains, myths, and legends before returning to the mainland to view Eilean Donan Castle and wind your way along the Great Glen to the infamous Loch Ness. Stay overnight in Inverness. Day 4:Hunt for the elusive monster with a cruise on Loch Ness before turning northward and the stunning beauty of the northwest Highlands. Take in the beautiful town of Beauly with its Priory dating back to 1230. The day ends with a visit to Culloden Battlefield, where Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites were defeated in 1746. Stay overnight in Inverness. Day 5:Leaving Inverness, visit the Highland Folk Museum to get a real taste of Highland life from the past centuries. Next, head to a local Whisky Tasting of the so-called 'Water of Life'. For the final stop of the tour, visit Dunkeld and take a walk through the quaint village. Stroll along the River Tay and see the cathedral. Return back to Edinburgh in the evening.

From Edinburgh: Isle of Skye & The Highlands 3-Day Tour

7. From Edinburgh: Isle of Skye & The Highlands 3-Day Tour

This 3-day tour takes you on a discovery of the beautiful mountain scenery and fascinating sights of the Scottish Highlands and the Isle of Skye. Visit numerous glens, lochs and castles in some the most dramatic landscapes in the country, including Eilean Donan Castle, the Fairy Glen, Loch Ness and Glen Coe. You will be transported from Edinburgh through the highlands and the Isle of Skye in a comfortable minibus. Learn about the long and violent history of the Scottish Highlands with your tour guide, from the bloody massacre of the Macdonalds at Glen Coe to Scotland’s great patriot William Wallace, whose name has resounded through British history for 700 years. Detailed itinerary Day 1 The tour first stops off at the delightful village of Dunkeld where you can explore the ancient cathedral grounds and walk through the mature woodland alongside the mighty River Tay. Continue north to the wild mountain scenery and misty locks of the Pass of Killiecrankie, Cairngorm National Park and Laggan. Admire Scotland’s highest mountain Ben Nevis along the Great Glen to Invergarry before travelling onwards through the stunning Glen Shiel (Five Sisters of Kintail) to Eilean Donan Castle. Enjoy the great views from the Skye Bridge as you drive onto the island under the shadow of the Cuillin Mountains to Portree where you will be dropped off at your accommodation. Please let the tour provider know your preferred accommodation choices when booking. The accommodation is reserved for you and should be paid for on arrival. Day 2 Today is spent touring the Isle of Skye, a flexible itinerary at the discretion of your driver/guide * (see below). Enjoy a half-day scenic drive along the dramatic Trotternish Ridge with its spectacular cliffs and rock formations. Stops can include Lealt Waterfall, Kilt Rock sea cliffs, the Old Man of Storr rock pinnacle and a walk at the Quiraing mountain pass. Another popular stop is the Fairy Glen, a delightful miniature Highland landscape and legendary home of the 'wee people'! The second half of the day explores the stunning southern part of the island which includes well-known sights and some hidden gems discovered over the years. Nestled under the Cuillin mountains is beautiful Glen Brittle. Rugged scenery surrounds you and there are several fantastic options for this section of the tour, including a short walk in the iconic mountain landscape. Another popular excursion is the drive to Neist Point lighthouse for spectacular views to the Western Isles. The 13th century home of the famous Clan McLeod, Dunvegan Castle offers guided tours, a useful wet-weather option because of Skye's famously changeable weather. It's not called the 'Misty Isle' for nothing! Day 3 After returning to the mainland you drive past the Five Sisters of Kintail before stopping at the world-famous Loch Ness. Enjoy lunch in Fort Augustus at the southerly tip of Loch Ness before continuing on through Fort William to Glencoe. Learn about the bloody history of the famous glen and admire the wild scenery before heading on to Tyndrum for a break. Return through the Lowlands and Stirling to Edinburgh in the evening.

Scotland Whisky Explorer: Highlands Day Tour from Edinburgh

8. Scotland Whisky Explorer: Highlands Day Tour from Edinburgh

Depart from Edinburgh in the morning, heading for the Scottish Highlands via Stirling, the country’s ancient capital. Stirling’s skyline is dominated by its castle and the iconic Wallace Monument. After paying a visit to “Hamish, the Hairy Coo”, continue your drive into the Highlands, taking in the scenic beauty of Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park. Along the way, pass by the shimmering waters of Loch Earn before stopping for lunch at The Famous Grouse Experience, one of Scotland’s most famous whisky distilleries. There is an optional guided tour available that provides an insight into how “uisge beatha” (the water of life) is made and takes you on an interactive journey of the history behind one of the best-known brands of Scotch whisky. Having revived yourself with a wee dram, head to the heart of Perthshire to visit the Hermitage and enjoy a woodland walk to the spectacular Black Linn Falls on the River Braan. The return journey takes us to the quaint village of Dunkeld, made famous in Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Dunkeld is also known for its stunning cathedral, situated on the banks of the River Tay. Finally, drive past the Forth Bridges and return to Edinburgh.

Edinburgh: Scottish Borders Tour from Scotland to England

9. Edinburgh: Scottish Borders Tour from Scotland to England

Begin the tour by visiting the Rosslyn Chapel, which dates back to the 14th Century and was made famous by the Da Vinci Code. After a brief drive, arrive in the beautiful countryside of the Scottish Borders. Next on the agenda is Melrose Abbey. Have the opportunity to visit this magnificent ruin. The heart of Robert the Bruce one of the most famous Scots is also buried here. Then, give your senses an overload and take in one of the most magnificent views in Scotland at Scott's View. You may choose to have a dram or two to honor Sir Walter Scott as you take in the view. Floors Castle is next on the itinerary, the largest inhabited castle in Scotland and the family home of the Duke of Roxburghe. Built for the first Duke of Roxburghe in 1721, what you see is an evolving story of a house and gardens and outstanding views. Later, head to Abbotsford House, home to the literary genius Sir Walter Scott. Today, the house serves as a museum and monument to its famous occupant.

Frequently asked questions about Edinburgh

What are the best day trips and excursions from Edinburgh?

The best day trips and excursions from Edinburgh are:

Loch Ness

Other Sightseeing Options in Edinburgh

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What people are saying about Edinburgh

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 2,222 reviews

Great alternative to tour the castle with lots of information and in your language. You enter the castle quickly. The guide was a great storyteller, captivating with the stories of kings and queens who lived in this space. The castle is wonderful and it is worth going to see it.

Super nice guided tour with Jule, very skilled and fun tour. After the tour we were released and could see the various museums on our own as they are included in the price of the tour. Thanks again for the story for Christmas.

Great authentic experience. Andy was an excellent guide, made the trip well worthwhile

Comprehensive introduction to a venue with very many aspects.

Ara was very well prepared and fun! Very entertaining!