Edinburgh
Day Trips

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Our most recommended Edinburgh Day Trips

  • Edinburgh: Loch Ness, Glencoe & the Scottish Highlands Tour

    1. Edinburgh: Loch Ness, Glencoe & the Scottish Highlands Tour

    Head for the Highlands, whether in search of the Loch Ness Monster or just a scenic day trip from Edinburgh. After pickup from the meeting point, relax on your group’s bus and listen to the guide’s entertaining commentary.

    Your first stop is Kilmahog for an introduction to the famous Highland Cows and a cup of coffee. If you’ve ever asked yourself what a ‘hairy coo’ is, this is a real treat. 

    Next, travel up the road to Glencoe. Enjoy a 10-minute photo stop here as the unforgettable Highland views wow you.

    Lunch is then in Fort William, where your guide can advise you on where’s best to eat. If interested in the mysteries of the kilt, you can even get a ‘wee’ kilt introduction here. Then be whisked to Loch Ness itself.

    Best of all, customize your experience at Loch Ness with perso...

    It was really amazing. The tour guide (Neil) was very accommodating and most importantly, he is very informative about the places that we're going to. It was a smooth sailing tour and would recommend it to my friends as well.

  • From Edinburgh: Loch Ness, Glencoe, Highlands & Ben Nevis

    2. From Edinburgh: Loch Ness, Glencoe, Highlands & Ben Nevis

    Hop on an air-conditioned luxury coach (up to 32-34 seats) for the start of your tour. Depart Edinburgh and first pass the fortress that is Stirling Castle. Hear your tour guide tell tales of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce, and the bloody battles fought out on these lands. Arrive at your first stop of the day, the town of Callander nestled at the foot of the Trossachs. Enjoy the views towards the Trossachs and make the most of the opportunity to stock up on refreshments and gifts here. Next, drive through Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. Your Scottish guide will tell you the story of Rob Roy MacGregor, the most famous (or infamous) Highlander to ever live. Follow in the footsteps of James Bond ("Skyfall") and Harry Potter ("Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban") as you travel to the stunning Highland valley of Glencoe. Hear the eerie story of the C...

    Already recommended this tour to those who’ve asked. Highly recommend as a solo traveller as I would never have done this trip on my own - all the stress of organising out of my hands, good amount of history and story telling and well organised.

  • Loch Lomond, Stirling Castle & Kelpies Tour from Edinburgh

    3. Loch Lomond, Stirling Castle & Kelpies Tour from Edinburgh

    Spend a day discovering the land and legends of Scottish heroes William Wallace and Rob Roy, and experience the natural beauty of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. Begin with a photo stop at The Kelpies. Enjoy a memorable visit to Stirling Castle, explore the pretty villages of Aberfoyle and Loch Lomond Shores, and set off on a spectacular cruise across Loch Lomond. Departing Edinburgh, head to the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond, one of the prettiest and largest lochs in the whole of Scotland. Here you can enjoy an hour-long cruise taking in spectacular views of the loch’s many islands and the surrounding mountains. Alternatively, take a stroll through the picturesque loch-side conservation village of Loch Lomond Shores, with its quaint houses, cafes, and stunning views across the loch’s western shoreline.  Enter The Trossachs National Park, also known as “The Highlands in mini...

    Having already done the Loch Ness Highlands tour we had an idea what to expect and it was as we expected the journey itself was very informative and the Kelpies were very interesting the Loch Lomond cruise was ok guite interesting not up to Loch Ness but ok all the same unfortunately I forgot to books the Stirling castle part of the trip so can’t comment

  • From Edinburgh: Loch Ness & Highlands Full-Day Trip

    4. From Edinburgh: Loch Ness & Highlands Full-Day Trip

    Explore the beauty of Scotland’s Highlands on a 12-hour scenic driving tour by comfortable coach. See historic sights and unforgettable landscapes on this guided day trip from Edinburgh.

    Following a hotel pick-up in central Edinburgh, you will head towards Stirling, catching views of the Castle and Wallace Monument. Continue towards Callander, and stop for morning coffee, and the chance to meet “Hamish the Hairy Coo.” Head northwards over Rannoch Moor, and reach the dark, brooding Pass of Glencoe. Stop to learn the story of the massacre of 1692, before crossing Loch Leven. Stop for lunch in Fort William, then follow the Caledonian Canal up the Great Glen to Loch Ness. Here, you have the option to cruise on the Loch for approximately 1 hour, or relax in the tranquil village on its banks. After Loch Ness you will head South East and take in magnificent views of Loch Lagg...

    I really enjoyed the trip, loved the jacobite history as we went and the music curated to the stories and the scenery. Really worth the money, probably worth more.

  • From Edinburgh: Loch Ness, Glencoe, & the Highlands Day Tour

    5. From Edinburgh: Loch Ness, Glencoe, & the Highlands Day Tour

    Your day begins on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, where a coach will pick you up for your day of adventure. As you head towards the Highlands, you will see the amazing Forth Bridges. Then try some delicious home baking in the beautiful Highland town of Pitlochry. From there, continue on through the Cairngorms National Park, where you will enjoy stunning scenery amidst the unique wilderness of the National Park. Take a break for lunch at Loch Ness, which is famous all over the world for its beauty and mystery. From here, you will have the chance to take a 'monster spotting' cruise and visit Urquhart Castle (optional extra ticket) and look for the famous monster for yourself! After lunch, visit Glen Coe, a broodingly beautiful spot that is steeped in history. As you stand at the mouth of the glen, you'll feel the past come to life as your guide tells you about the terrible massacre of the...

    Rory your a legend, absolutely loved this tour! Great history lessons fantastic views and funny jokes. Would definitely book again next year with this company.

  • From Edinburgh: Hogwarts Express and Scottish Highlands Tour

    6. From Edinburgh: Hogwarts Express and Scottish Highlands Tour

    Learn about Scotland’s connections to Harry Potter on a tour of the Highlands. Depart the city and journey north, passing the magnificent Forth Bridge, the Kingdom of Fife, and Perth. Admire the Glenfinnan Viaduct on a stunning drive up the West Coast. Next you’ll travel across its iconic arches from Mallaig on the Jacobite Steam Train, also known as the Hogwarts Express. After experiencing one of the world’s most beautiful railway lines, head to Glencoe. See the dramatic landscapes used as the backdrop for some much-loved scenes in the Harry Potter films. Continue through the vast wilderness of Rannoch Moor, listening to tales from Scotland’s past. Jump back on the coach to return to Edinburgh, arriving back at the city in the late evening.

    Callum the driver and host for the day was excellent. Kept to a tight schedule ensuring we didn’t miss out on anything. He was extremely informative of Scottish history and made the whole day interesting.

  • From Edinburgh: Outlander Adventure Day Tour

    7. 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...

    It would have made life easier if we had paid £10 more and had tickets pre-purchased for Midhope and Blackness castles. Our guide Barbara was knowledgeable and entertaining and also an excellent driver. I really enjoyed the day.

  • Edinburgh: Glenfinnan, Mallaig, and Glencoe Tour

    8. Edinburgh: Glenfinnan, Mallaig, and Glencoe Tour

    Depart Edinburgh and travel northwest, stopping for a coffee and refreshments at a small highland village. Traveling onwards, reach Glencoe, known to many as the location for the Massacre of the MacDonald clan in 1692. Take photos of this beautiful area whilst you learn about its turbulent past. After Glencoe, travel further north to Fort William. Stop for refreshments and perhaps a bite to eat before journeying down the Road to the Isles. Learn about the history of the area as you approach Mallaig, where you will spend time enjoying lunch and its sea views. From Mallaig, travel eastwards to the main attraction, Glenfinnan. Arrive right on time to see the Jacobite Steam Train (also known as the Hogwarts Express in the Harry Potter Films) cross the bridge. Not only will you enjoy this iconic view, but the site is also known as the setting for many Harry Potter scenes, including Loch Shi...

    This experience was just brilliant and I am so happy I decided to book this tour!! At first a full day of travelling around the Highlands seemed a bit daunting but it was so informative and entertaining, that time flew by! In the future, I would love to book a longer tour with Timberbush Tours. Our guide was the incredibly knowledgeable Andrew T. Andrew was fantastic guide (and also a very smooth driver) and his stories gave the tour a personal touch. We learned so much and I genuinely feel like my trip to Scotland was enriched by this experience. Thank you Andrew T, we can’t wait to return!

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

    9. 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...

    Seeing the Kelpies was brilliant we just wished you had more time there, 35 mins was a bit rushed. Loch lomond was enjoyable, as was Aberfoyle for lunch but again 45 mins to find a cafe and eat lunch wasntvlong enough, 2 hours at the castle was perfect.

  • From Edinburgh: West Highland Lochs & Castles Full-Day Trip

    10. From Edinburgh: West Highland Lochs & Castles Full-Day Trip

    From Edinburgh, travel west, passing the historic and imposing Stirling Castle, high on its volcanic rock, and on to a visit at the magnificent Doune Castle (which featured in the cult movie "Monty Python and the Holy Grail"). From there, drive into the Highlands, past the lovely Loch Lubnaig and up through impressive Glen Ogle, stopping nearby for lunch and beautiful views of the surrounding scenery.

    After lunch, drive further into the Highlands, stopping to view one of the most photographed castles in Scotland, Kilchurn Castle, jutting into beautiful Loch Awe and stunningly framed by the surrounding mountains.

    Then it’s on to Inveraray, a quaint small town built in the mid-18th century, on the shore of Loch Fyne. Explore the town and pick up some Highland souvenirs, or pay an optional visit to Inveraray Castle (April to October only), the historic home of the Duke of ...

    Fantastic full day trip visiting the beautiful Highlands and stopping plenty of times to see castles lochs villages and feed Highland cows! The views were incredible and our guide Stewart was extremely friendly and his knowledge was fantastic, the mini bus was very clean and comfortable too. Highly recommended trip!

5 best day trips from Edinburgh

Day trip to Glasgow

1. Day trip to Glasgow

As the most populous city in Scotland, Glasgow is an ideal place to spend an exciting day. A bustling port city and a capital of culture, there is so much to do in Glasgow, it’s hard to know where to begin. Whether you’re a history buff, an art connoisseur, or a gastronomy aficionado, this city has it all. Some of the most popular attractions are the 12th-century Glasgow Cathedral, the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, and the Riverside Museum, with its ultra-modern design.

How far is Glasgow from Edinburgh?

A day trip from Edinburgh to Glasgow is within easy reach, just 75 kilometers (46 miles) away. By car, it takes just over about an hour, while the train will get you to your destination in a quick 45 minutes.

Day trip to Stirling

2. Day trip to Stirling

Best known for the grand and imposing Stirling Castle that shares its name, a day trip from Edinburgh to Stirling offers travelers an incredible escape. This “gateway to the Highlands” was once the capital of the Kingdom of Scotland, and a major battle for independence was fought at the still standing Stirling Bridge. Nearby, the National Wallace Monument commemorates several heroes of independence — including the namesake of “Braveheart” himself, William Wallace — and also provides visitors with fantastic views from its top.

How far is Stirling from Edinburgh?

Located in central Scotland, Stirling is 58 kilometers (36 miles) from Edinburgh. By car, bus or train, the journey will take you just under an hour.

Day trip to St. Andrews

3. Day trip to St. Andrews

Not too far from Edinburgh is the quintessential seaside town of St. Andrews. The town is home to the illustrious University of St. Andrews, the oldest in Scotland and alma matter of British monarchs past, present, and future. For golfers, St. Andrews is a bucket list pilgrimage, as the birthplace of the sport. Don’t miss out on a few holes on the original course of St. Andrews Links, or pay a visit to The British Golf Museum.

How far is St. Andrews from Edinburgh?

Driving the 83 miles to St. Andrews should take just under 90 minutes, while the train can take up to an hour and 45 minutes.

4. Day trip to Roslin

For travelers wanting to experience a peaceful day in the country, Roslin is an excellent choice. Fans of Dan Brown’s “The DaVinci Code” will already know about Rosslyn Chapel — in lore recognized for its supposed connection to the Freemasons and Knights Templar. Architecture buffs will enjoy the chapel’s interesting layout and intricate stone carvings. Beyond the chapel, visitors of the town can see the ruins of Roslin Castle and the tranquil Roslin Glen Country Park.

How far is Roslin from Edinburgh?

Only 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) south of Edinburgh, a car ride to Roslin takes just about half an hour, while the bus takes anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour.

5. Day trip to Perth

A day trip from Edinburgh to Perth is a wonderful way to get to know the city on the shores of the River Tay. Tempt fate with a visit to the must-see Scone Palace, the original home of the Stone of Destiny. Apart from the palace, visitors can check out the Black Watch Museum, St. John’s Kirk, and the Fair Maid’s House — the oldest secular building in the city.

How far is Perth from Edinburgh?

By car, you can make the 70-kilometer (43 mile) journey to Perth in just about an hour. On public transportation, the trip can take up to 90 minutes.

Edinburgh day trip FAQ

What transportation is the best choice for my day trip?

Trying to plan your journey to Perth? Or wondering the best way to get to Glasgow? There are plenty of different transportation options for any day trip, and one is sure to be just right for you.
  • • Edinburgh day trips by train

    Scotland’s rail network covers its seven main cities and many stops in-between. Taking the train is a quick and convenient way to get around, and allows you to sit back, relax, and enjoy the country’s rugged natural scenery.

  • • Edinburgh day trips by bus

    In addition to the many guided bus tours available for day trips from Edinburgh, taking the bus is an easy way to get around Scotland. For more rural areas, the bus may be your only public transportation method available.

  • • Edinburgh day trips by car

    Scotland is an epic place for a road trip. A car makes it easy to be spontaneous and discover all the surprises and hidden gems along the way. Have the freedom to make your own itinerary and take as much time as you like for your day trip.


Should I take a guided tour for my day trip?

Whether you’re looking to make new friends with similar interests, avoid driving on the left side of the road, or simply want to skip the hassle of planning, a guided tour can help you make the most of your trip. In addition to taking the stress out of planning, a good guide can provide insider knowledge to really enrich your experience in a destination.


What should I pack for my day trip?

There are all kinds of things to consider when deciding what to bring on a day trip. The destination, season and type of travel can all make an impact on your packing. For those taking a guided tour, your ticket might include everything you need. However, since most Edinburgh day trips are focused in Scotland and Northern England, it’s a smart bet to bring some rain gear or warm clothes regardless of the time of year.


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What people are saying about Edinburgh

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 8,269 reviews

Do it! Honestly I booked this tour under duress. My son wanted to look for Nessie (eye roll) and I didn't want to spend all that time on the bus. But the hours on the bus passed very quickly. Stuart, our tour guide and driver, was a very erudite and entertaining host. He talked about films, music, books and history and geography in a very interesting and low key way. And of course we get to get off the bus to see a very beautiful part of the world. I really recommend it.

Rory your a legend, absolutely loved this tour! Great history lessons fantastic views and funny jokes. Would definitely book again next year with this company.

I had fun with the tour.Andrew,our tour guide was a great storyteller.He made the long trip so much fun. Overall,it was a good value for money.

Great tour lots to see and really good hand held commentary so you can go at your own pace. Staff were very friendly and helpful.

Andrew J and Jim were amazing, very funny they made the experience enjoyable!!