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What to do in Edinburgh if we don't like castles and museums?

Hi there. My partner and I will be in London for 2 weeks and are considering spending 4-5 days in Scotland. We are more interested in people watching, food, festivals, kayaking, biking, etc. than visiting museums and churches. Is it worth going to Edinburgh for that or should we spend more time in London?

Posted by
28107 posts

Will you be there in August?

Or more specifically - when will you be there?

Posted by
1254 posts

Edinburgh Castle is worth a visit; August is the Military Tatoo. The Royal Yacht Britannia is open to visit. Arthur's Seat is a good climb to view the city. Real Mary King's Close has Edinburgh's haunted subterranean history. Rosslyn Chapel is where the Da Vinci Code was filmed. High Street and Prince Street are great people watching and shopping locations. Some of the museums and churches are venues for music events. Not too much kayaking near the city; maybe biking in the warm weather. Look at Visit Scotland web site for good videos of what's going on for winter season. Great hiking now. Skiing later. Check Historic Scotland for Castles and Monuments.

Check out Rabbie's tours for excursions or ideas. I'm sure you can find a pub crawl tour. There is always Scotch tasting at distilleries. Scotland has outdoor stuff as well. Golfing, hiking, boating, biking, wildlife watching. Oban is a great place for day trips. We did a boat trip to Staffa and Lunga islands for hiking and bird watching. Saw other critters along the way. I would google Oban boat trips for options. There are a few. You can simply search online for outdoor activities. Highlands games. Military Tattoo bagpipe festival.

Posted by
700 posts

I couldn't think of a much better place to visit than Scotland if you're kayaking and biking types. I've been doing some planning on an upcoming visit my wife and I will make to Scotland next May and when I saw your thread, I took a few seconds out of what I was looking for and found oodles and oodles (and more oodles) of kayaking and biking links such as these enter link description here, enter link description here, enter link description here, enter link description here, enter link description here.

While we've not been to Scotland before, I'd guess the people watching at one of the 700+ public houses in Edinburgh (as reported in 2007) would be pretty good, such venues would be easy to find as this map suggests enter link description here .

Just don't pub and bike, or kayak. Have a great time in London (and maybe Scotland).

Posted by
106 posts

This is Scotland. There are Castles and Ruins of Castles all over the place. Having said that, there is plenty to do in Edinburgh. Shop, meander, take in the magic. Also try this out: http://baskingsharkscotland.co.uk/. Also, there are two really good Outdoor shops on Rose Street. One is Tiso.

Posted by
5569 posts

If you are interested in festivals, you should be telling us what month you are going. Edinburgh is famous for a couple of festivals.

Scotland has vast areas of rural beauty. Just for example, England imports salmon from Scotland where the loch it was caught in is part of the market-branding of the fish. If you don't like old cities, you don't have to go to Edinburgh. If you want "people watching, food, festivals", you may be better off starting with Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Posted by
6016 posts

Drink Whisky, Eat Haggis, maybe buy a kilt just so you can see what is underneath.

Posted by
7 posts

Edinburgh is so magical, you really don't need to visit all the main sites to feel transported back in time. Just walking around the city is fun enough. A visit to the castle is possibly the #1 thing to see. Most of the museums are free, but if you're not into that, hiking Arthurs Seat will give you a fantastic view of the city. You can also take a day trip to the Highlands. The pubs and restaurants are great here, but if you're more interested in city life than history/culture, I would say more time in London is a better option for you.