So you’re going to Edinburgh. Good choice. It is a history stuffed adventure playground for all ages and you are sure to have a great time. However, when you look at all the guidebooks and online guides etc. all they tell you, is to go from building to building.
Sure the buildings are all pretty nice. For instance, you’ve got:
- Edinburgh Castle
- Holyrood Palace
- Portrait Museum
- National Museum of Scotland
- Scots Monument
- Balmoral Hotel
- And a ton of churches and cathedrals
Pretty nice of course, but what if you’re claustrophobic? Or just don’t like the idea of being inside all the time? Here are 5 non-buildings for you to go visit while you’re in town:
Royal Botanical Gardens
Just north of the centre of the city (about 2 minutes walk) there is one of the most beautiful places to be in Edinburgh. The Botanical Gardens have been around since the 17th century and is home to stunning plants and trees, huge rock gardens, epic glass houses and stuff for kids. You’ll love it.
South of the centre and easily accessible from the Old Town near Greyfriars Kirk is the wide green leafy plain known as the Meadows. It is a great place for exercise, football, sunbathing and just hanging out with a barbecue in the summer. Plus you can play golf on one of the oldest courses in the world.
You can’t miss it. This hill/mountain looms above the city asking you why you haven’t climbed it yet. When you do you will be rewarded with an amazing view across the whole city and all the way to the bridges over the Firth of Forth and Fife. You can climb form the bottom and will take about an hour or you can drive up most of the way and saunter up the last 20-minute stretch.
Firth of Forth
Catch a bus or drive out to Crammond or South Queensferry to the north of the city and you will reach the Firth of Forth and be able to either walk out to a beautiful island for lunch or gaze up at the huge bridges the span the salt water inlet. You can even take a boat tour out underneath then or walk across on foot.
If it’s hot and sunny, the east of the city offers some nice beaches along the top edge of Portobello. Ice cream, hotdogs, amusements, sand, sea, wind, families having fun and everything else you could hope for a nice day at the beach. Sun is not guaranteed though.