Edinburgh & Lothians Travel Guide

Edinburgh City Chambers - © Ronnie Leask

Introduction and Overview

The Edinburgh & Lothians Travel Guide provides visitor information on the attractions and places of interest of the region and contains useful tourist information for travellers. The area guide features travel information on local transport and travel, facts & figures, entertainment, events, maps and accommodation.

Edinburgh is Scotland’s capital, an internationally renowned world heritage city and host to one of the world’s largest international arts festivals. Within a few miles are the Lothians, characterised by a beautiful coastline and lovely countryside that is also rich in history.

The two combined offer the best of town and country ensuring there is plenty to see and do in the area no matter what your interests are. The Lothians includes West Lothian, Mid Lothian and East Lothian.

There are some historic towns and villages in the Lothians such as Haddington, a Royal Burgh that has over 250 listed buildings. There are also some traditional seaside resorts such as North Berwick and Dunbar for those that like fun by the seaside.

History fans are in for a treat here as there are numerous churches, castles and country houses to explore, with such variety visitors are spoilt for choice as to which ones to visit.

The great outdoors is one of the hallmarks of the Lothians, boasting a landscape that has sandy beaches, parks and hills the terrain is ideal for outdoor activities enthusiasts.

Many activities are catered for including sailing, riding and pony trekking bird watching reserves, many quality golf courses and many miles of cycle ways and footpaths it leaves plenty of choice on what to do.

From a visitors perspective the City of Edinburgh has plenty going for it, including famous visitor attractions and tours and a wide variety of cuisine is available to suit all budgets.

The city is home to some of the best galleries and museums in the UK, art aficionados and culture vultures will be especially at home here.

The setting for the city is striking, the city is perched on a number of now extinct volcanoes and rocky crags which rise from the flat landscape of the Lothians. Whilst there is history and tradition to be found here there is also a capital city that prides itself on being modern and dynamic.

One that attracts international festivals with some of the world's leading performers, galleries with avant-garde art and the thriving Edinburgh restaurants & dining, bars and clubs scene that all combine to create a cosmopolitan atmosphere with a noticeable Scottish flavour.

West Lothian is located to the west of Edinburgh and its largest town is Livingston, a small village up to the 1960s when it became a new town, it is located approx 15 miles Edinburgh.

Livingstone is well known as one of the prime locations for shopping in Scotland, the Livingston Designer Outlet includes popular and designer brands at discounted rates.

The Centre, Livingston is a large shopping centre located in the heart of the town centre. Arts fans can visit the Howden Park Centre, an arts venue with music, dance, exhibitions and shows. Attractions in West Lothian include the 18th century Hopetoun House, 15th century Blackness Castle and the historic Cairnpapple Hill.

Mid Lothian is located close by to Edinburgh, the town of Dalkeith has plenty of history and character, historically a market town Dalkeith’s High Street includes a number of historic buildings including the Corn Exchange, the Church of St Nicholas is a historic church parts of which date back to the 15th and 19th centuries.

The Dalkeith Country Estate includes historic Dalkeith Palace and estate grounds.

Local attractions in Mid Lothian include 16th century Rosslyn Chapel, the gothic styled chapel is famous for featuring in the novel The Da Vinci Code.

Arniston House is an 18th century Palladian style mansion house located a few miles from Dalkeith, the National Mining Museum Scotland and Lady Victoria Colliery are located in Newtongrange a few miles from Edinburgh.

East Lothian is located to the east of Edinburgh, the largest settlement is Musselburgh located approx 6 miles from Edinburgh. The market town includes a port that helped trade, today the port is mainly used for boating and fishing, the town is known for Musselburgh Racecourse, home to flat and national hunt horse racing.

The area is known for its range of links golf courses that rank amongst the finest in the world, including Muirfield golf course, the seen of many Open Championships and the North Berwick Golf Club.

Local attractions include the Scottish Seabird Centre in North Berwick, the 14th century Lennoxlove House and Dirleton Castle both of which are admired for their architecture and grandeur.

Edinburgh attracts many visitors and has a wide array of diverse attractions to offer, whilst the surrounding Lothians are sometimes missed by visitors, they have much to offer too.

The Lothians epitomise the best Scotland has to offer, stunning countryside and coastline mixed with great history and is an outdoor activities paradise.

The region has good road, rail and air links via Edinburgh Airport making it easily assessable to visit this charming area of Scotland.

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