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Edinburgh Airport offers a number of domestic and international flights and is well connected with public transport. There is a tram service which takes visitors straight into the centre, the Airlink 100 Express Bus which leaves every 10 minutes and is around a 30 minute journey. Taxi’s are also available from the airport and cost around £20+.
Waverley Station is the main railway station in Edinburgh, and trains depart from all over the country on a regular basis to Edinburgh. Another major commuter hub is Haymarket Station which offers city connections as well as long distance train services to Glasgow and London. Getting the bus is the easiest way to get to the city centre with many services stopping at the stations. There are taxi services available.
Edinburgh Bus Station is the main station for local bus interchanges and coach services further abroad within the city. Getting into the centre from the bus station is easy with many local buses serving the station. Additionally, it is served by the St. Andrew Square tram stop on Edinburgh trams, as well as by trains at Waverley Station which is 200 metres away.
Local transport includes buses, national rail train services, and the Edinburgh Tram. Lothian Buses and Edinburgh Tram work together under Transport for Edinburgh to provide the public transit in the city. There are two zones here: the City Zone (everything except the airport), and the Airport Zone. Edinburgh Tram tickets can be purchased in advance or from vending machines at the tram stops. Local bus tickets can be purchased in advance, through their app, or from the bus driver on the bus when paying with exact change.
Cycling is very popular as the city is very bicycle friendly. However, as the weather in Scotland can be unpredictable, proper gear is always recommended. There are traffic free bike lanes throughout the city that take advantage of old railway lines, and cyclists can share the bus lanes.
Many people use the local transport but there are car parks scattered about the city as well as on street parking, and the connections to the motorways makes travel by car an easy option within Scotland. There are also taxi’s available and walking is another great way to see the city.
Whether Edinburgh is your base and you wish to get some much-needed respite from the chaos of the city or you’re just visiting and simply wish to explore Scotland in all its glory; here are some of the best Edinburgh day trips for under £15, perfect for anyone on a budget.
No other town in the UK could be better described as a fairy tale setting than St Andrews. Aside from its quaint beauty and untouched landscape, it is also meeting place of the future monarchs of England: Prince William and Kate Middleton.
Known as the home of golf, the historic course found here is a marvel to behold whether you are a golf aficionado or not, and in keeping with the historical theme, a visit to the Cathedral – the oldest in Scotland, the ruins of the medieval castle, the university grounds and the Scores – which is one of the bet ways to appreciate the dramatic coastline, should all be on your itinerary for the perfect place to visit near Edinburgh.
The trains from Edinburgh to St.Andrews are frequent and efficient and the town offers just enough to fully enjoy in one day!
Distance from Edinburgh: 30 miles
Duration of the train journey: just over 1 hour
Cost of the one-way trip: From £8
Traditionally known as the gateway to The Highlands, this centrally located and extremely easily accessible Scottish city holds particular significance in the history of Scottish independence. Being the site of Robert the Bruce’s triumph over the English in the 12th century and home to the extremely Gothic, yet impressive national monument of William Wallace.
The high rising Old town of Stirling is most definitely the shining star of the city where the castle and town wall occupies. In the summer months be sure to check out the Falls of Falloch, a secluded waterfall just outside of Stirling that is perfect for wild swimming!
Though a thoroughly enjoyable destination in its own right, Stirling can also be used as the ideal base to explore more day trips, like the Scottish Highlands, and staying around the area for a few days on a budget is not a problem thanks to the extensive camping options available.
Distance from Edinburgh: just over 30 miles
Duration of the train journey: Less than 1 hour
Cost of the one-way trip: From £8
Not to be confused with the Perth Australia, Perth is the former capital of Scotland. It is located within spitting distance of both Glasgow and Edinburgh is overrun with stately homes, ancient castles and prestigious galleries.
The Fergusson Gallery, with its unique round exterior, displays the most impressive works from the Scottish colourist, JD Fergusson. A walk up Kinnoull Hill provides panoramic views of the historic city as well as the Tay River that runs directly through it.
Accessing Perth from Edinburgh is easy with the reliable trains that depart at extremely regular intervals throughout the day!
Distance from Edinburgh: 31 miles
Duration of the train journey: less than 2 hours
Cost of the one-way trip: less than £10
Given Edinburgh’s close proximity to the English border, there is nothing stopping you from taking the train to the beautiful town of Windermere in the Lake District. Windermere is not only a fantastic town in itself, but can be used as a great base for exploring the rest of the Lake District meaning the region is one of the most rewarding for day trips from Edinburgh.
Easily accessible attractions from Windermere include the namesake lake and the largest in England, Lake Windermere, Beatrix Potters’ former cottage which is perfect for nostalgia seekers to check out, Hill Top and the scenic valley of Great Langdale, which makes for the perfect day trip from Edinburgh.
Distance from Edinburgh: 110 miles
Duration of the train journey: just under 2 and half hours
Cost of the one-way trip: from £15
In just 35 minutes on the train from Edinburgh, the beaches of Burntisland can be at your fingertips – where, if you’re brave enough, you can even scuba dive! Aside from the traditional fish and chips that one would expect from a coastal town, the charming cafe Potter About offers patrons the chance sample the delicious food while painting ceramic pots; perfect for families or anyone who wishes to indulge their artistic flare.
Distance from Edinburgh: 7 miles
Duration of the train journey: just over half an hour
Cost of the one-way trip: From £5
Though not necessarily a respite spot from city life, Edinburgh’s grittier sibling Glasgow is just over an hour away by train and is an excellent spot for a day trip! With the never-ending Botanical Gardens, Kelvingrove Park and the cities quirky West End district to name but a few, you will not be lost for things to do in one of the UK’s finest cities!
Distance from Edinburgh: 42 miles
Duration of the train journey: just over 1 hour
Cost of the one-way trip: less than £10
You might think you know all about your most northernly neighbours, yet, you’ll be surprised just how much Scotland is packed full of history, culture, geographical wonders and questionable, yet delicious, cuisine. The choice of places to see in Scotland is so vast and extreme that we left it to the experts to guide you through your journey of the mountains, glens, lochs and cities of Scotland. We had the privilege to pick the brains of top travel bloggers and Scotland specialists, who shared with us their top tips for things to see in Scotland, things to do and things to eat when visiting. Below are the best places to visit in Scotland.
21. Journey out to the hamlet of Kilmahog
20. Go seal-sighting in Portgordon, Moray
19. Kagyu Same Ling, Buddhist Temple
18. Take in the views from the Sound of Rassay
17. Visit The Kelpies in Falkirk
16. Visit Culross in the Kingdom of Fife
15. Visit Perthshire
14. Climb the Tap o Noth, Aberdeenshire
13. Ghost Tour of Mary King’s Close
12. Fly over Argyll and Bute
11. Sightseeing boat tour of the Forth Bridges
10. Take a walk along the Fife Coastal Path
9. Climb a Munro
8. Road trip through the Highlands
7. The Boathouse, Isle of Ulva
6. Dine in Edinburgh’s oldest pub
5. Eat the best Aberdeen Angus burger
4. Join the locals for a pint at the Clachaig Inn
3. Freshest seafood in Scotland
2. The Biscuit Cafe, Culross
1. Take a dram (a shot of whisky in Scots)
Often referred to as the 'Athens of the North' Edinburgh is a heady blend of impressive architecture and landmarks like Edinburgh Castle, St. Giles Cathedral and Holyrood Palace sit alongside green spaces, parks and gardens. The leafy Georgian terraces of the New Town with their upmarket boutiques are worlds away from the cobbled alleys of the Grassmarket with its iconic tenements. Scotland's capital is a city of contrasts where excellent shopping and entertainment facilities and traditional Scots bonhomie go hand in hand.
Walking around the center of Edinburgh can be breathtaking, both in terms of the spectacular views offered from the capital's vantage points, and the occasionally steep slopes and stairways between levels in the Old Town. Central Edinburgh is relatively compact, making it easy to explore on foot. An obvious starting point in the medieval Old Town is the Royal Mile, which is actually a little longer than a mile. It is a cobbled street stretching from the Castle on its lofty rock, down to the Queen's Edinburgh residence Holyrood Palace, surrounded by parkland and the distinctive crag of Arthur's Seat. The broad avenue of Princes Street is the city's main shopping area, with side streets offering alluring views down to the Firth of Forth. A stroll north from here leads to the elegant squares and crescents of the New Town, showcasing some of the UK's finest Georgian architecture, and then to Stockbridge, one of Edinburgh's coolest neighborhoods, with colorful cafes, a gourmet street market, galleries and the pretty Water of Leith walkway. If your feet get tired or it starts to rain, Edinburgh's modern tram system offers an ideal alternative for exploring the city.
It's not an overstatement to suggest that dining out in Edinburgh has undergone something of a revolution over the last decade. The Scottish capital has become one of the culinary hotspots in the UK, thanks to Michelin star chefs including Tom Kitchin, Martin Wishart and Paul Kitching. Their innovative approach to the finest Scottish game and seafood has popularized fine dining in Edinburgh. Fashionable Scandinavian influences have reached Edinburgh, notably in the acclaimed Timberyard, while the city has also been quick to welcome the trend for American smokehouses and barbecue joints. Vegans and vegetarians will find that the city offers a diverse and cosmopolitan selection of meat-free dining options. Fast food aficionados are also spoiled for choice in Edinburgh, with independent burger joints such as Bread Meats Bread, offering a fresh take on the American diner favorite. The traditional Edinburgh fish and chips restaurants and takeaways retain a loyal following with their diverse selection of deep fried dishes, including very Scottish haggis and white pudding, usually accompanied by the city's distinctive brown sauce. Edinburgh's long-established Italian community means that the city still offers several old-school family trattorias welcoming children, usually with an extensive ice cream menu.