Get a taste for playing tourist in your own town with our selection of treats
The Edinburgh Evening News, in partnership with Edinburgh Capital Group, has uncovered many ways in which readers can play tourist in and around the city through a ten-week series of features.
Here is a round-up of just a sample of those amazing days out, as well as activities and events to look forward to during the Easter hoildays next month.
For those with children, some of the most family-friendly and fun-filled attractions in the area include the highly popular Deep Sea World, which boasts the longest underwater tunnels of any aquarium on the planet.
With 40 different displays featuring all kinds of sea creatures – from piranhas, to seals, Sand Tiger Sharks and amphibians – there is plenty to keep the whole family entertained.
Forthside Terrace, Battery Quarry, North Queensferry,
01383-411 880. See www.deep seaworld.com
Another wildlife-based venue is The Scottish Seabird Centre, a conservation and education charity based at North Berwick and just a short drive from the Capital.
This five-star visitor attraction invites people to swoop in and explore Scotland’s unique marine environment at its transformed Discovery Experience.
There are a variety of exhibits, interactive live cameras on the world’s largest Northern gannet colony, located on the nearby Bass Rock, as well as various wildlife boat trips.
The Harbour, NorthBerwick, 01620-890 202.See www.seabird.org
Anyone seeking to discover some of Edinburgh’s many hidden gems should take the low road and head to Blair Street Underground Vaults, the city’s oldest – and deepest – of its kind.
As visitors descend below the Old Town’s South Bridge arches, expert storytellers from Mercat Tours detail what life was really like in 18th-Century Edinburgh.
28 Blair Street, Edinburgh,
0131-225 5445. See www.mercattours.com
Edinburgh, as a Unesco World Heritage Site, is not short of breathtaking views and those from the Roof Terrace at the National Museum of Scotland are an absolute must-see.
Unparalleled vistas of historic sites, including Calton Hill, Arthur’s Seat and Edinburgh Castle, can be admired from the seventh-floor deck.
But, under its roof are diverse collections exploring Scotland’s history, wonders of nature, art and design, and technology.
Chambers Street, Edinburgh,
0300-123 6789. See www.nms.ac.uk
A number of nearby sights will also be familiar to film buffs, such as the 15th-Century Rosslyn Chapel, which is known globally for its appearance alongside Hollywood A-lister Tom Hanks in the 2006 film of Dan Brown’s historical thriller The Da Vinci Code.
Chapel Loan, Roslin,
0131-440 2159. See www.rosslynchapel.com
As well as a thriving bar and restaurant scene, there are plenty of things to see and do both in and around the Capital after the sun goes down.
The two-hour Dark Side of Edinburgh Tour, run by Sandemans New Europe, provides spine-tingling amusement for all ages.
Those on the walk will discover the city’s gruesome past at some of the spots where murders and monsters have become legend, and visit the spooky Old Calton Burial Ground or the Canongate Kirkyard.
130 High Street, Royal Mile, Edinburgh. See www.new europetours.eu
Meanwhile, the Camera Obscura & World of Illusions will be open until 10pm throughout the Easter holiday next month.
Five floors and 100 mesmerising interactive exhibits help to ensure that visitors’ brains are tested in the most positive of ways, while the Victorian Camera Obscura telescope projects an amazing live image of the city onto a table in a dark chamber.
Castlehill, The Royal Mile, Edinburgh, 0131-226 3709. See
At the Royal Yacht Britannia, a former floating royal residence of some 40 years service, fans of The Crown can indulge themselves in regal fashion and take part in the attraction’s Cuddly Corgi Treasure Hunt, and taste its Easter-inspired cupcakes in the Royal Deck Tea Room.
The top-rate attraction at Ocean Terminal in Leith lifts the veil on how the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh lived on board, as well as the ways in which the 220-strong crew went about serving them.
Ocean Drive, Leith, Edinburgh, 0131-555 5566
At Craigmillar Castle, Historic Environment Scotland’s Easter Explorer Trails is set to return.
Visitors will be challenged to find all the clues hidden among the nooks and crannies of Edinburgh’s “other castle”, famously visited by Mary Queen of Scots in 1566, and more recently a location in the historical drama series Outlander on Netflix.
Craigmillar Castle Road, Edinburgh, 0131-668 8600
For those seeking to explore destinations further afield, Edinburgh-based Haggis Adventures can help them make the most of the Easter holiday with its offer of a three-day excursion around Scotland, priced from £259 for adults and from £255 for students.
The tour operator journeys through some of the country’s most impressive scenery to visit world-famous sights, including Eileen Donan Castle, Glen Coe and Loch Ness. It also offers a full day discovering Skye as well as whisky tastings.
60 High St, Edinburgh,
0131 -557 9393. See www.haggisadventures.com
And Capital-based lovers of Scotland’s national tipple should look no further than the Scotch Whisky Experience, which is offering a Residents Reward Edinburgh £10 discount voucher to be used on its Silver or Gold Tours for this month only.
There is nowhere better to learn about the best-loved whiskies, their production and how they became global success stories.
354 Castlehill, The Royal Mile, Edinburgh,
0131-220 0441. See www.scotchwhisky experience.co.uk
Edinburgh Capital Group Members: Camera Obscura, Capital Theatres, City of Edinburgh Council, Dalkeith Country Park, Dalmeny House, Deep Sea World, Dovecot Studios, Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh Bus Tours, Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh Dungeon, Edinburgh International Festival, Edinburgh International Science Festival, Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh Zoo, Gilmerton Cove, Haggis Adventures, Highland Explorer Tours, Landmark Press, Mercat Tours, Museum on the Mound, Musselburgh Racecourse, National Galleries of Scotland, National Library of Scotland, National Mining Museum Scotland, National Museums Scotland, National Trust for Scotland, Palace of Holyroodhouse, Rabbies Small Group, Rosslyn Chapel, Royal Botanic Garden, Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, Royal Highland Show, Royal Lyceum Theatre, Sandemans Tours, Scotch Whisky Experience,Scottish Parliament Visitor Centre, Scottish Seabird Centre, St Cecilia's Hall, Strawberry Barn, The Real Mary King's Close, The Royal Yacht, Visit Scotland.
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