Edinburgh tourist activities

Things to do in Edinburgh

Climb Arthur’s Seat


Arthur’s Seat is an unusual phenomenon, a miniature mountain within the city limits. Like a smaller scale version of Scotland’s wild countryside. Although many of the paths are fairly gentle, it’s a bit of a scramble to reach the actual summit; you’ll certainly feel you’ve earned the spectacular view over the city and countryside. People will tell you how the hill looks like a crouching lion; they never mention its rather closer resemblance to the native mouse. Still, its presence is majestic and it’s an ideal place to escape the fumes and hard pavements. Take a picnic and relax.

Relax in Edinburgh parks and gardens

One of the most intriguing Edinburgh landmarks is Carlton Hill, a round green hill boasting a strange assortment of monuments. It’s just a short walk uphill, close to Princes Street, and as well as being a charming place to relax, it also offers splendid views over the town and the Firth of Forth. The tall tower is a monument to Nelson; you can pay to climb up. The Royal Botanical Garden on Inverleith Row is a peaceful place to wander or chill out. The gardens include eleven glasshouses, a rock garden and a cafe and shop. Holyrood Park, around the foot of Arthur’s Seat, also offers nice places to relax by ponds or to wander amid greenery.

Things for children to do in Edinburgh

If children are bored of streets, buildings and museums, the parks and open spaces of Edinburgh (see above) are ideal places for running about and playing. Edinburgh Zoo offers a ‘hilltop safari’ and animals from all around the world to keep visitors entertained and interested. For more wildlife, you could try Edinburgh Butterfly and Insect World , which has ‘Meet the Beasties’ handling sessions. The Our Dynamic Earth show is a lively exploration of geology and nature, located on Holyrood Road. Those into more gory entertainments might prefer the Edinburgh Dungeon (Market Street), with special effects and features about the Glencoe Massacre, the Plague and similar light-hearted frolics.