Amazing Places to visit near Edinburgh

Places to visit on a day trip from Edinburgh

There are so many wonderful things to do in Edinburgh. But don’t forget, there are lots of amazing places to visit near Edinburgh too, if you’re willing to venture a little further. If you’ve visited the city centre a few times before and you’re looking for something a little different to do during your stay at Parliament House Hotel, take a day trip! If you have your car with you, or you are hiring a car, you could plan a road trip. However, many of these places are easy to reach by public transport too. Both Waverley Train Station and Edinburgh Bus Station are a short walk from the hotel, connecting you to the rest of Scotland.

City of Glasgow

The closest city to Edinburgh is Glasgow, famed for its lively, bustling atmosphere, great culture and and friendly people. Drive to Glasgow or hop on the train from Waverley and you’ll be there in about an hour.

Glasgow is Scotland’s largest city and there is so much to see and do there. Top attractions include Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Riverside Museum of Transport and Travel, Glasgow Science Centre, Pollok Country Park and the Botanic Gardens. Then, there’s the fantastic shopping, lovely places to eat and drink, not to mention Glasgow’s legendary music scene.

Glasgow Clyde Arc Bridge at night

East Lothian

The beautiful beaches of East Lothian are the perfect place to spend the day.

The seaside town of North Berwick is a 50-minute drive from Edinburgh, and is easy to reach by train from Waverley Station by train in around half an hour. The town’s two sandy beaches, Milsey Bay and West Beach, have beautiful views out towards Bass Rock and the Firth of Forth. The picturesque North Berwick Harbour separates the two beaches. There are also great shops and restaurants, and scenic coastal walks to enjoy.

Views to North Berwick at the foot of North Berwick Law
North Berwick

West Lothian

Travel in the other direction and you’ll find West Lothian, where top attractions include the Royal Burgh of South Queensferry, Hopetoun House, Linlithgow Palace, Beecraigs Country Park and Jupiter Artland.

You can reach South Queensferry by car or bus in under half-an-hour from Edinburgh. This pretty little town on the banks of the Firth of Forth has magnificent views of the famous Forth Bridges, with nice places to walk and some great independent shops and restaurants. Linlithgow also makes a great day trip from Edinburgh, where you can visit the historic Linlithgow Palace, where Mary Queen of Scots was born.

Linlithgow Palace from across the water
Linlithgow Palace

Fife and St Andrews

Take a trip over the iconic Forth Bridge by train or Queensferry Crossing by car, and you’ll find yourself in the Kingdom of Fife in just over an hour. Here, there are lots of lovely towns and villages to discover, including North Queensferry, Dunfermline, Anstruther and Crail.

Not forgetting the historic town of St Andrews in the north east of Fife. Here, you can explore the ancient castle and cathedral ruins. Enjoy a stroll along West Sands Beach, or take the kids to Craigtoun Country Park. St Andrews is world-famous for golf, so a visit to one of the many great courses is a must for all keen golfers. Gin and whisky enthusiasts should also make time for a tour of Eden Mill Distillery.

View of St Andrews town in Fife
St Andrews

Stirling and Falkirk 

For anyone who is a fan of Scottish History, ancient castles and Braveheart, a trip to Stirling is in order. You can reach Stirling in about an hour by car, or 40 minutes by rail. Stirling Castle is one of the most historically important sites in all of Scotland. Not only was it home to several Scottish kings and queens, it was central to William Wallace and Robert the Bruce’s Wars of Independence. Once you’ve explored the beautiful chambers and vaults of this magnificent castle, head on over to the striking Wallace Monument for the most magnificent panoramic views of this beautiful part of Scotland.

On the way there (or back), Falkirk is another wonderful place to visit. Home to the magnificent Kelpies, two giant horse head sculptures. You can also visit the Falkirk Wheel, where you will see the world’s first rotating boat lift, enjoy a boat ride and spend time at the Visitor Centre.

Entrance to Stirling Castle in Scotland
Stirling Castle

Loch Lomond

You can reach Loch Lomond, to the north west of Edinburgh, by car in under two hours. There are lots of things to do on and around this beautiful loch. Such as water sports, boat cruises, historic attractions, walking and cycling.

Charming villages and towns to visit around Loch Lomond include Callander, Luss, St Fillans, Aberfoyle, Killin and Balloch.

Boat in dock on the shores of Loch Lomond
Loch Lomond

Scottish Borders

The Scottish Borders lies to the south of Edinburgh, a beautiful area of Scotland near the border with England. It takes one to two hours to reach the Borders, depending which part you are headed to. Or you can take a train to Tweedbank, which takes about an hour.

This beautiful part of Scotland is very rural, with gentle rolling hills and valleys. Some of our favourite places to visit in the Scottish Borders include Abbotford, Melrose and Floors Castle. You can find out more in our guide to the Scottish Borders.

Abbotsford House and Gardens in the Scottish Borders
Abbotsford House and Gardens

Book your stay at Parliament House Hotel and you can enjoy an Edinburgh city centre location, whilst being just around the corner from Waverley Station. This is your gateway to many wonderful things to do, all within easy reach of Edinburgh. The beaches of East Lothian, the vibrant city of Glasgow and the Kingdom of Fife are just a few suggestions. There are so many amazing towns and villages, attractions and places to visit near Edinburgh. Please ask our friendly team for more ideas during your stay.