Easy Trips from Edinburgh Without a Car

Welcome to the last in our four-part series of places you can easily visit in the UK without a car. This time we asked the team at Edinburgh Language Centre to tell us some great places to visit from Edinburgh by train or bus, and here are their recommendations:

1. Stirling Castle

Explore one of Scotland’s largest and most important castles, sitting impressively on a volcanic hill that overlooks the city and stands high above the surrounding land for miles around.  The castle is where Mary, Queen of Scots, was crowned in 1542 and is now preserved by Historic Scotland.

Easy trips from Edinburgh without a car: Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle © Copyright C L T Smith and licensed for reuse under Creative Commons 2.0 Generic

Approximate journey time: 1 hour by train from Waverley or Haymarket


2. St. Andrews

Head north to the stunning seaside city of St. Andrews and spend a day picnicking on its long sandy beaches or exploring the Cathedral ruins overlooking the sea. Predominantly famous for golf, St. Andrews also hosts traditional Scottish Highland Games in the summer!

Easy trips from Edinburgh without a car: St Andrews

Photo: St Andrews © Nab82ba at wts wikivoyage licensed for reuse under Creative Commons 3.0

Approximate journey time: 1.5 hours by train and bus from Waverley or Haymarket (train to Leuchars, 11 minute bus journey from Leuchars to St. Andrews)


3. The Islands

Visit the beautiful Isle of Arran for a weekend, arriving at the small town of Brodick by ferry.  Here you can explore Brodick Castle, discover the home of Arran Aromatics, take a tour around the Isle of Arran Brewery or even join a Mogabout Safari Day Tour to see more of the island.  Alternatively if you like hiking, there are also plenty of walking routes from Brodick.

Easy trips from Edinburgh without a car: Isle of Arran

Photo: Isle of Arran © Vincent van Zeijst licensed for reuse under Creative Commons 3.0

Approximate journey time: 4.5 hours by train and ferry from Waverley or Haymarket (train to Ardrossan Ferry Terminal via Glasgow, ferry from Ardrossan to Arran)

4. The Highlands

There are many organised bus tours leaving from Edinburgh, taking you to unmissable areas of Scotland such as Glencoe, Loch Ness and the Highlands. You can book a day tour, a weekend trip or even a week away, with accommodation included in your package!

Easy trips from Edinburgh without a car: Highlands Bus Tours

Photo: Urquhart Castle by Loch Ness © Pixabay

Approximate journey time: varies depending on the trip; most trips leave from Waterloo Place or the Royal Mile.


5. South Queensferry and Inchcolm Island

Hop on the Number 40A Stagecoach bus from Princes Street or George Street and head to South Queensferry, a lovely seaside town just on the edge of Edinburgh where you can see the iconic Forth Rail Bridge close up.  You can also catch a boat to Inchcolm Island, the most beautiful island in the Firth of Forth, with an impressive Abbey, small sandy beaches, and old wartime fortifications.

Easy trips from Edinburgh without a car: South Queensferry

Photo: Forth Rail Bridge © Copyright Ron Hann and licensed for reuse under Creative Commons 2.0

Approximate journey time: 30 minutes to South Queensferry by bus + 3 hour boat trip to Inchcolm Island and back


Would you like to experience English in Edinburgh? Click here to find out more about our English language courses at Edinburgh Language Centre, or contact us for more information.


10 Reasons to Learn English in Edinburgh
Best Kept Secrets in Edinburgh
Free Things to do in Edinburgh

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