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Free time in Inverness and Edinburough

I am taking the Heart of Scotland 8 day tour in July. I have some free time in Inverness and Edinburough. Are there any walking or bis tours, museums, restaurants that might be fun to do. Also to note - we are Harry Potter fans. We are looking for something that will only take a few hours not a whole day.
Thank you!

Posted by
5099 posts

There are Mercat tours in Edinburgh that have gotten good reviews here: https://www.mercattours.com And there are probably several Harry Potter tours, although this one is the only one I've heard of: https://www.pottertrail.com

From Inverness, you could take the Jacobite Steam Train feature in Harry Potter - you can get more info here: https://westcoastrailways.co.uk/jacobite/steam-train-trip Althought that might be a bit far. How much free time do you have?

Posted by
4005 posts

This thread details walking tours in Inverness-
https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/scotland/inverness-walking-tours

To get to the Steam train mentioned by Mardee you'd need to get to Fort William first, which is a couple of hours each way down The Great Glen/Loch Ness.

But there is an open top bus tour, which takes you down to the boats for a trip on Loch Ness
https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/scotland/inverness-hop-on-hop-off-bus

There are also Dolphin sighting boat trips- https://dolphinspirit.co.uk/

There is also Inverness Museum

The Castle is currently closed. I may well be wrong but I am not aware of any Harry Potter links to Inverness.

Posted by
373 posts

Hopefully you've added a day or two in Edinburgh at the end of the tour, as there is much to see. I would suggest the National Museum of Scotland, which we found to have quite engaging displays. A good refuge from rainy weather.

Posted by
5099 posts

I will second the rec for the National Museum - I absolutely loved it and found it hard to tear myself away.

Posted by
1 posts

Just returned from two weeks in the UK, including 4 days in Edinburough. A quick way to orient yourself is one of the Hop On Hop Off buses. There were two options, and we choose the one with three tour routes because one offered a guided tour. You can purchase a two day pass, which we did, but we ended up only using it for one day.

Other tips:
-Skip the restaurants on the Royal Mile. We dined at a few, but had better (and cheaper) experiences in other areas.
-Walk around Greyfriars cemetery and look for familiar HP character names.
-Buy tickets in advance for Edinburough Castle, and try to be there before 1 pm. It will be crowded, but there is a big gun that goes off at 1 pm with historical significance. If you miss it, you will still hear it other places.
-Bring layers! It was warm most of the time we were there, and inside areas can be a bit stuffy and warm since no one really has AC. It did rain one afternoon, too.

Have fun!