Edinburgh and the Lothians

Edinburgh and the Lothians Itineraries

Edinburgh in 1 Day

Scotland's pretty capital

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It’s hard to imagine anyone visiting Edinburgh and coming away disappointed. With its hilly, seaside location and rocky outcrops the city has been blessed with the perfect setting to create one of Europe’s most attractive cities. It’s also amazingly varied, with a little of everything from urban buzz to rural nooks; from cosmopolitan variety and boisterous festivals to cosy relaxing pubs. Its major museums and many historic sights provide plenty to do, then a glut of cafes and restaurants offer a great selection of places to unwind afterwards; a string of clubs even stay open into the small hours.

Meanwhile the Lothians – East Lothian and West Lothian – the two administrative districts around the city – provide lots of easy and attractive escapes from the city: golf courses, sandy beaches and sizeable hills among them.


Edinburgh Castle is very much the visual hub of the city. It surveys all from its rocky knoll that rises from the jumbled medieval streets of Edinburgh’s Old Town with its cobblestones and narrow wynds (alleys). Meanwhile, to the north – beyond a band of railway lines and pretty public gardens – lies the New Town, where shrewd Georgian town planning constructed a tour-de-force of Neo-Classical architecture, that regularly causes Edinburgh to be dubbed the “Athens of the North”.

One way to start exploring Edinburgh is to follow the Edinburgh-in-a-Day itinerary.

Edinburgh Festivals

Edinburgh has more than its fair share of festivals with the most famous of them being those held in August: the Fringe; the International Festival; the Book Festival the Jazz Festival; and the Edinburgh Tattoo.

All this makes it a great time to be in town, but be warned accommodation books up early and costs substantially more.

Other good festivals in the city include a Film Festival in late-June and the huge Hogmanay party, Britain’s biggest New Year’s event that spreads over several days.

Major Edinburgh attractions include:

Calton Hill – monuments and follies gather here around some of the best city views.
Edinburgh Castle – for its Scottish history and city panoramas.
Edinburgh Zoo – premier kids’ day out.
Georgian House – a showcase of New Town design and living.
Holyroodhouse – royal residence best known for high-drama during the time of Mary, Queen of Scots.
National Gallery of Scotland – a venerable collection of Old Masters and more.
National Museum of Scotland – all things Scottish are celebrated here from ancient rites to modern inventions.
Our Dynamic Earth – geography comes alive here for kids.
Royal Botanic Garden – lounge, luxuriate and picnic amid exotic foliage.
The Royal Mile – the city’s most famous historic street.
Royal Yacht Britannia – an insight into royal ways in the Queen’s old floating home.
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art – modern and contemporary art showcase

The Lothians

East Lothian, Mid-Lothian and West Lothian, the three administrative regions around Edinburgh provide the city a superb backyard for outdoorsy activities. And though it lacks the wild feel of many Scottish regions, many set-piece are here too – from Golf links to castles to a whisky distillery.

  • East Lothian is known for its beaches alongside small town’s like Gullane and a series of lovely Golf courses, as well as a bird sanctuary at the Bass Rock.
  • Mid-Lothian‘s rolling Pentland Hills are particularly convenient and reachable by local buses from Edinburgh, yet offer real sense of the Scottish outdoors.
  • West Lothian‘s strongpoint are it’s stately homes and castles – Hopetoun House and Linlithgow Palace are particularly impressive.

What it Costs

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Abstract Pricing at a Glance

Prices often fluctuate dynamically depending on capacity, seasonality and deals. We don’t want to lead you astray by quoting exact prices that quickly become wrong. To give you a rough idea for budgetary planning purposes, though, we have indicated general price ranges for all points of interest.

See & Do
N/A => Not applicable
$ => Tickets less than £10 per person
$$ => Tickets £10 – £20 per person
$$$ => Tickets £20 per person

Sleep — Out of town/rural
$ => Rooms less than £45 for a double
$$=> Rooms £45 – £75 for a double
$$$ => Rooms £75 for a double

Sleep — Large Cities
$ => Rooms less than £75 for a double
$$ => Rooms £75 – £110 for a double
$$$ => Rooms £110 for a double

$ => £4 – £8 per person for a meal (without alcohol, tax, tip)
$$ => £8 – £20 per person for a meal (without alcohol, tax, tip)
$$$ => £20 per person for a meal (without alcohol, tax, tip)

N/A => Not applicable

$ => Tickets less than £20 per person
$$ => £20 – £40 per person
$$$ => £40 per person


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