Edinburgh and the Lothians

We’ve compiled the best of the best in Edinburgh and the Lothians - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. Edinburgh Castle

    Old Town

    The crowning glory of the Scottish capital, Edinburgh Castle is popular not only for its pivotal role in Scottish history, but also because of the...Read More

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  • 2. Greyfriars Kirkyard

    Old Town

    This sprawling, hillside graveyard, surely one of the most evocative in Europe (particularly at twilight), is a giddy mess of old, tottering tombstones that mark...Read More

  • 3. Palace of Holyroodhouse

    Old Town

    The one-time haunt of Mary, Queen of Scots, the Palace of Holyroodhouse has a long history of gruesome murders, destructive fires, and power-hungry personalities. Today,...Read More

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  • 4. Tantallon Castle

    Travel east along the flat fields from North Berwick, and the imposing silhouette of Tantallon Castle, a substantial, semiruined medieval fortress, comes dramatically into view....Read More

  • 5. Blackness Castle

    Standing like a grounded ship on the very edge of the Forth, this curious 15th-century structure has had a varied career as a strategic fortress,...Read More

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  • 6. Camera Obscura and World of Illusions

    Old Town

    View Edinburgh like a Victorian at the city's 19th-century camera obscura. Head up Outlook Tower for the headline attraction—an optical instrument that affords live bird's-eye...Read More

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  • 7. Craigmillar Castle

    South Side

    This handsome medieval ruin, just 3 miles south of the city center, is the archetypal Scottish fortress: forbidding, powerful, and laden with atmosphere. It is...Read More

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  • 8. Crichton Castle

    Standing amid rolling hills that are interrupted here and there by patches of woodland, Crichton was a Bothwell family castle. Mary, Queen of Scots, attended...Read More

  • 9. Dalmeny House

    The first of the stately homes clustered on the western edge of Edinburgh, Dalmeny House is the residence of the Earl and Countess of Rosebery....Read More

  • 10. Dirleton Castle

    In the center of tiny Dirleton, two miles east of Gullane, sits the impressive-looking 12th-century Dirleton Castle. It's now a ruin, but its high outer...Read More

  • 11. Gladstone's Land

    Old Town

    This narrow, six-story tenement is one of the oldest buildings on the Royal Mile. Start on the third floor and work your way down through...Read More

  • 12. High Kirk of St. Giles

    Old Town

    St. Giles, which lies about one-third of the way along the Royal Mile from Edinburgh Castle, is one of the city's principal churches. It may...Read More

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  • 13. High Street

    Old Town

    The High Street (one of the five streets that make up the Royal Mile) is home to an array of impressive buildings and sights, including...Read More

  • 14. Hopetoun House

    The palatial premises of Hopetoun House are among Scotland's grandest courtly seats, and are now home to the Marquesses of Linlithgow. The enormous property was...Read More

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  • 15. House of the Binns

    The 17th-century general "Bloody" Tam Dalyell (1615–1685) transformed a fortified stronghold into a gracious mansion, the House of the Binns. The name derives from bynn,...Read More

  • 16. Lennoxlove House

    Majestic Lennoxlove House has been the grand ancestral home of the very grand dukes of Hamilton since 1947 and the Baird family before them. This...Read More

  • 17. Linlithgow Palace

    On the edge of Linlithgow Loch stands the splendid ruin of Linlithgow Palace, the birthplace of Mary, Queen of Scots. Burned, perhaps accidentally, by Hanoverian...Read More

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  • 18. Museum of Edinburgh

    Old Town

    A must-see if you're interested in the details of Old Town life, this bright yellow, 16th-century building is home to a fascinating museum of local...Read More

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  • 19. Newhailes

    This fine late-17th-century house was designed by Scottish architect James Smith in 1686 as his own home. He later sold it to Lord Bellendon, and...Read More

  • 20. The Real Mary King's Close

    Old Town

    Buried beneath the City Chambers, this narrow, cobbled close (alleyway) provides a glimpse into a very different Edinburgh. It was once a busy open-air thoroughfare...Read More

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