Explore Scotland: Top 5 Day Trips From Edinburgh

Top 5 day trips from Edinburgh

Edinburgh, Scotland's capital, is a city brimming with history, culture, and stunning architecture. While there's no shortage of things to see and do within the city itself, its strategic location makes it an ideal base for exploring some of Scotland's most captivating destinations. Here are the top five day trips from Edinburgh, providing a perfect escape from the city.

Jump to:

Aerial view of a castle in Stirling, ScotlandUnsplash

1. Stirling

Distance from Edinburgh: 58 kilometers (36 miles)
How to get there: By train, the journey from Edinburgh Waverley to Stirling takes about 50 minutes. Alternatively, driving via the M9 motorway takes approximately an hour.

Stirling, often called the "Gateway to the Highlands," is rich in history and scenic beauty. The iconic Stirling Castle, perched on a volcanic rock, offers panoramic views and a glimpse into Scotland’s storied past. Another must-see is the Wallace Monument, dedicated to the Scottish hero William Wallace. Explore the charming old town with its cobbled streets, and don't miss the Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre, which brings to life the pivotal 1314 battle for Scottish independence. Stirling is a compact city, perfect for a day of historical exploration and picturesque walks.

Castle on the beach in St Andrews, ScotlandUnsplash

2. St Andrews

Distance from Edinburgh: 89 kilometers (55 miles)
How to get there: By train, travel from Edinburgh Waverley to Leuchars, which takes around an hour, followed by a 10-minute bus ride to St Andrews. Driving via the M90 and A91 roads takes about 1.5 hours.

St Andrews, renowned as the home of golf, is a delightful coastal town. Visit the Old Course, the oldest golf course in the world, and the British Golf Museum. Stroll through the ruins of St Andrews Cathedral, once Scotland's largest church, and climb St Rule's Tower for stunning views. The town's medieval streets are lined with boutique shops, cafes, and the prestigious University of St Andrews, the oldest in Scotland. The beautiful West Sands Beach, featured in the film "Chariots of Fire," offers a perfect spot for a seaside walk.

Roslynn Chapel in Roslin, ScotlandUnsplash

3. Roslin

Distance from Edinburgh: 11 kilometers (7 miles)
How to get there: Bus services from Edinburgh take about 45 minutes. Driving via the A701 road takes around 30 minutes.

Roslin is a small village with a big claim to fame: the mysterious Rosslyn Chapel. This 15th-century chapel, featured in Dan Brown's "The Da Vinci Code," is adorned with intricate carvings steeped in symbolism and legend. A guided tour will reveal the fascinating history and myths surrounding this architectural gem. After exploring the chapel, take a walk through Roslin Glen, a beautiful wooded area with picturesque paths along the River North Esk. The village itself offers charming cafes and a tranquil atmosphere, perfect for a relaxing day trip close to Edinburgh.

Tantallon Castle in North Berwick, ScotlandUnsplash

4. North Berwick

Distance from Edinburgh: 40 kilometers (25 miles)
How to get there: A direct train from Edinburgh Waverley takes around 30 minutes. Driving via the A1 road takes approximately 45 minutes.

North Berwick is a charming seaside town known for its beautiful beaches and coastal views. Visit the Scottish Seabird Centre to learn about the local marine life and take a boat trip to Bass Rock, home to a large gannet colony. Stroll along the sandy shores of West Bay and Milsey Bay, or explore the town's quaint streets filled with shops, cafes, and galleries. For a bit of history, visit the ruins of Tantallon Castle, perched dramatically on the cliffs overlooking the North Sea. North Berwick offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and seaside charm.

Linlithgow Palace, ScotlandiStock

5. Linlithgow

Distance from Edinburgh: 32 kilometers (20 miles)
How to get there: A direct train from Edinburgh Waverley takes about 20 minutes. Driving via the M9 motorway takes around 30 minutes.

Linlithgow, steeped in royal history, is home to the magnificent Linlithgow Palace, the birthplace of Mary, Queen of Scots. The palace ruins are set within beautiful parkland, offering a glimpse into Scotland's regal past. Take a leisurely walk around Linlithgow Loch, a serene spot with picturesque views and abundant wildlife. The town itself has a charming high street with a variety of shops and cafes, and the nearby Union Canal is perfect for a peaceful stroll or boat trip. Linlithgow offers a rich historical experience combined with natural beauty, all within easy reach of Edinburgh.

Airalo eSIM app

Scotland eSIM: Stay Connected With Airalo

No matter where you travel, stay connected with an Airalo eSIM. Airalo gives you access to affordable eSIMs for 200+ countries and regions — including Scotland.

Why Airalo? Here are a few reasons to use an Airalo eSIM when you travel:

  • Connect to a mobile network within minutes of arrival.
  • Choose from flexible local, regional, and global data plans.
  • Eliminate the need to find a local SIM vendor.
  • Say goodbye to expensive roaming charges.
  • Store multiple eSIM data plans on your device.
  • Running out of data? Top up in the Airalo app.

Planning a trip to Edinburgh? Get a Scotland eSIM to stay connected during your trip.

Ready to try eSIMs and change the way you stay connected?

Download the Airalo app to purchase, manage, and top up your eSIMs anytime, anywhere!

Airalo | Download mobile app
Airalo | Use your Free Credit

Use Your Free Credit.

You can earn USD $3.00 in Airmoney by sharing your referral code with friends.