10 reasons to visit Edinburgh

In association with Haven Seton Sands

East of Edinburgh offers a huge range of activities - coastal walks, historical castles, the fun of a day at the seaside, or an escape to the city and the nightlife of Scotland's capital. The choice is yours!


Portobello beach1. Best thing about the coast

The views! Gaze at the engineering wonder of the Forth bridges, or enjoy the natural beauty of the Bass Rock. Wherever you are, the views across the Forth will lift your spirits. 

2. Best beach

Yellowcraig is a natural cove beach, with stunning views out towards the 1885 lighthouse on Fidra Island, which was the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island. For traditional seaside fun for all the family, head to Portobello Beach and take a stroll along the prom. 

3. Best child-friendly café

Cake Café in North Berwick serves delicious homemade cakes in a family-friendly environment with plenty of space to park a buggy. Otherwise, The Café at Merryhatten was voted Best Child-Friendly Café in East Lothian, and it certainly lives up to this award, with great home baking and a nice little play area. 

Joseph Pearce's4. Best pub

The Tyneside Tavern in Haddington is renowned for serving good food in a cosy and friendly atmosphere. If you are in Edinburgh, then Joseph Pearce's is a family friendly pub with great food, just off the main shopping street.

5. Best child-free night out

Head into Edinburgh for a night on the town – there is always plenty to choose from, especially during the Festival in August. If you’re feeling brave, check out a Ghost Tour of the old town. 

6. Best outside space

Take a break from a city trip by wandering down the Royal Mile to Holyrood Park, then head up Arthur's Seat for the best view of Edinburgh and the surrounding area. If you've ever wanted to see seals and puffins in their natural habitat, take a trip on a Seafari boat to Bass Rock, described by Sir David Attenborough as "one of the wildlife wonders of the world". 

7. Best hidden gem

Gorgie City Farm is a community-run initiative, just three miles from the centre of Edinburgh. Entry is free – they are funded via donations and the proceeds of their café. Alternatively, you could take a (virtual) trip on the Concorde at the National Museum of Flight

8. Best free visitor attraction

The National Museum of Scotland is a wonderful place to discover the country – from natural history, ancient cultures, art and design, right up to the science and technology of modern Scotland. The Royal Botanic Gardens offers peace and tranquillity.

Eastlinks9. Best days out

East Links is a farm-themed activity park. You can take a train around the animal paddocks, wander around the farm, or get up close in the small animal barn. There is plenty to do for an entire day, with a fortress adventure area, trampolines and much more. Dirleton Castle is a medieval fortress near North Berwick with stunning gardens and fascinating history. 

10. Best places to shop

Find the latest fashion at Harvey Nichols and Multrees Walk or head to The Royal Mile for Scottish souvenirs, and the Grassmarket for quirky independent shops and trendy cafes.


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Last updated: about 3 years ago