What The Dickins: A Tale Of Edinburgh City

9 of the Best Day Trips from Edinburgh

day trips

Spring is officially here and that means longer days and (hopefully) warmer weather! You know how much we love Edinburgh but why not make the most of the arrival of Spring by heading out on a couple day trips. The best bit is you needn’t travel too far as we’ve selected nine day trips that are less than an hour from Edinburgh’s city centre! From serene seaside locations like North Berwick to Sir Walter Scott’s historic home in the Borders, day trips are often just the tonic to lift your spirits after spending most the winter indoors.

The majority of our picks are easily accessible by train but if you’re staying at a Dickins property you also have the option to bring your car as we have several lovely Edinburgh holiday lets which come with parking.

1. North Berwick

  • Distance by Train: Roughly 30 minutes

Just a 30 minute train journey from Edinburgh lies the picturesque seaside town, North Berwick. With lovely beaches, an eclectic mix of independent shops and a range of delicious places to eat, it’s the ideal location for a day trip.

While you’re there we highly recommend a visit to their Seabird Centre (and maybe even a scenic boat ride out to visit the Bass Rock depending on the weather conditions), lunch at Steampunk Coffee, and a stroll along the beach.

Website: www.visitscotland.com/north-berwick

Day trips

2. Abbotsford House (Sir Walter Scott’s Home)

  • Distance by Train: Roughly an hour

Located on the banks of the River Tweed in the Scottish Borders, Abbotsford House was home to non-other than Sir Walter Scott. Until fairly recently, it was reasonably difficult to reach without a car, but, thankfully the introduction of Scotrail’s Borders Railway service now means it’s less than an hours train journey and a short bus ride from the station to Abbotsford House.

Once there, you can learn about Scott’s life, browse the gift shop, enjoy seasonal food in their café or simply relax and unwind as you wander through the beautiful formal gardens and tranquil woodlands.

Website: www.scottsabbotsford.com

Day trips

3. Glasgow

  • Distance by Train: Roughly an hour (depending on the train)

Despite only a short distance separating the two cities, there is a stark difference between Edinburgh and Glasgow. Glasgow is Scotland’s largest city and is lively, urban, distinctive, and full of character. There is a wealth of activities depending on what you enjoy.

While you’re in the city centre, we’d recommend keeping an eye out for their fascinating mural trail and visiting the Lighthouse – a modern art gallery which boasts fantastic 360 degree views of the city. Also, be sure to make the most of their Subway system to visit the Glasgow Science Centre and Glasgow’s West End, where you’ll find The Kelvingrove, Glasgow’s Botanic Gardens and the University of Glasgow.

Website: www.visitscotland.com/glasgow


4. Culross

  • Distance by Train & Bus: Roughly 30 minutes by train to Dunfermline Town than less then 30 minutes by bus to Culross

Culross (pronounced koo-russ) is hidden gem often overlooked by both locals and tourists, however, after staring in the hit TV show “Outlander” it received its due recognition. Culross is Scotland’s most complete example of a burgh of the 17th and 18th centuries and with its quaint houses and cobbled streets it’s impossible not to fall for it.

While there, be sure to visit Culross Palace (open 30th March-November), take a wander up to Culross Abbey, and enjoy lunch at Bessie’s Cafe or Biscuit Cafe.

Website: www.nts.org.uk/culross

day trips

5. South Queensferry

  • Distance by Train: Roughly 15 minutes by train and a short walk to the main High Street

South Queensferry is a pleasant little village on the banks of the Firth of Forth. It’s arguably the best place to admire the Forth Rail Bridge. The Forth Bridge, a railway bridge which was completed over 125 years ago and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a spectacular feat in engineering. 

While there, we’d recommend taking a stroll along the beach and exploring their quaint high street, which is dotted with various independent shops. You needn’t worry about where to enjoy lunch as for the size of the village there is a host of great places to eat, most of which have fantastic views of the Forth Rail Bridge.

Website: www.visitscotland.com/south-queensferry

day trips

6. Stirling

  • Distance by Train: Roughly an hour

Just under an hour’s train ride will bring you to one of Scotland’s most historic cities. The city of Stirling is Scotland’s heritage capital, where the Wars of Independence were fought and won, and for three centuries monarchs ruled in regal splendour.

When you emerge from the train station, you’ll be relatively near Stirling’s main High Street where you can stop for a bite to eat. We recommend wandering a little further and visiting either one or all of their attractions including Stirling Old Town Jail, Stirling Castle, Argyll’s Lodging, and The Wallace Monument.

Website: www.destinationstirling.com

day trips

7. Linlithgow Palace

  • Distance by Train: Less than 30 minutes

A short train journey will bring you to Linlithgow, which is known for its impressive Palace ruins and being the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots.The Palace dates back to the 15th century and is perfectly positioned beside the picturesque Linlithgow Loch. Despite the Palace’s current ruined state, it has been well maintained and there is still plenty to see, plus there are fantastic views from the upper floors.

As well as visiting Linlithgow Palace and Linlithgow Loch, take a wander along their quaint High Street and enjoy a cuppa or a meal at one of their various cafes.

Website: www.visitscotland.com/linlithgow

day trips

8. St Andrews

  • Distance by Train: Roughly an hour (depending on the train)

Unlike the other locations on our list, St Andrews is a little more inconvenient to reach by public transport as their nearest train station is located just outside of St Andrews at Leuchars train station. However, once you’ve arrived, it’s only a short bus ride away from St Andrews. There is the option to take the bus from Edinburgh but it does take slightly longer and of course, if you have a car then that’s even better!

St. Andrews is a seaside town known for its many golf courses, including the Old Course (one of the oldest golf clubs in the world). The town has also become synonymous with the modern day Royal love story as it’s the location where Prince William met Kate Middleton.

As well as exploring what stores and cafes the town has to offer, we’d recommend visiting St Andrew’s Cathedral and Castle, St Andrew’s Botanic Gardens (which also has a tropical butterfly house), and enjoy a leisurely stroll along one of their beaches!

Day Trips

9. New Lanark

  • Distance by Car: Roughly an hour

New Lanark is a gorgeous little village with a fascinating story behind it. The UNESCO World Heritage Site tells the story of the cotton mill village of New Lanark which was founded in the 18th century and quickly became known under the enlightened management of social pioneer, Robert Owen. He provided decent homes, fair wages, free health care, a new education system for villagers and the first workplace nursery school in the world! The only downside is it’s somewhat difficult to reach by public transport so if possible we’d recommend travelling by car.

Website: www.newlanark.org/world-heritage-site

Day Trips

Featured Home: Rothesay Terrace

An elegant two bedroom home in Edinburgh’s West End.


If you’re thinking of visiting Edinburgh where better to stay than this impressive and very welcoming home. As soon as you step through the front door, you’ll know you’ve chosen the right home. There are two bedrooms with views over Dean Village and access to the shared garden. If that wasn’t enough this beautiful holiday let even comes with parking so you can head off on as many day trips as you’d like.

See more of our lovely Edinburgh holiday lets here…

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