Edinburgh is one of my favourite cities in the UK. Living in the North-East of England, we’re able to hop on a train and be in the Scottish capital within a couple of hours. And that makes it the perfect location for a day trip! If you’re planning on visiting Edinburgh – whether its for a day or a week – here’s a perfect one-day itinerary that’ll take you to the highlights of this fantastic city!
An extinct volcano, Arthur’s Seat is the main peak of the hills surrounding Edinburgh and offer breath-taking views of the city. Kick off your day with a hike up the famous Arthur’s Seat. Due to its prime location in the centre of the city, its one of the most popular hikes in Scotland, and whilst there is an obvious incline it’s still a pretty easy walk! It can be windy up top, so I’d recommend taking a light jacket to shield yourself from the bitter wind! There are many routes which will take you to the summit, but this circular route is popular! Taking in Holyrood Park, St Margaret’s Loch, and St Anthony’s Chapel, this 2-hour route is the perfect way to spend your morning! And if you’re an early bird, I’d definitely recommend making your way up to the summit in time for sunrise!
THE ROYAL MILE
One of the most famous streets in Edinburgh – and probably the UK – The Royal Mile is the perfect place to explore. Connecting Edinburgh Castle with Holyrood Palace, here you can explore some stunning architecture, grab a bite to eat or visit the Scottish Parliament. Check out everything The Royal Mile has to offer here.
Edinburgh Castle is full of exciting tales and legends, with the site being used throughout history as a military fortress, royal residence and war prison. Climbing up Castle Hill will see you follow in the footsteps of royals, soldiers, pirates and conmen! Tickets start at £17.50 for adults, but it is totally worth the price!
EXPERIENCES & TOURS
There are so many fun experiences, attractions, and tours you can take during your time in Scotland’s capital. If you’re a whisky fan I’d highly recommend The Scotch Whisky Experience. Located at the top of The Royal Mile, they’ve been sharing their love of Whisky for over 30 years. You can take part in tours, sample some of the finest whisky, and even dine in their restaurant.
If you’re after a tour, there are plenty of options available at a variety of prices – you can check them all out here. On my latest visit to Edinburgh, I chose the Gold Tour option, which includes a whisky barrel tour around the building, a tasting masterclass, a sample of four distinct malt Scotch Whiskies, as well as 1 year membership to the Scotch Whisky Appreciation Society. For £29.50, I thought it was an absolute bargain of a price!
If whisky isn’t your cup of tea, Edinburgh has so much to offer. Whether it’s a gin tour at the Edinburgh Gin Distillery, Ghost Tours, The Chocolatarium Chocolate Tour Experience, or a visit to the World of Illusions, there’s something for everyone!
If you’ve been reading my blogs for a while, you’ll know I’m a big fan of free walking tours. On my last visit to Edinburgh, we joined City Explorers Tours for an afternoon’s amble around the city. The tour we joined was the main tour, focusing on the highlights of the city. Our guide was SO informative, made us feel like locals and even made time for a coffee stop (bonus points!). If you’re around for more than a day, I’d highly recommend their free Harry Potter Tour and Ghost Tour!
If you still have some time to spare after taking in all these amazing sights, make sure you head for dinner in any one of Edinburgh’s incredible restaurants. And if you’re visiting in December, I’d definitely recommend heading to the Christmas Markets – you can easily spend hours wandering round, drinking mulled wine and sampling some tasty food!