Athens of the North
Too many to name, here are just a few of our favourite things to do in Edinburgh.
Situated right at the top of the Royal Mile on top of Castle Rock, Edinburgh Castle is the number one visitor attraction in Scotland and the most iconic building in the city. A brilliant day out for all the family, Edinburgh Zoo is home to more than 1,000 animals, including the UK’s only Giant Pandas. The Real Mary King’s Close is buried deep beneath Edinburgh’s Royal Mile and a warren of hidden streets that has remained frozen in time since the 17th Century. Edinburgh is home to three of the National Galleries of Scotland, the National Gallery, the Portrait Gallery and the Gallery of Modern Art offering permanent collections and exciting visiting exhibitions. Enjoy a stroll through Edinburgh’s stunning Royal Botanic Gardens throughout the changing seasons or journey through a warmer climate in the Glasshouse. Voted as the UK’s number one attraction by TripAdvisor, the Royal Yacht Britannia was the seabound home to Her Majesty the Queen, it is now moored permanently near Ocean Terminal in Leith.
These wonderful attractions are merely a bus ride away and when you have had enough culture and entertainment for one day, you can return to the peace and tranquility of the park to re-charge your batteries and take in the views of the Pentland Hills, Salisbury Craggs and Arthur’s Seat.
The Camera Obscura and World of Illusions offers fantastic views of Edinburgh with three galleries full of optical experiences. The optical illusions include bendy mirrors, big lenses, holograms, shadow walls and giant kaleidoscopes. There are three floors of exhibits, including a gift shop, which contains games, puzzles and camera accessories.
Deep Sea World
Get up close to one of the largest collections of sharks in Europe as amongst others, Sand Tiger Sharks and Grey Nurse Sharks swim over your head at Scotland’s National Aquarium. Wander through themed exhibitions taking in the sea creatures and marine life in the longest underwater tunnel in the UK.
Edinburgh Castle is home to the world-famous Military Tattoo and is annually visited by approximately one million tourists. The Castle offers magnificent panoramic views of Edinburgh and within the Castle precincts lies St Margaret’s Chapel, which is the oldest building in Edinburgh. The one o’clock gun is fired from the Castle every day except Sunday.
Edinburgh Zoo is committed to the highest standards of animal welfare, conservation and environmental education. The zoo has over 1000 animals and is set on beautiful parkland on the outskirts of Edinburgh. There are hilltop safaris, children’s play areas, restaurants, gift shops and various events throughout the year.
Forth Boat Tours
Forth boat Tours depart from South Queensferry, which is only a short distance from Scotland’s bustling capital city of Edinburgh.
The tour includes magnificent views of the Three Bridges, Seals, Puffins and Porpoises, the beautiful panoramas of the Edinburgh skyline, the Kingdom of Fife and the historic island of Inchcolm with its medieval abbey.
For your comfort, relax on board in the heated observation lounge or on the outside decks and listen to the guided commentary while you enjoy a drink from the bar.
For your comfort relax onboard in the heated observation lounge or on the outside decks and listen to the guided commentary while you enjoy a drink from the bar
Glenkinchie Distillery Museum
Glenkinchie is often known as the Edinburgh Malt due to it’s close proximity to Scotland’s capital. With a shuttlebus provided twice a day, seven days a week from Edinburgh (visit website for details) you can visit the exhibit and model distillery or choose from a variety of tours – each with a complimentary whisky when finished.
At the end of the Royal Mile in the shadow of Arthur’s Seat lies Holyrood Palace. The Palace is best known as the home of Mary, Queen of Scots. Today the Royal Apartments are used by the Queen for State, ceremonial, and official entertaining. Some of the artworks on display are watercolours and drawings from the Collection of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother.
Holyrood Park and Arthur’s Seat
A few minutes walk from Edinburgh Old Town, the hilly public park encompasses a five mile radius of land now the responsibility of government cultural agency Historic Scotland. Having probably being a Royal Park since the 12th Century, Holyrood reflects the rugged, natural landscape found across Scotland with it’s volcanic cliff faces, steep pathways, mini locks and the hillside ruin of St. Anthony’s Chapel. A great place to ramble with well maintained paths to the top of Arthur’s seat and it’s distinctive polished rock surface.
Mary King’s Close
How is it that the streets that the once bustling heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town came to be sealed off and hidden from sight? Be transported back to 17th Century Edinburgh as a costumed character guide leads you on a tour through preserved streets and spaces. Marvel at how different life would have been for the people of Edinburgh when these streets were open to the skies.
Midlothian Snowsports Centre
Hillend Snowsports Centre is the longest artificial slope for skiers and boarders. The slope is located on the city bypass just a short journey from Mortonhall. The ski and snowboarding schools provide courses for adults and juniors at all levels and the centre is also open for those who just want to have some fun.
National Mining Museum
The National Mining Museum Scotland, previously known as the Scottish Mining Museum can be found beside the A7 in Newtongrange. Telling the story of coal, Scotland’s national museum for the coal mining industry provides a home for a number of important national collections providing a great day out for all ages.
National Museum of Scotland
The Museum of Scotland is one of Scotland’s most popular attractions. The museum allows visitors to discover the story of Scotland; it’s land, its people and their achievements. Thousands of the nation’s most precious artefacts are on display. Free guided tours are on offer.
Our Dynamic Earth
Dynamic Earth is a prehistoric, volcanic, tropic and Antarctic exploration of the extremes of planet earth, from the beginning of time to the unknown future. Dynamic Earth has been awarded a Five Star Rating by Visit Scotland for outstanding presentation, service and facilities. Café and gift shop.
Rosslyn Chapel, of Da Vinci Code fame, was founded in 1446 by Sir William St Clair the third and St Clair Prince of Orkney. The Chapel contains many exquisite carvings relevant to biblical, Masonic, Pagan and Knights Templar themes. The area around Rosslyn plays an important part in Scottish history. Rosslyn Castle was a key holding during the Wars of Independence. The Village of Rosslyn was built to house the many stonemasons and labourers.
Royal Botanic Gardens
The Royal Botanic Gardens are a gateway to science, horticulture, education and exhibition programmes. The Gardens explore and explain the world of plants. The gardens were founded in the 17th century with the aim of growing medicinal plants. The grounds now feature a world-famous rock garden, peat and woodland gardens, colourful herbaceous borders, large and well-stocked plant houses, and several specialist collections, including Chinese plants, and rhododendrons.
Scotch Whisky Experience
Held in a marble glass vault 3,384 bottles of Scotch Whisky make the Scotch Whisky Experience a priceless record of Whisky history. Become part of the experience as you ride through their virtual distillery or sample a “Taste of Scotland” Sample Menu in their restaurant (lunch and evening menus are available).
St. Giles Cathedral
St. Gile’s Cathedral is the historic City Church of Edinburgh. With it’s famed crown spire it stands on the Royal Mile between Edinburgh Castle and the Palace of Hoyroodhouse. Also known as the High Kirk of Edinburgh, it is the Mother Church of Presbyterianism and contains the Chapel of the Order of the Thistle.
The Edinburgh Dungeon
Bringing together a cast of amazing theatrical actors, special effects, stages and scenes in a truly unique walk through experience where you will see (albeit almost dark), hear, touch, smell and feel the history of the Edinburgh Dungeon. Book online for discounted rates.
The Forth Bridges
Opened in 1890, the Forth bridge is a Scottish icon that is recognised the world over as the most famous of cantilever designs. Representing a key milestone in the history of modern railway civil engineering the record holding world’s longest cantilever bridge is one of the world’s most significant long span suspension bridges.
The Royal Yacht Britannia
The Royal Yacht Britannia is located at Ocean Terminal shopping centre, which is just 2 miles from the city centre. There is free parking and buses are available from the centre. Visits include self-led tours of the five decks and an insight into how the crew of 240 lived and worked aboard the ship.
We found it very welcoming and chose to stay here again over Hogmanay due to the ease of getting to and from the city centre, and the reasonable price for 2 nights stay. Everyone we encountered was helpful, and we were able to check in before the official check in time due to the property being ready early which was very useful. Overall, we enjoyed our stay and would happily recommend to others.
Good having bus stops nearby. Site very convenient for Edinburgh.
Best place to stay when visiting Edinburgh. Especially when arriving from south. Great transport links. Nice walks. Very safe site. No traffic noise from nearby roads. Good recycling facilities. Meet people from all over the world
Beautiful setting, so clean with a variety of wildlife. Loved the two bulls In the front fields. Really great place. We live in Australia so very nice to see rain and green fields.
A lovely stay at the site, very helpful friendly staff and good bus services in to Edinburgh… thank-you for having us.
Overall experience and stay at the park was brilliant! Will definitely be returning!
Beautiful surroundings, plenty of room, good bus links from outside park and easy to find on arrival. Excellent experience and the best overall site we found in a month of touring Scotland.
Excellent location for Edinburgh fringe festival.
Staff so friendly and efficient, always love our stay at Mortonhall, so convenient for travel to city.
We had had a long journey and when we got to the caravan we were so pleasantly surprised at the superb quality and cleanliness of the caravan. We have stayed at many caravan parks over the years but this one was completely the best we’ve ever stayed at for all the right reasons. We looked forward to coming back to the caravan every night and were very comfortable and at home there. The man at reception was very helpful and friendly and we just couldn’t have wanted for more. As we were leaving the Saturday we were already planning when we would be coming back. Our daughter has epilepsy so its important that she was happy and relaxed and she enjoyed every second of our holiday, so thank you so very much and we have recommended you to everyone we know. Absolutely brilliant caravan park all round.
Love this place such easy access to Edinburgh and a lovely garden centre right on your doorstep.
From the first phone call (which felt welcomed than an imposition or unwanted interruption) nothing was too much trouble. My son is disabled and the gentleman was only too happy to place us as close to the shower block and facilities as he could. Unbidden, help was offered with regard to directions to the caravan park, information was given as to the facilities, and our late arrival posed no problems as there was a perfect system to accommodate that. Quite a contrast to other caravan parks we had cause to use during our trip. The facilities were fantastic with a great bar and restaurant and the park itself was immaculately tidy and very well maintained. The shower block was warm, with lovely hot water that was consistent and easy to control, the shower heads were clean with a uniform spray that actually enabled you to wash effectively (as opposed to spraying the ceiling and any which way but on your actual body). Decent, clean, quality, mops, squeegees and buckets were provided to clean the excess water for the next person to use. I also did my laundry whilst there and these facilities were also perfect. Clear instructions, efficient, clean machines and dryers that were a pleasure to use. This park is committed to reducing its carbon footprint and minimising waste which is fantastic for our environment. Sadly it was at the end of our trip so we only stayed one night, but I will definitely go back with my son and spend a bit more time. It’s abundantly clear that the owners, managers and staff enjoy what they do and take pride in this park. I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending it to anyone