Edinburgh By Car – Day trips around the city

The handsome Scottish city of Edinburgh has a proud history and is famous globally for the military spectacle of the Edinburgh Tattoo and the August Festival Fringe that showcases the arts.

This northern UK city is an ideal destination for car drivers as the attractive streets are easily navigated. Driving in Edinburgh is straightforward but look out for buses on the local network and pedestrians, too – this is a bustling city and drivers must remain alert at all times. Remember also that driving is on the left hand side of the road, something that can take some getting used to.

Vehicle hire is the solution for travelers who want to explore Edinburgh independently and there are plenty of car rental deals around.

City highlights

Walk around world-class attractions such as The National Museum of Scotland where children thrill at the sight of T Rex, or The National Museum of Flight where one of the Concorde fleet spends its retirement.

Adults and children alike will relate to the exhibits at The Museum of Childhood where the collection of valuable Steiff teddy bears are housed. If high culture is desired, you will find it at The Scottish Opera and The National Theater of Scotland where prestige actors regularly perform.

See how the ‘other half live’ with a peek inside The Royal Yacht Britannia at the historic port of Leith, north of the city and an easy car ride away. Queen Elizabeth II used to sail the world in this floating palace, and now it’s the turn of the general public to have an insight into royal sea travel. Whilst in Leith investigate the great restaurants nearby, such as The Ship on the Shore for seafood and champagne, and for the ultimate in fine dining, Restaurant Martin Wishart, which has held a Michelin star since 2001.

The shopping in Edinburgh is exceptional, with several retailing areas worth visiting. The Royal Mile in central Edinburgh can get rather packed with tourists but with plenty of tearooms and traditional pubs on hand for refreshments, trawling the stores isn’t so bad. The Farmer’s Market on Castle Terrace is a great place for sourcing local produce, perfect for self-catering visitors looking to emulate typical Scottish cuisine.

For the big out of town shopping center experience, head west out of the city to Livingston where The Center provides retail entertainment on a grand scale.

Countryside charm

Want some fresh air? Go to The Lothians for a blast of Scottish scenery. Travel east to take in the bleak beauty of the beach at Gullane. Golfers are spoiled for choice in the Lothians with an array of top courses including the famous Muirfield. From Gullane head further east along the coast to The Scottish Seabird Center in North Berwick, where puffins and gannets can be seen in their natural habitat; ideal for a family outing. Alternatively, leave Edinburgh and travel south for a walk around the picturesque Roslin Glen Country Park, followed by a tour around the Glenkinchie Distillery, famous for its fine malt whisky.

Possibilities abound to keep anyone busy on a trip to the wonderful city of Edinburgh. Just remember to pack an extra pullover and don’t leave without trying the haggis!

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