Edinburgh
Off the beaten track

Enter your dates to find available activities

Our most recommended Edinburgh Off the beaten track

Edinburgh: Evening Underground Ghost Tour

1. Edinburgh: Evening Underground Ghost Tour

Experience the world's most haunted city on a ghost tour of Edinburgh and be spooked by the dark side of the Old Town. Discover the hidden wynds (alleys) off the Royal Mile and hear some of Edinburgh’s horrifying secrets. Visit what is considered the world's most haunted graveyards, "Greyfriars Kirkyard." Finally, explore the underground Edinburgh Vaults. Completed in 1788, the series of chambers housed taverns and stored illicit material, including dead bodies killed by serial killers Burke and Hare for their medical experiments. Journey through over 400 years of history and true tales of hangings, torture, murders, and witchcraft. Shiver at the weird noises and unexplained smells that appear after dark! 

...
Edinburgh: The Dark Side Walking Tour

2. Edinburgh: The Dark Side Walking Tour

Meet some of Edinburgh's most infamous characters on a fun ghost walk through the dark side of the city center. Learn more about Burke and Hare and hear tales of witch burning, grave robbing, body snatching and mysterious murders. Start on the Royal Mile, where plundered tombs, funeral pyres and mass graves from thousands of years ago are concealed. Get goosebumps as the past is brought to life by your guide and venture to gruesome burial sites such as the Canongate Kirkyard. Prepare to be spooked by spine-chilling tales of real-life cannibals and vampires as the true history of Edinburgh is recreated before your eyes.  

...
From Edinburgh: Outlander Adventure Day Tour

3. From Edinburgh: Outlander Adventure Day Tour

After leaving Edinburgh at 9:15 AM you will travel back in time as your driver guides you over the Queensferry Crossing to Culross. This virtually-unchanged 16th century village overlooks the sea and poses as the fictional town of Cranesmuir. You have time to visit Claire’s herb garden, explore the palace, or wander the ancient streets while you imagine what life must have been like 400 years ago. You will journey past Stirling Castle and the Wallace Monument to Doune Castle, or as it’s called in Outlander, Castle Leoch. This formidable building gives you an insight into the living conditions of a Scottish earl in the 14th century. You can also listen to an excellent audio guide about how this castle was used as a filming location for Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Your next stop is Linlithgow Palace. Here you have time to enjoy beautiful views to the Forth bridges, have a picnic by the loch, and explore the ruins of Mary Queen of Scots’ birthplace. If you’re feeling brave, you can visit the spot where that gruesome Outlander scene took place. You then travel the short distance to Blackness Castle. It’s an impressive castle that’s known as the ‘ship that never sailed’ because it resembles a giant stone boat. You have time to walk along the ramparts and explore the fictional headquarters of Jack Randall. Midhope Castle is your next highlight. Unfortunately, visitors are unable to go inside the castle, but Jamie’s lovely Lallybroch home is still an essential photo opportunity for any fan of the show. Before heading back to Edinburgh, you will have a final stop in the colorful harbor area of South Queensferry, and will return to Edinburgh by approximately 5:45 PM.

...
From Edinburgh: St Andrews & Fife's Fishing Villages

4. From Edinburgh: St Andrews & Fife's Fishing Villages

Your full-day excursion into the Kingdom of Fife departs in the morning from Edinburgh, heading north via the Forth Road Bridge. Enjoy sweeping view across the Forth Rail Bridge, one of Scotland's greatest man-made landmarks, at 1.5 miles in length. After crossing the bridge you’ve entered the Kingdom of Fife. Its easternmost stretch of coastline is home to a string of picturesque villages, each having a distinctive character and charm. The tour stops in the traditional fishing village of Anstruther, where you’ll see the old cobbled streets and the network of alleyways and wynds. Enjoy a walk along the seafront to the harbor. From Anstruther you’ll travel north to the medieval town of St. Andrews, where you’ll see its huge Norman cathedral, known to be the largest in Scotland. St. Andrews is probably best known around the world as the home of golf. The Old Course, as it’s known to golfers, was founded in 1754. St. Andrews is also home to the oldest University in Scotland, dating back 6 centuries. You’ll have plenty of time to explore this ancient and interesting town. A pleasant drive through the rolling countryside of central Fife, dotted with small villages and farms, takes you to Falkland. Falkland Palace dominates this old village, and was one of the main residences of the Stewarts, an important royal family in Scottish history. Falkland is known to be one of Scotland’s most beautiful villages, featuring an array of old cottages and narrow winding streets. Take some time to wander around the village or stop at one of its traditional pubs or tearooms.

...
Loch Lomond, Kelpies, and Stirling Castle Small-Group Tour

5. Loch Lomond, Kelpies, and Stirling Castle Small-Group Tour

Leave Edinburgh and travel through the historic grace of Linlithgowshire. Your guide will help you spot Linlithgow palace, the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots. On the way to Loch Lomond you stop at the Kelpies Monument. These two horses’ heads stand as a testament to the horse power that drove the industrial development of Central Scotland. From here you head to the shores of Loch Lomond, which is Scotland’s largest loch and is protected as Scotland’s first National Park. This is the perfect place to enjoy a walk along the ‘bonny banks’ and take in fantastic views of the mountains. This tranquil area was once the home of Scotland’s famous highland folk hero, Rob Roy MacGregor. By spending time on the trails by the loch you’ll be walking in the footsteps of one of Scotland’s greatest legends. You then head into the Trossachs or ‘The Highlands in Miniature’, where the Lowlands meet the Highlands. Steep mountains, shimmering lochs, and thick forests: this area is stunning. You stop for lunch in the heart of the National Park then continue to the city of Stirling where you can visit one of Scotland’s most magnificent castles. You can choose to take in the views from inside and understand why this castle was so instrumental in Scottish history. From here our short journey back to Edinburgh passes the Kelpies once again before arriving back in the capital.

...
Rosslyn Chapel & Scottish Borders Tour from Edinburgh

6. Rosslyn Chapel & Scottish Borders Tour from Edinburgh

Discover the myths and legends surrounding the Holy Grail and Rosslyn Chapel on this small-group tour! You'll also visit the beautiful Borders village of Melrose with its historic abbey. Departing at 9:45 AM, your tour takes you south to the world-famous Scott’s View, with stunning views over the Tweed Valley and the Eildon Hills. You will also get the opportunity to visit the original Wallace Monument. From here you travel to Melrose, including the chance to explore its great Border Abbey, founded by the Cistercians in the 12th Century. The Cistercian monks had very close connections with the Knights Templar and Melrose Abbey is the burial place of Robert the Bruce's heart, brought back from the crusades in Moorish Spain. Following lunch in Melrose, you will make your way to the stunning 15th-century Rosslyn Chapel, immortalized in Dan Brown’s “Da Vinci Code”. Here, you can find out more about the myths and legends surrounding the whereabouts of the “Holy Grail”. From Melrose, you will return to Edinburgh, arriving at approximately 4:15 PM.

...
Hadrian's Wall & Roman Britain 1-Day Tour from Edinburgh

7. Hadrian's Wall & Roman Britain 1-Day Tour from Edinburgh

On this 1-day tour from Edinburgh you travel south on the old Roman Dere Street that linked the supply ports on the south of England with the ancient city of York, and north past Hadrian’s Wall to the Roman settlements in Central Scotland. Your first stop on this tour will be in the border town of Jedburgh, a historic burgh that lies only 12 miles north of the Scotland-England border. Here you have time to take a short walk through the narrow streets that lead to the remains of the Augustinian Abbey, which has been a great symbol of power during its 900 year history. Continuing south you make a brief stop at scenic Carter Bar on the edge of the Cheviot Hills. This crossing point between Scotland and England runs close to the ancient Roman road and has formed the border between the 2 countries for the past 700 years. The tour continues through the magnificent forests of Northumberland National Park before turning west towards the remains of Hadrian’s Wall. You follow the road taking you along the south side of the wall, stopping at Steel Rigg where you come face-to-face with large sections of the wall’s remains. You have time to walk along the wall and experience the isolation that Roman foot soldiers would have experienced as they guarded their empire from the barbarians to the north. You continue your journey west along the wall towards the village of Lanercost, the western gateway to Hadrian’s Wall. After pausing for lunch you travel a short distance to Birdoswald, one of the best preserved of the 16 Roman forts along the length of Hadrian’s Wall. You have time to explore this fascinating site and further sections of the wall before you turn north for the return journey. Travelling through the Galloway hills, you stop in the Victorian spa town of Moffat before continuing through the Southern Uplands and Scottish Borders, and return to Edinburgh.

...
From Edinburgh: Speyside Whisky Trail 3-Day Small Group Tour

8. From Edinburgh: Speyside Whisky Trail 3-Day Small Group Tour

A warm welcome awaits you in Speyside, home to more than half of Scotland's malt whiskey distilleries. You’ll have a chance to sample the whiskey and enjoy the magnificent scenery of Cairngorm, Speyside and Royal Deeside. Day 1: Head north through the Kingdom of Fife to Lindores Abbey Distillery. This modern Scottish distillery is built on the site of the first-ever recorded distillery in the country. After lunch in Pitlochry, sample the delights of Scotland's highest distillery at Dalwhinnie, near the source of the River Spey. Once you’ve warmed with this dram of “the gentle spirit”, continue through the Cairngorms National Park before reaching Grantown on Spey - your base for 2 nights. Day 2: Enjoy a whole day exploring Scotland’s most famous whiskey region. After a scenic drive towards the coast, make your first stop of the day at the family-owned Benromach Distillery. Travel back up the Spey River to Craigellachie for a visit to the Speyside Cooperage*, where you see another aspect of the whiskey-making process. After lunch in nearby Aberlour, visit Cardhu Distillery, which is the first distillery pioneered by a woman, Helen Cumming. Today, Cardhu is the most important whisky in Johnnie Walker Black Label. From here, travel back to Grantown on Spey. *Speyside Cooperage is only visited on Monday and Wednesday departures. Day 3: In the morning visit Glenlivet, which is both a distillery and a beautiful glen with serene walks and wonderful wildlife. Then, enjoy the majesty of Royal Deeside. Pass by Balmoral Castle, and stop in the village of Braemar in the heart of the National Park. From here, the route south passes over Scotland’s highest mountain pass, through Perthshire, and back to Edinburgh.

...
Edinburgh: 2-Hour Nighttime Ghost Tour

9. Edinburgh: 2-Hour Nighttime Ghost Tour

The city of Edinburgh has witnessed its fair share of bloody events, murders and witch burnings throughout history. The echoes of these events have survived through time and have left their mark on the alleys and cemeteries that you will travel through on this exciting night tour.  On this tour of ghosts, mysteries and witches, you will take a 2-hour journey through the black history of Edinburgh. Take a stroll through Edinburgh, away from the stock standard attractions and travel back to a time of mystery. With your guide, enjoy a series of stories and visual projections that will give you insight into the dark history of Edinburgh. This tour is an essential part of your stay in Edinburgh and one not to be missed. 

...
West Highlands Lochs & Castles Tour from Edinburgh

10. West Highlands Lochs & Castles Tour from Edinburgh

Enjoy a small group tour of Scotland’s Western Highlands, and explore some of its most atmospheric lochs and castles. Traveling in a comfortable 16-seat Mercedes minibus, you will depart Edinburgh and head west past Stirling Castle. The first stop will be Doune Castle, built for Robert Stewart, the Duke of Albany, over 600 years ago. You might recognize it from the famous comedy film, Monty Python and The Holy Grail. Continue to Callander, where you will pause for a coffee, before leaving the rolling farms for the wild mountains and forests of the Highlands. Visit Loch Luibnaig, and continue over the Braes of Balquhidder, final resting place of Highland outlaw Rob Roy MacGregor. Made famous by Sir Walter Scott, Rob Roy was a sort-of Highland Robin Hood, who stole from the rich, but never quite got round to giving it to the poor! From Balquhidder, the tour winds its way through the tough knot of mountains known as Breadalbane. Stop for lunch in a small West Highland village. Continue past Kilchurn Castle in the middle of Loch Awe, and on through Campbell country to the picturesque town of Inveraray on the shores of Loch Fyne. Visit the 18th-Century castle, home of the Duke of Argyll, chief of the Campbell clan. Depart Inveraray, and drive up through the steep mountains of the Arrochar Alps, to the great viewpoint at “Rest and Be Thankful,” given its name by the weary soldiers who had just finished building the military road up through Glen Croe. Skirt Loch Long, and drive down to the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond, Scotland's largest loch. Stop at the conservation village of Luss, to admire its quaint houses and stunning views across the loch, and then make your way back to Edinburgh, with a short stop underneath Stirling Castle.

...

Other Sightseeing Options in Edinburgh

Want to discover all there is to do in Edinburgh? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Edinburgh

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 666 reviews

Weather was nice. It wasn’t cold, it was wet definitely. My personal experience I would suggest this Specific place if you are not driving. Best time to visit this place is summertime. Definitely I’ll visit this place again.

I had the best time on this tour! My tour guide Gavin was fantastic and had so many fun stories to tell. He even added extra stops to the tour that weren’t in the itinerary. I got to see everything I had hoped and more.

Jen was amazing! So fun and engaging and even though it was freezing it was a great two hours in the cold with fascinating stories and history

Was fun, informative & our kids loved it too. James the guide was really good.

Amazing tour , the Whitchhunter was really good and a really nice guy !