Make your way to Edinburgh & The Lothians and you will discover dramatic castles, fantastic museums, beautiful scenery, and ancient historical sites, in the land that inspired Disney•Pixar’s Brave.
The city of Edinburgh is a beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site with a wide range of excellent museums and galleries for you to learn about Scottish heritage and culture. A good place to start is the Scottish Story Telling Centre which explains the oral tradition of Scottish storytelling, The People’s Story Museum unravels the lives of ordinary people in 18th century Edinburgh, and you can celebrate the lives of Scotland’s great literary figures at The Writers Museum. The recently refurbished National Museum of Scotland and Our Dynamic Earth are great places to explore Scottish history from early geological times through to the present day.
The region also offers visitors the chance to see some of Scotland’s finest castles and ruins on the Mary Queen of Scots Castle Trail. Along this route you’ll discover the story of love, betrayal and murder behind one of Scotland’s most intriguing monarchs. Highlights include Edinburgh Castle, home to the Honours of Scotland, the nation’s glittering Crown Jewels, Linlithgow Palace, birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots, Tantallon Castle, the formidable cliff top strong hold, Craigmillar Castle, one of the oldest tower houses in Scotland, and Crichton Castle, seat of the Earl of Bothwell Mary’s third husband.
A must-see destination for any visitor to Edinburgh is Rosslyn Chapel, on the outskirts of Edinburgh. This mysterious chapel was built in 1446 and is famed worldwide for the beauty of its carvings and its links to the Knights Templar and Freemasonry. Back in the city you can uncover a secret warren of hidden streets at the Real Mary King’s Close. This tour around the underground closes, deep beneath the City Chambers on the Royal Mile, will give you an intriguing insight into how real people lived, worked and died between the 17th and 19th centuries. If you prefer, take a guided walk through the streets of Edinburgh and learn about the city’s murky past.
There are also lots of ancient historical attractions across the region for you to enjoy. The mysterious Pictish stones such as, the Caiy Stane, Fairmilehead, the inscribed stones at Tormain Hill, Ratho, and the Maiden Stone and Loth Stone at Traprain Law, East Linton, offer a glimpse into a world now forgotten. Other prehistoric sites include the Iron Age forts of Castlelaw Hill Fort, Chesters Hill Fort, and the ancient Cairnpapple Hill burial site.
Although wild bears may no longer roam Scotland’s great outdoors as they do in Brave, you can still experience the magic of the natural world and the country’s incredible wildlife. Great examples of Scottish wildlife can be found at John Muir Country Park, Beecraigs Country Park, Roslin Glen Country Park, and Almondell & Calderwood Country Park. At Five Sisters and Edinburgh zoos you can see an amazing variety of captive animals, including Edinburgh’s two giant pandas Tian Tian and Yang Guang.
Thanks to CCTV cameras and viewing points you can also now get up close and personal to a wide range of sea birds such as puffins, guillemots and kittiwakes at the award-winning Scottish Seabird Centre in North Berwick. Take a boat trip around Bass Rock to see more than 100,000 gannets and remember to keep an eye out for other exciting marine wildlife along the way.
From fascinating history to spectacular scenery, Edinburgh & The Lothians offers visitors an inspiring journey.
Visit the dedicated Brave site for more information.