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Edinburgh Tours, Vacations & Experiences


  • Playing the Bag Pipes
  • Edinburgh Castle
  • Fringe Festival
  • Cityscape
  • View from Calton Hill

Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland and is a city which interestingly combines both the old and the new on a UK vacation. It was listed as an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995 and In 2004 became the first member of theUNESCO Creative Cities initiative when it was designated a City of Literature.  With over 4,500 listed buildings, Edinburgh is world-renowned for its rich architectural heritage. The two main areas of particular interest in this historic city are the Old Town which includes the medieval fortress of Edinburgh Castle and the neo classical New Town which dates back to the 18th Century. The combination of medieval architecture with neo classical terraces gives Edinburgh its own unique character. on Scotland vacations.

One can find here medieval palaces, Georgian architecture, contemporary avant-garde buildings and Gothic churches all in one city.  Then there are the museums and galleries, the parks, the nightlife and the amazing annual festivals, all to be enjoyed on a United Kingdom vacation. 

Starting with the Old Town which is the historic core of Edinburgh, this includes Edinburgh Castle, a magnificently situated royal fortress located on one of the highest points in the city. The castle has been continuously in use for 1000 years and is in excellent condition. Highlights include the Honours of Scotland (the Scottish Crown Jewels) and the ancient St Margaret's Chapel. From time to time, one can experience concerts on the castle esplanade.  Not too far away is the Abbey and Palace of Holyrood House. The Palace is a royal residence and hosts the Queen's Gallery containing a collection of art from the Royal Collection. The Palace is best known as the home of Mary Queen of Scots and as the site of the murder of Mary's secretary Rizzio, allegedly by her husband Lord Darnley. Walk around Holyrood Park created by King James the VI in the 16th Century. It is like a Scottish landscape in miniature containing Arthur's Seat, an extinct volcano with wonderful views from the summit on trips to Scotland.  

Between the Castle and the Palace is the Royal Mile, a street which is the backbone of the sixteenth Century Old Town as most of the buildings date from this period. There are a number of small "closes" that run off the Royal Mile to each side. Try a ghost walk around the back streets surrounding The Royal Mile and learn about the sinister goings on of Edinburgh's past.  Also on the Royal Mile is St. Giles Cathedral which contains the Chapel of the Order of the Thistle (Scotland's chivalric company of knights headed by the Queen). The building bears a distinctive crowned spire and was first officially dedicated in 1243. Gladstone's Land in the Lawnmarket at the top of the Royal Mile is a 17th century Old Town tenement building decorated with period furniture and has an impressive painted ceiling. 

The Scottish Parliament at the Eastern end of the Royal Mile, is a unique building designed by a Spanish architect.  The building is highly controversial among Scots who consider it either a daring showpiece of postmodern architecture or a national embarrassment. 

The Museum of Scotland and Royal Museum of Scotland mix innovative modern architecture with the best of Scotland's heritage. The Royal Museum has a magnificent Victorian atrium with the Millennium Clock at one end.  Exhibits include Scottish pottery and weapons from the Roman era and the Renaissance. 

The New Town of Edinburgh represents the historical extension of the Scottish capital to the north of the Old Town. It is Edinburgh's main shopping and commercial district. It here you will find the Scott Monument, built in 1846 to commemorate the life of Sir Walter Scot, a Gothic spire monument which can be climbed  to a height of 200 feet above the city centre to enjoy fantastic views of Edinburgh. The Old Calton Burial Ground contains a range of graves, memorials, and ornaments. The National Gallery of Scotland holds much of Scotland's fine artwork and carries exhibitions that change seasonally. The Scottish National Portrait Gallery is the World's first purpose-built portrait gallery.  

Dating back to the 12th Century is the Dean Village which was home to the flour mills that fed Edinburgh for centuries. Walk down Miller Row to see the full splendour of Thomas Telford's Dean Bridge. There are information boards dotted around the village giving information about the different buildings and the history of the village that once thrived here.  Climb Calton Hill in the morning or early evening hours to experience the sunrise/sunset over Edinburgh on a UK vacation. The hill is home to various monuments including Edinburgh's Folly, an unfinished replica of Athens' Parthenon, built as a memorial to the Napoleonic Wars, and Nelson's Tower, built in the shape of an upturned telescope in honour of the naval hero. The latter features a Time Ball at the top which drops at 1 PM every day to enable ships at Leith docks to set their clocks. Walk through Princes Street Gardens, a small, beautiful park that lies in the small valley between Castle Hill and Princes Street and forms the boundary between the Old and New Towns. Princes Street is the main thoroughfare of the city and the main shopping street. 

When considering Edinburgh for a visit on a United Kingdom vacation, it is a good idea to check out the many festivals for which this city is famous. The most famous is the Edinburgh International Festival which takes place in August with three exhilarating weeks of the finest creators and performers from the World of the arts with the best of music, theatre, opera and dance from around the globe. This coincides with the Royal Edinburgh Tattoo, a display with the massed pipes and drums, massed military bands and singers performed against the stunning backdrop of Edinburgh Castle.  Other major festivals include the Edinburgh Film Festival, the International Book Festival and the Jazz and Blues Festival.  A visit to Edinburgh will be a rewarding experience.

Extend your Stay

Consider an additional stopover to your United Kingdom vacation on one of Goway's other European tours. You can allso choose from  a  Paris vacation or an Amsterdam vacation. This can be done stopping over en route to or from the United kingdom.

  • 14 Day Spaceship Rental Road Trip

    If you’ve never thought about travelling through the United Kingdom and Ireland by Spaceship, now’s the time to start. Pick up your 2Berth – Alpha Spaceship in London and create the road-trip of your dreams.
    Duration:
    14 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 1,290
    Trip Type:
    18 to 30 Somethings, Independent Travel Modules, Self Drive Road Trip Ideas
    United Kingdom See Trip Details
  • A Scottish Journey Back Roads: Edinburgh to Edinburgh

    With so much to offer beyond the two major cities, this Scotland Back Roads small group tour immerses you all that’s great about this beautiful and unique country. Discover historic castles, murky lochs, and the Isle of Skye before you return to Edinburgh.
    Duration:
    8 Days
    Prices From:
    AU$ 3,926
    Trip Type:
    Locally Escorted Tours, Small Group Tours
    United Kingdom See Trip Details
  • Belmond Royal Scotsman: Classic Rail Journey

    Travel on a luxury train from Edinburgh through the magnificent Highlands of Scotland. Sit back in a comfortable seat and view spectacular scenery, visit historic castles, dine and sleep on board.
    Duration:
    5 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 7,012
    Trip Type:
    Independent Travel Modules, Rail Travel Ideas
    United Kingdom See Trip Details
  • Belmond Royal Scotsman: Grand North Western

    A journey commencing in Edinburgh on the famed luxury train through the heart of Scotland. View majestic mountains and dramatic coastlines. Visit historic castles and see local wildlife. All while sitting back, sleeping or dining on board.
    Duration:
    8 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 11,609
    Trip Type:
    Independent Travel Modules, Rail Travel Ideas
    United Kingdom See Trip Details
  • Classic London & Edinburgh

    A great combination of two classic cities each with its own individual cultural merits. Add to this, visits from London to Windsor, Stonehenge and Bath and a full day into the Scottish Highlands from Edinburgh and you have an unforgettable week of discovery.
    Duration:
    8 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 1,218
    Trip Type:
    Classic Itineraries, Independent Travel Modules
    United Kingdom See Trip Details
  • Edinburgh to London: England & Scotland

    Discover some of the wonderful iconic destinations making up England and Scotland including the magical Island of Lindesfarne, the cathedral cities of Durham, York and Lincoln, the Yorkshire coast and wild moors, the Derbyshire Peak District, Georgian Stamford, Royal Sandringham and the colleges of Cambridge.
    Duration:
    8 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 2,885
    Trip Type:
    Independent Travel Modules, Locally Escorted Tours, Small Group Tours
    United Kingdom See Trip Details
  • Edinburgh: Stopover, City Break

    This short Edinburgh trip offers a taste of all that makes the Scottish capital such a delight. Explore the old streets, visit splendid Edinburgh castle, then explore at leisure with a 24-hour sightseeing bus pass, and let Edinburgh’s charm speak for itself.
    Duration:
    4 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 508
    Trip Type:
    City Breaks/Stopover Ideas, Independent Travel Modules
    United Kingdom See Trip Details
  • Highland Explorer & Isle of Skye Small Group: Edinburgh to Edinburgh

    This short Scotland tour departs from Edinburgh, taking in historic regions such as Ullapool, Portree, and the beautiful Isle of Skye.
    Duration:
    5 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 668
    Trip Type:
    Locally Escorted Tours, Small Group Tours
    United Kingdom See Trip Details
  • Island Hopping Scotland: Iona, Mull, Skye, Orkney & Outer Hebrides Small Group

    The charms of small but multifaceted Scotland don’t stop at the shoreline. This Scottish Islands tour takes you through centuries of Viking and Druid history, all amid beautiful surrounds.
    Duration:
    15 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 2,544
    Trip Type:
    Locally Escorted Tours, Small Group Tours
    United Kingdom See Trip Details
  • Islay and the Whisky Coast Scotland Small Group: Edinburgh to Edinburgh

    Visit the ‘Queen of the Hebrides’ on this short visit to Islay. The most southerly of the Hebrides, the island is known for its fine whiskeys and dramatic landscapes.
    Duration:
    4 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 570
    Trip Type:
    Locally Escorted Tours, Small Group Tours
    United Kingdom See Trip Details
  • Isle of Skye & the West Highlands Scotland Small Group: ex Edinburgh

    This short Scotland tour focuses on the Isle of Skye on a round trip from Edinburgh. Visit lochs, hills and historic sites, then discover the Isle of Skye, one of the UK’s most unique and dramatic regions.
    Duration:
    4 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 547
    Trip Type:
    Locally Escorted Tours, Small Group Tours
    United Kingdom See Trip Details
  • Orkney & Scotland's Northern Coast Small Group: Edinburgh to Edinburgh

    Experience the dramatic and rugged beauty of the Scottish Highlands combined with the mystic and historic Orkney Islands. Visit ancient sites, battlefields and learn about the Viking invasion of this part of the world. And perhaps catch a glimpse of the Loch Ness monster?
    Duration:
    6 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 925
    Trip Type:
    Locally Escorted Tours, Small Group Tours
    United Kingdom See Trip Details
  • Royal Scotsman: Highland Train Journey

    Enjoy a journey through the extraordinarily beautiful Highlands of Scotland on a train which offers an observation car and fine dining on board. Visit a Whisky Distillery and the historic Culloden Battlefields.
    Duration:
    3 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 3,972
    Trip Type:
    Independent Travel Modules, Rail Travel Ideas
    United Kingdom See Trip Details
  • Scotland, Escape to the Edge (Orkney & Outer Hebrides Small Group): Edinburgh to Edinburgh

    This Scotland tour takes you to the outer reaches of the beautiful north, including the Orkneys, the Isle of Skye, and Lewis Island, all on a round trip from Scotland’s most fascinating city, Edinburgh.
    Duration:
    10 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 1,837
    Trip Type:
    Locally Escorted Tours, Small Group Tours
    United Kingdom See Trip Details
  • Scottish Castle Experience Small Group: Edinburgh to Edinburgh

    If majestic castles fill your visions of Scotland, this is the short Scotland tour of your dreams. A round trip from Edinburgh, it takes in Falkland Palace, the House of Dun, Royal Deeside, and Fyvie and Brodie Castles.
    Duration:
    5 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 860
    Trip Type:
    Locally Escorted Tours, Small Group Tours, Special Interest Groups
    United Kingdom See Trip Details
  • Scottish Whiskey & Islands (Small Group): Edinburgh to Edinburgh

    This delicious Scotland tour takes you to the outer reaches of this wild and beautiful country, including Islay, Oban, the Isle of Skye, and the Orkneys, plus a couple of the highlights on the mainland.
    Duration:
    12 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 2,148
    Trip Type:
    Locally Escorted Tours, Small Group Tours
    United Kingdom See Trip Details
  • The Lake District Explorer (Small Group): Edinburgh to Edinburgh

    Starting in and returning to Edinburgh, two distinctly different regions and countries are interestingly combined to give both a historical and scenic look at wonderfully dramatic countryside. Iconic visits include Hadrian’s Wall and the delightful Lake District where you will spend 2 nights.
    Duration:
    3 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 359
    Trip Type:
    Locally Escorted Tours, Small Group Tours, Special Interest Groups
    United Kingdom See Trip Details
  • York, The Dales, Lake District & Hadrian's Wall (Small Group) ex. Edinbrugh

    Unlike most Edinburgh based tours that focus on Scotland, this one is all about the north of England, including Hadrian’s Wall, beautiful Yorkshire, and the Lake District.
    Duration:
    6 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 841
    Trip Type:
    Locally Escorted Tours, Small Group Tours
    United Kingdom See Trip Details
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