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Top Day Trips from Edinburgh

By Viator, March 2018

5 5222 Reviews | Add your review

Even if you’ve only got a few days in Edinburgh, the atmospheric Scottish capital makes an ideal base for exploring further afield and with many of the country’s highlights within a short distance, there are numerous options for day tours. To give you some ideas, here are our top 5 day trips from Edinburgh.

1. Scottish Highlands and Loch Ness
Discovering the northern wilderness of the Scottish Highlands is top of many travelers’ itineraries and there are a plethora of day trip options from Edinburgh. Pay a visit to the eerie Loch Ness and the lively Highlands’ capital of Inverness; hike around Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park; take a drive through the Great Glen or follow the famous Scotch Whisky trail. Plan your visit for the summer months and you could opt for a Scottish Highland Games Day Trip, attending the historic games that include unique traditions like hammer throwing, tug-of-war and caber tossing.

2. Glencoe 
Renowned as Scotland’s most scenic glen, the breathtaking valley of Glencoe makes another popular side trip from Edinburgh, often combined with tours of the Highlands. Take a hike through the famous valley, get a view from the 742-meter summit of the Pap of Glencoe, then drive north past the looming peak of Ben Nevis, the UK’s highest mountain. Alternatively, pay a visit to nearby Oban, the seafood capital of Scotland, from where you can tour the lochs and castles of the rugged West Highlands. 

3. Scottish borders
The dramatic Scottish borders have seen plenty of bloodshed over the years thanks to the long Scottish Wars of Independence against the English and exploring the bucolic region unveils many of the secrets of Scotland’s past. Admire the impressive ruins of the 12th century Melrose Abbey and the 15th-century Rosslyn Chapel, made famous in Dan Brown's novel The Da Vinci Code; pay a visit to the UNESCO-listed Hadrian’s Wall, just across the border; or head west to Dumfries, the hometown of Scotland’s National Poet Robert Burns and the gateway to Burns County.

4. St Andrews and Fife
Just one hour from the capital, the Kingdom of Fife makes an easy day trip and even the journey is spectacular, crossing the Firth of Forth by the historic Forth Road Bridge and winding along the dramatic North Sea coast. St Andrews is the principal attraction, famous for its grand cathedral and prestigious university (forever to be remembered as the university where Prince William met future wife, Kate Middleton), as well as the home of international golf. 

5. Stirling Castle and Loch Lomond
One of Scotland's most largest castles, Stirling Castle was originally built in the 12th century (though most of the remaining structures were built in the 14th and 15th centuries) and is one of the most important historical sites in the country. It's here that the famous Mary Queen of Scots accepted her crown when she was just a baby. An hour west of the castle, Loch Lomond is a large lake set in Scotland's first national park, the Trossachs National Park. Several small towns and villages ring the lake, which is a popular spot for hiking and fishing. 

Tours & Tickets

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Loch Ness, Glencoe and the Highlands Small-Group Day Trip from Edinburgh, Edinburgh, null
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Loch Ness, Glencoe and the Highlands Small-Group Day Trip from Edinburgh

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 1898 Reviews

Explore Loch Ness, Glencoe and the Scottish Highlands on this 12-hour tour from Edinburgh. Depart from Edinburgh by air-conditioned minivan and travel out into ...  Read more

Location: Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 12 hours (approx.)

From USD $65.57
West Highland Lochs and Castles Small Group Day Trip from Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Day Trips
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West Highland Lochs and Castles Small Group Day Trip from Edinburgh

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 562 Reviews

Spend a day experiencing Scotland’s majestic lochs and castles on this day trip to the western Scottish Highlands, whose dramatic scenery will amaze you. See ...  Read more

Location: Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 10 hours (approx.)

From USD $59.86
St Andrews and Fife Small Group Day Trip from Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Day Trips
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St Andrews and Fife Small Group Day Trip from Edinburgh

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 455 Reviews

Pay homage to the home of golf at St Andrews and visit the fishing villages of Fife on a small group day trip from Edinburgh. With a maximum group size of 16 ...  Read more

Location: Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 8 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $52.74
Da Vinci Code and Scottish Borders Small Group Day Trip from Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Day Trips
TVRM_SORTED : false ESSENTIAL : ADMISSION :

Da Vinci Code and Scottish Borders Small Group Day Trip from Edinburgh

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 271 Reviews

Visit Rosslyn Chapel and learn the truth about the Holy Grail on a "Da Vinci Code" tour to the Scottish Borders. You'll hear the true history of the ...  Read more

Location: Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 6 hours (approx.)

From USD $45.61
Highland Lochs, Glens and Whisky Small-Group Day Trip from Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Day Trips
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Highland Lochs, Glens and Whisky Small-Group Day Trip from Edinburgh

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 147 Reviews

Fancy sampling a wee dram o' whisky and exploring the rugged landscape of the Scottish Highlands? Combine the two on a small-group day trip from Edinburgh, and ...  Read more

Location: Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 10 hours (approx.)

From USD $59.86
Rosslyn Chapel and Hadrian's Wall Small Group Day Tour from Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Day Trips
TVRM_SORTED : false ESSENTIAL : ADMISSION :

Rosslyn Chapel and Hadrian's Wall Small Group Day Tour from Edinburgh

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 114 Reviews

Join this small group tour (maximum 16 passengers) and travel to the amazing and mysterious 15th century Rosslyn Chapel, across the historic Scotland/England ...  Read more

Location: Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 10 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $64.14
Hadrian's Wall, Roman Britain and the Scottish Borders, Edinburgh, Day Trips
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Hadrian's Wall, Roman Britain and the Scottish Borders

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 111 Reviews

Travel through 2,000 years of history as you visit ancient Roman sites such as Hadrian’s Wall, Dere Street, Birdoswald Fort, Steel Rigg and historic villages ...  Read more

Location: Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 10 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $59.86
Alnwick Castle and the Scottish Borders Day Trip from Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Day Trips
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Alnwick Castle and the Scottish Borders Day Trip from Edinburgh

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 63 Reviews

Explore the stunning scenery of the Scottish Borders on this full-day tour of Kelso, Alnwick Castle and Berwick. Head to the pretty border town of Kelso and ...  Read more

Location: Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 9 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $52.74
Stirling Castle and Whisky Small Group Day Tour from Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Day Trips
TVRM_SORTED : false ESSENTIAL : ADMISSION :

Stirling Castle and Whisky Small Group Day Tour from Edinburgh

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 60 Reviews

Join this small group tour (maximum 16 passengers) and follow in the footsteps of great Scottish heroes on this historic and scenic trip into the Scottish ...  Read more

Location: Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 10 hours (approx.)

From USD $59.86
Rosslyn Chapel, Dunfermline Abbey and Stirling Castle Day Tour from Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Day Trips
TVRM_SORTED : false ESSENTIAL : ADMISSION :

Rosslyn Chapel, Dunfermline Abbey and Stirling Castle Day Tour from Edinburgh

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 51 Reviews

This is the undisputed tour for history lovers. We journey through Scottish history stopping at Dunfermline Abbey, Stirling Castle and finally Rosslyn Chapel ...  Read more

Location: Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 1 day (approx.)

From USD $64.14

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