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Best of Scotland tour

We fly tomorrow! If you have completed this tour, can you suggest things you enjoyed doing before the beginning of the tour which did not conflict with the tour itself. We'll arrive Friday and our tour begins Sunday evening. Thank you for your thoughts.

Posted by
559 posts

Hi Anne and Andy, I did this very thing last summer although I arrived on Thursday rather than Friday. Edinburgh is beautiful and I enjoyed spending time just wandering. I enjoy photography so I took lots of photos. For my extra days beforehand I took the bus out to the Leith section of Edinburgh and enjoyed visiting the Royal Yacht Brittania (if you do this, know that the entrance is upstairs inside a mall - weird). This takes a morning or an afternoon. Also, I spent more time wandering around the Royal Mile and I visited Holyroodhouse. Another day, I ended up taking a day tour with the 'Heart of Scotland' Tour company that went to Rosslyn Chapel and then on down to Hadrian's Wall in England and back. I had the BEST tour guide/bus driver. In the tradition of my Scotsmen, he was a terrific storyteller and really made the history interesting (and unfortunately, I cannot remember his name). He also explained the history of the kilt (which doesn't seem interesting, but actually I really enjoyed listening to him). I would recommend this tour company if you decide to leave Edinburgh for the day, and I've also heard good things about Rabbie's tour company. Do you know who your guide is yet? I had Anne last year and she was wonderful. She has a terrific laugh. ENJOY!!!!

Posted by
5678 posts

I've not taken the tour, but from the description it sounds like most of the time of the tour is spent in old town, on The Royal Mile, which is to be expected. So, I would agree that a visit to the Royal Yacht Britannia would be a good option. Here are some others: Walk along the Leith Walk. You can explore Stockton, The Dean Gallery and that National Gallery of Modern Art. Also out that direction are the Royal Botanic Gardens. In New Town I love the Georgian House. It's small but give great insight into Edinburgh in the early 1800's. Also in New Town is the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. Another tour that is really interesting and not part of Rick's tour is a tour of the Holyrood Parliament building. This is a contemporary building, but is fascinating as it's all part of devolutionthe return of power from Westminster to Scotland. If you have a beautiful day think about climbing Arthur's Seat. You'll get great views. Another off beat suggestion would be to check out Dynamic Earth. Yes, it covers similar things to field museums in the US, but you see how Scotland was formed. It's different perspective from North America. Lastly, I enjoyed visiting Holyrood Palace and would recommend it as well. Have a great trip. Pam