The 5 Best Tours and Excursions From Edinburgh

Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park is only an hour’s drive from the capital
Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park is only an hour’s drive from the capital | © robertharding / Alamy Stock Photo
Edinburgh has an enviable number of spots worthy of a day trip, from ethereal lochs to sprawling moors. If you’re looking to escape the city, let someone else do the work for you with a guided tour, where your only worry is sitting back and soaking in the magnificent scenery (or indulging in a dram of whisky).
ToursLoch Ness, Glencoe and the Highlands Day Trip
From $63 per person
12 hours
4.6 (10)

Not simply one of the most beautiful parts of the country, but also full of immensely interesting history, this is a day trip well worth taking. Stopping at Glencoe, Fort Augustus Abbey, Loch Ness and Cairngorms National Park, this tour focuses as much on the area’s past as it does the magnificent Highlands scenery. Immersing you in areas poignant to the country’s history, you’ll drive past the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots, head to the site of an eerie clan massacre in 1692 and even take your own stab at finding the infamous Loch Ness Monster.

ToursSt Andrews and the Fishing Villages of Fife Day Trip
From $56 per person
8 hours 45 minutes
4.8 (10)

Perfect for those wanting to explore this coastal area of the country, this day tour will take you from Edinburgh to St Andrews, crossing the Forth Road Bridge into the Kingdom of Fife and passing the coastal villages of East Neuk. Once you’ve arrived in St Andrews, you’ll see Scotland’s oldest university (and one that has educated a royal or two) along with St Andrew’s Castle and the city’s cathedral ruins. The day trip also includes a visit to the coastal village of Anstruther, where your guide will lead you around the picturesque harbour. To end the day, you’ll travel through the Lomond Hills and past Loch Leven on route back to Edinburgh.

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ToursAlnwick Castle, Northumberland Coast and Borders Day Trip
From $60 per person
9 hours
4.6 (10)

Explore the rugged beauty and cultural splendour of the Scottish Borders on this day trip. Starting in the Scottish capital, your first stop is the border town Kelso, home of the biggest market square in the country. You’ll then move onto Alnwick Castle (which fans will recognise as the Hogwarts of the Harry Potter films) before moving down the captivating Northumberland coastline – a stretch of seaside designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The best way to explore some of the most scenic parts of the country and be back in the city by happy hour.

ToursLoch Lomond, Kelpies and Stirling Castle Day Trip
From $52 per person
9 hours
4.9 (10)

Walk in the footsteps of William Wallace, Robert the Bruce and Rob Roy, and discover the roles they played in Scottish history and folklore. Over the day, you’ll stop for a guided tour at Stirling Castle – an impressive Medieval fortress – and drive through the Trossachs National Park to the Highland village of Balloch, nestled by the banks of magical Loch Lomond. After a cruise over the loch, you’ll lunch in the pretty riverside village of Aberfoyle. A perfect day combining unforgettable scenery with Scotland’s riveting history.

ToursWhisky Distilleries Day Tour
From $52 per person
9 hours
4.9 (10)

Treat yourself to a day of whisky appreciation on a full-day tasting tour. Not only will you get to sample a wide range of Scotland’s most famous export, but your driver-guide will also discuss the country’s whisky-making history as you wind through the Scottish Lowlands. You’ll head to a historic whisky-producing region, and visit Glengoyne Distillery and Deanston Distillery for informative tasting sessions and tours. Along the way, view warehouses stocked with aged casks and marvel at the quiet beauty of Loch Lomond. Slàinte!