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Edinburgh: so what’s nearby?

Edinburgh is a great base for exploring the surrounding area.

You’re just an hour away from Falkirk, home of the famous Kelpies, the largest equine sculptures in the world, and the Falkirk Wheel, an amazing boat lift that connects the Union and the Forth and Clyde Canals.

Or head south to the Borders for medieval abbeys and the home of Sir Walter Scott.

A couple of hours from the city and you’ll be strolling around the pretty fishing villages of the East Neuk of Fife, tucking into delicious fish and chips.  Or head west for Crianlarich at the tip of Loch Lomond.

Head north and within three hours you’ll be at Her Majesty The Queen’s highland home, Balmoral.

Where would you go?


  • travelswithakilttravelswithakilt Member ✭✭✭
    I wrote about this recently and would also add in North Berwick, Linlithgow, Rosslyn Chapel and Queensferry - all close and do-able as day trips:

    Scotland travel blogger and writer with a wee bit of photography and video thrown in. Love nothing more than exploring my home country and have a particular leaning towards the outdoors, history and our national drink.

    You can also find me on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Tumblr.
  • laretourlaretour VisitScotland Contributor ✭✭
    We bought an OS map of Perthshire and Dunkeld recently, so that's been our go-to weekend trip. But I'd also recommend a walk up East Lomond. It starts off in Falkland, that beautiful village in Fife. Here's some wintry photos from the day: 
    Stories from Scotland.
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  • VisitScotlandHeatherVisitScotlandHeather Member ✭✭✭
    Dalkeith Country Park isn't far from Edinburgh. It's undergoing some redevelopment work at the moment to add an adventure playground and a shopping/eating area.  Looking forward to visiting there one day when it opens this summer :)
  • VisitScotlandJohnVisitScotlandJohn Member, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    Don't forget Stirling. Only one hour from Edinburgh on the train, or a wee bit longer on the bus, and you have Stirling Castle, the Wallace Monument, the Bannockburn Experience, more than 700 years of history and some spectacular views to enjoy
  • VisitScotlandAngelaVisitScotlandAngela Member, Administrator, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    Dalkeith Country Park isn't far from Edinburgh. It's undergoing some redevelopment work at the moment to add an adventure playground and a shopping/eating area.  Looking forward to visiting there one day when it opens this summer :)
    I visited Dalkeith Country Park a few years ago and met some really friendly pigs in the coutryard  :)

    Whilst in the area I also visited the Butterfly and Insect World which was nearby.  Here are some photographs:  
  • VisitScotlandHeatherVisitScotlandHeather Member ✭✭✭
    Haven't been to Butterfly World for years! Next time I'm at Dobbies, I'll make sure I leave time to pop over.
  • jillybjillyb Member
    Highly recommend a visit to Linlithgow - make sure you visit the Palace and the church, take a walk around the loch.

    Then pop up to Beecraigs Country Park to walk up Cockleroy.

    Drive on to Torphichen and see the Preceptory and pop into the Torphichen Arms for a pint and a bite to eat.  Very friendly staff.
  • There's so much of Edinburgh I haven't explored yet, despite living here for 18 years!  :o
  • IornamacIornamac Member ✭✭
    Great train from Edinburgh into Fife it has to be a favourite. Over the Forth Bridge, a UNESCO World Heritage following the coastline for most part of the journey if you're lucky you may see seals basking. 
  • IknowluxuryIknowluxury Member ✭✭
    East Lothian is fab: North Berwick and boat trips to Bass Rock, Lobster Shack in the harbour and ice cream on the beach.....picturesque villages of Aberfeldy, Gullane, Gifford, Garvald and Stenton are great for touring by car..  Dunbar: East Links Family Park, fun family swimming pool, great clifftop walk, stunning and almost hardly busy Belhaven Bay.. great garden centres-my favoure is Smeaton Nursery Gardens and Tearoom in East Linton!  I <3 East Lothian 
  • BrezBrez Member ✭✭
    Big shout out for Stirling! Stirling's bus tour has started running again for the summer and makes it so much easier to get round all the big attractions - Castle, Old Town Jail, Wallace Monument, Bannockburn etc - great way of packing it all in. 
  • CatzCatz Member ✭✭
    Dunfermline just over the Forth is worth a visit - Dunfermline Abbey and Palace (Robert the Bruce's bones are buried here), Andrew Carnegie Birthplace Museum and Pittencrieff Park which was purchased in 1902 by Andrew Carnegie and gifted to the town a year later, still going strong with lovely gardens, parkland, glasshouse and it's very own peacocks. Don't forget a visit to St Margarets cave where Queen Margaret is said to have gone to pray over 900 years ago - 80 odd steps to get there mind you! Dunfermline is now my home town and sometimes forgotten about as there are so many other great places to visit not far from Edinburgh. Come and see for yourself
  • willmackenziewillmackenzie Member ✭✭
    Right next to Edinburgh is the fantastic Pentland Hills Regional Park. If you had an hour or more to kill I highly recommend exploring a small section in search of the waterfall I like so much there. Driving out of Edinburgh you'll only need ten minutes to get to the Glencourse View Walk, which takes you to the waterfall in question.

    Parking at the Flotterstone Inn, you'll follow the tarmac until you see the 'Glencourse View Walk' path begin through the first gate you arrive at (on your left, before the tarmac goes up the hill). Follow this path all the way until you can see and hear the waterfall. 10min walk max. It's well worth it for a little hidden gem, especially if you like a short walk. I recommend wellies if it has been wet recently, but the path is normally no trouble at all in trainers.
    Edinburgh | Highlands of Scotland | Part-time explorer
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  • SuzieDSuzieD Member ✭✭
    The East Lothian coast south of Edinburgh provides some contrasting experiences - from beaches to cliffs, market towns to small harbour villages.  There are some wonderful eating places everywhere and lots of interesting things to see and do. It's definitely an area where you can drive around easily and discover things as you go.
  • BushmanBushman Member ✭✭
    The Scottish Borders are only 45mins away. You have Dryburgh, Jedburgh,Kelso and Melrose Abbeys. Personally i would go for Dryburgh as i think it is the most scenic and nearby is the william wallace statue.
  • PufflingPuffling Member ✭✭
    East Lothian or Loch Leven - both only 45mins from Edinburgh in the car and both have great countryside and wildlife to see!
  • VisitScotlandAlisonVisitScotlandAlison Member, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    Rosslyn Chapel was an easy bus ride, not too far away and a wonderful day out.  We got on the bus on Nicholson Street, can't remember the number and you get dropped off in Roslin just a couple of minutes walk from the Chapel.  There is a lovely visitor centre with a shop and cafe too.
  • JenniEdinburghJenniEdinburgh Member ✭✭
    I live in Edinburgh and love occasionally going to Gleneagles Resort for a relaxing day out. The 1h drive through the glen is especially pretty, the resort has one of the best spas in Scotland and food at the Clubhouse is good value for money. 
  • ScottScott Member
    edited May 2017
    I was born In East Fortune, in East Lothian Hospital  so I love this place.  I have not seen any one saying to try the Law? I should give it its full name North Berwick Law ony 600 odd feet and the view from the top is brilliant on a clear day you could see both forth bridges.  Also try the Museam of Flight East Fortune near Athelstanefordor {as the locals say it Ellshinfird} where you would see one of the Concords.  Also if you like watching motor sports there is about 4 meetings each year at East Fortune try this link. 
    I live in Wiltshire with my kids but get back as often as I can and see my family.

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