With its spectacular array of attractions, experiences, wildlife and breath-taking scenery, you’ll find plenty of great days out ideas in Edinburgh & The Lothians for your next adventure.
Beecraigs Country Park
Nestled high in the Bathgate Hills near the historic town of Linlithgow, Beecraigs Country Park is the perfect day out for the whole family to explore Scotland’s natural bounty! The park boasts a variety of outdoor experiences from mountain biking to taking a stroll around the park’s loch and waymarked trails for those who want to take things at an easier pace.
While on your visit, you can:
- Go on a nice walk around Beecraigs Loch and many of its waymarked trails, taking in the beautiful scenery and natural surroundings.
- Check out the Hideaway Café for a tasty bite to eat.
- Hone your mountain biking skills! Beecraigs is home to a whole host of mountain bike trails suitable for all enthusiasts and beginners out there.
- Visit some of your favourite furry friends at the Animal Attraction! Get the chance to see the red deer, Highland and belted Galloway cattle, Hebridean sheep and North Ronaldsay sheep.
Dalkeith Country Park
Enjoy the fresh air and go cycling around Dalkeith Country Park’s ‘Estate Cycle’ or if you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, why not try the North Wood Walk, perfect if you have a mountain bike!
Enjoy walking? Dalkeith Country Park is home to a number of walking routes, while you take in the stunning landscape and scenery which surrounds you. Kids will love exploing Fort Douglas and you can stop for a mouth-watering meal or bite to eat at the Restoration Yard.
Check out other parks across Edinburgh & The Lothians including:
- Vogrie Country Park – surrounding the Victorian Vogrie House, enjoy 4 miles worth of walks and if you’re a keen golfer, why not play a round or two at the park’s 9-hole golf course?
- Gore Glen Woodland Park – take a stroll through the park’s whin pathways to woodlands, riverside and ponds.
- Jupiter Artland – go on a whimsical journey like no other when you visit Jupiter Artland. With no set routes across the park, you will have the full freedom to explore what wonders lie ahead, showcasing outdoor work by leading sculpture and land artists.
From old to new courses, golfers can have a tee-rific day out and play a round of golf or two in Edinburgh & The Lothians.
Here are a few to get you started:
- Gifford – enjoy the scenic and tranquil surroundings of this 9-hole golf course.
- Musselburgh Links, The Old Course – one of the oldest golf courses in the world, the course was an original Open Championship venue from 1874-1889. It is also believed that even Mary Queen of Scots played a game of golf here.
- North Berwick Golf Club – founded in 1832, this East Lothian golf course provides stunning seaside views looking out to the Bass Rock.
- Linlithgow Golf Club – test your skills at this beautiful 18-hole course, which sits high above the Royal Burgh of Linlithgow.
- Edinburgh Leisure – choose from six great courses in Edinburgh.
As one of the city’s most beloved visitor attractions, it's never a dull day out when you visit Edinburgh Zoo. Get the chance to see giant pandas, koalas, zebras and many more as well as catching a glimpse of the famous penguin parade. A wild day out for the whole family!
Did you know?
- The Giant Panda Exhibit at Edinburgh Zoo is home to the only giant pandas in the UK, Tian Tian (Sweetie) and Yang Guang (Sunshine).
- The main pool is Europe’s largest outdoor penguin pool at 65 metres long and 3.5 metres deep at its deepest point, containing 1.2 million litres of water.
- Edinburgh Zoo is home to five Asiatic lions who are only active for about 4 hours a day, spending the remainder sleeping or at rest.
Forth Bridges viewpoints
If you’re a keen photographer or are just looking to spruce up your social media feeds, then why not snap some photos of Scotland’s iconic three bridges! Check out our blog to see where you can find all the top Forth Bridge viewpoints.
But did you know?
- The Forth Bridge was the first major steel construction in the UK.
- To commemorate the Forth Bridge’s 125th anniversary, it was recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, placing it alongside some of the world’s architectural greats such as the Great Wall of China, the Acropolis and the Taj Mahal.
- 53,000 tonnes of steel and 6.5 million rivets were used to construct the Forth Bridge.
Maid of the Forth Boat Tours
Get your camera at the ready as you embark on a boat trip like no other. With amazing views of the three bridges, stunning wildlife to discover and a stop off at Inchcolm Island to go and explore, it’s a definite must for those who are looking for a jam-packed day out!
See what you will uncover on your boat trip:
- Visit Inchcolm Island where you will discover many of its hidden gems, from the ancient abbey and magnificent wildlife to its tranquil beaches.
- Keep your eyes peeled while looking out for wildlife, you never know you might be lucky enough to see the resident grey seal on the Haystack Rock, dolphins or even minke whales!
Scottish Seabird Centre
Why not take a day trip to the Scottish Seabird Centre? Immerse yourself in an interactive experience like no other! Take a look through the live cameras where you will be able to zoom in and get the latest on all the wildlife action. From puffins and seals to even dolphins, every nature lover will be in their element.
Did you know?
- Craigleith Cliff is home to the largest grey seal colony on the east coast of Britain with around 3,000 seals on the Isle of May, Craigleith and Bass Rock.
- The Bass Rock is the world’s largest colony of northern gannets and BBC Countryfile Magazine’s Nature Reserve of the Year.
- You can sign up for a Seabird membership for free entry all year round!
For more information and to plan ahead for your trip, visit the Scottish Seabird Centre’s website now.
Scottish National Gallery
If you can’t get enough of art and culture, make sure to visit the Scottish National Gallery. Wander around and marvel at the magnificent work from artists around the world and even better – its free!
See what you can discover in this fascinating art gallery:
- Get the chance to see some of the greatest artwork in the world from the likes of Van Gogh, Monet and Boticelli as well as uncovering the history of Scotland’s finest artists including Ramsay, Raeburn, Wilkie and McTaggart.
- The building was designed in a neoclassical style by William Henry Playfair which first opened to the public in 1859.
- The gallery houses Scotland’s national collection of fine art, spanning Scottish and international art form from the beginning of the Renaissance up to the start of the 20th century.
Forth Boat Tours
Relax on board in the lounge or on the outside decks and listen to the guided commentary while enjoying your cream tea with friends and family.
During your exciting boat trip with Forth Boat Tours, you will:
- Take in the views of the Three Bridges as you have never seen them before.
- View Blackness Castle (as featured in Outlander and Outlaw King) known as the ship that never sails and pass Limekilns village, as mentioned in Robert Louis Stevenson's Kidnapped. It was from Limekilns that David Balfour and Alan Breck were carried across the Forth in a rowing boat.
- Have plenty of opportunities to see a variety of marine life including seals.
Where will you go on your next adventure? Share your ideas and fascinating facts on Edinburgh & The Lothians in our iKnow Community or on social media.
With so many places to visit across Scotland, will you head to one of your favourites or try somewhere new to tick off the wish list? Check out our other days out articles for more ideas for your next trip in Scotland.