I AM TRAVELING TO EDINBURGH THIS SUMMER AND WANT TO TAKE A COUPLE OF DAY TRIPS. THERE ARE SO MANY GUIDES, I WOULD LOVE FEEDBACK ON ANY GUIDES YOU HAVE USED, THANK YOU
You don't really need a guide to most of the local day trips - most are easily accessible by public transportation and fun to explore on your own with a guide book and a good pair of comfy shoes. Some suggestions:
Stirling (Stirling Castle, Wallace Monument, the town)
North Berwick (beach, boat tours, seabird center etc.)
Roslin (Rosslyn Chapel)
The trips to Inverness are nice if you have a full day. You get to see a sampling of the Highlands. Loch Ness and Drumnadrochic (the little village at the top of the Loch) are very nice. Urquart castle is also nice and is on that tour too. There are several places you could get to by train. Check that out.
If you do make it up to Inverness, Loch ness is a must, but the battlefield and visitor centre at Culloden. It is real experince and historically it is really big in Scottish History as it basically ended the Jaccobite revolt.
Culross has beautifully restored 16th and 17th century buildings, many of them held by the National Trust for Scotland. Volunteers from the National Trust eagerly share their detailed knowledge of the history of the buildings and of life in the village. Culross is in Fife, on the north side of the River Forth. It's about 45 minutes by car from Edinburgh.
My husband and I just spent 3 days in Scotland at the end of March. We stayed at the Bonsyde Hotel in Linlithgow and really enjoyed our stay. Its a great hotel and the town of Linlithgow is small but nice. You should take a few hours and go to Linlithgow Palace, it's the birthplace of Mary, Queen of Scots and was the home to several other monarchs. The Palace is in ruins but you can still go through a lot of it, including the top of one of the towers. I think we spent 2-3 hours there and really enjoyed it, it was very interesting. Linlithgow is a great place to stay outside of Edinburgh, we took the train into Edinburgh for the day, it was about a 30 minute ride and not very expensive.
St. Andrews is a quick trip and fun town to wander around.
Just in Edinburgh last week. My sisters & I took the Loch Ness & Legends tour with Heart of Scotland Tours. We can all highly recommend this company. The guide was very enthusiastic & knowledgable. The tour groups are small (our group had about 15 people though their flier says that sometimes they have larger groups). Rick mentions them in his book & they have a web site (just Google the company name). They offer other tours & you can book on-line.