Lothians Attractions

The Lothians includes a choice of local attractions in the region, visitors have a choice of places to discover. The scenic region includes unspoilt countryside and a great coastline with a number of museums, parks, gardens, a number of historic buildings, theatre, concerts and events. The Lothians location in Scotland offers visitors a wonderful landscape to enjoy and countryside and great outdoors is located close to local towns and villages with a range of things to see and do in the region.

We have outlined a number of interesting attractions and places to visit for visitors to Lothians and surrounding areas, these include:

Dominating the skyline in the city is Edinburgh Castle and with over a thousand years of history it is not surprising it is a big tourist attraction, over a million people visit each year. Views from the top of the castle are a joy to behold, there are truly stunning views of the city in all directions. Looking north the mountains of The Kingdom of Fife are visible in the distance, looking below you will see the famous Princes Street Gardens. Further up from Princes Street is George Street the one of the original Edinburgh Georgian New Town Streets - with shops. The city currently has the most intact Georgian city in the whole of Europe. Edinburgh has had World Heritage Site status since 1995.

History is one thing Edinburgh is renowned for its origins back to the dark ages Edinburgh city centre can be thought of as divided in two, there is the Old Town that is situated in the area between the hilly terrain between the castle and Holyrood Palace and for a number of years the city was confined to these parameters. Later other development took place outside of the Old Town with a lot of building upwards instead of outwards. Edinburgh's New Town is the other main area of the city that has areas such as George Street and Princes Street shopping areas.

The Old and New Towns form the basis for the Edinburgh World Heritage Site, an acknowledgement to the historical, architectural and planning importance of the city.

It also has the National Galleries of Scotland, exhibiting both Scottish and international art and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. The Royal Botanic Garden is here too, a guided tour is a great way to enjoy and appreciate this attractive attraction. The New town also hosts Edinburgh Zoo, the daily penguin parades are among the more famous things to see, it is guaranteed to be a hit with the children

The compact nature of Edinburgh means it is possible to do a lot in a relatively short time span. Visitors to Edinburgh are unlikely to be short of things to do. During the day looking and the world-class art galleries and museums are popular with visitors, the city is also famous for its shopping so shoppers can indulge themselves here. At night, there are a number of theatres, restaurants, cafes and clubs. Edinburgh has an enviable reputation internationally as a Festival City, as its incredible calendar of annual events clearly shows.

The Walter Scott Monument is located at East Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh, in honour of the famous Scottish literary figure. The monument opened back in 1846 and since that time millions of people have climbed the 200 foot structure and are rewarded with some wonderful views of the city to admire.

St. Giles Cathedral contains 1,000 years of history and is located in the heart of the capital. The church is renowned for its stained glass and the beautiful Thistle Chapel. For visitors there are guided tours, concerts, a cathedral shop & restaurant. St Giles’ is a living church with a congregation who reside in the city and further a field. St Giles is Edinburgh’s 'town church' and hosts the annual Kirking of the City Council and other national and civic events. There is a lot of history and a unique atmosphere to experience for visitors.

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh was founded in the 17th century. The first garden was the size of a tennis court, it has grown considerably since then and now extends to four sites namely Edinburgh, Benmore, Logan and Dawyck and boasts among the richest collection of plant species in the world. The Garden is primarily a scientific institution that is dedicated to discovering and describing plants and their relationships, evolution, conservation and biology. There are internationally renowned collections of living and preserved plants, a large specialist library, and by modern well-equipped laboratories.

The four gardens are popular attractions for visitors to Scotland and provide a place where visitors can relax, admire the gardens and gain some inspiration. At the Edinburgh site, the grounds feature a rock garden, peat and woodland gardens, herbaceous borders, and specialist collections that include Chinese plants too. The Benmore site benefits from its milder climate helps to grow tress and shrubs. The Logan site is one of Scotland’s most exotic gardens with nearly a sub-tropical climate, and provides fantastic growing conditions for southern hemisphere plants and others. The Dawyck site is suited for hardy plants from the world’s cooler areas. Education plays a big role here informing many people of all ages about horticulture.

The John Muir Country Park is located to the west of Dunbar, and contains some spectacular East Lothian coastline including the remains of the historic Dunbar Castle. The park covers an area of over 730 hectares, it is a place where families can come and enjoy a day out in the open. The park offers bird watching and natural history enthusiasts a variety of habitats to explore. The park stretches from the Castle Ruins in Dunbar all the way to the Peffer Burn around six kilometres away. The park contains the Cliff Top Trail, containing great views of the sea and the Bass Rock, Belhaven Bay and areas of grassland, woodland and saltmarsh among others. There are a number of different habitats that are supported in the park these include upwards of 400 species of plants.

The Scottish Seabird Centre is located in the coastal town of North Berwick. The popular attraction includes the Discovery Centre where visitors can explore the different zones including the wildlife theatre, kids zone, cameras, migration flyaway and the environment zone. The centre includes information about Scotland’s seabirds and marine life, visitors can also book a exciting boat trip to see the wildlife up close. There is a café serving hot and cold foods and drinks. The seabird centre offers something for the whole family, with a fun and educational day out to enjoy.

The Scottish Mining Museum is located in Newtongrange, 9 miles from Edinburgh. Located at the Lady Victoria Colliery covering four acres, it is one of the best examples of a Victorian colliery in Europe. Visitors can see the storey of coal exhibition learning more about how coal was created and human efforts to extract it from the 13th century to modern times. Visitors can learn what is was like to live and work as a miner in Scotland’s mining communities and take a guided tour of the pithead and see first hand the sights and sounds of a working pit, the guides have excellent knowledge as ex-miners. There is a mining mechanics interactive zone providing children with a fun way of learning about science and technology. The museum has a number of events that take place regularly and there is a large library achieve with books, journals and periodicals relating to the Scottish mining industry.

Arts fans with enjoy a visit to Howden Park Centre located in Livingston, West Lothian. Visitors can find a number of shows and performances covering music, dance, exhibitions, drama, comedy, talks and classes to suit a range of tastes. The Bistro & Bar includes light bites, snacks and main meals with Scottish and international cuisine.

It is recommended that prior to visiting the Lothians; visitors do their research and ensure any sights and attractions they plan on visiting are actually open on the days you intend on coming. The transport is also worth checking as maintenance and engineering works can mean a restricted service on public transport and the road network.

The Lothians are located in a scenic part of Scotland, the area includes the capital city of Edinburgh and is continently assessable from Scotland’s largest city Glasgow, making the area a popular holiday and short breaks destination. The area has plenty to offer visitors with a mix of charming small towns and villages including plenty of picturesque locations in the scenic Scottish countryside and coastline.

The main city in the region is Edinburgh which offers visitors plenty of its own city attractions and a good place from which to further explore the area. The Lothians includes a number of historic attractions, museums, historic houses, parks and gardens with attractions to enjoy for the entire family. Lothians attractions ensure visitors can enjoy a short break, weekend away or a longer stay here.

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