Edinburgh
Educational Activities

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Our most recommended Edinburgh Educational Activities

Edinburgh: 'Firth of Forth' Three Bridges Sightseeing Cruise

1. Edinburgh: 'Firth of Forth' Three Bridges Sightseeing Cruise

Your boat tour will depart from the South Queensferry, which is only a short distance from Scotland's bustling capital city of Edinburgh. Your tour will include magnificent views of the "three bridges", including the world-famous UNESCO World Heritage Forth Railway Bridge. In addition, you can take in the beautiful panoramas of the Edinburgh skyline, the Kingdom of Fife and the historic island of Inchcolm with its medieval abbey. As part of the tour you will stop at the island to drop off and pick up visitors. Cruise along and discover the magic of the red railway Forth Bridge, the Forth Road suspension bridge, and the longest three-tower, cable-stayed bridge in the world, Queensferry Crossing. For your comfort, relax onboard in the heated observation lounge or on the outside decks, and listen to the guided commentary while you enjoy a drink from the bar. During your tour, you will find plenty of opportunities to both see and photograph a wide variety of marine wildlife including seabirds, porpoises and seals.

Edinburgh: Real Mary King's Close Guided Tour

2. Edinburgh: Real Mary King's Close Guided Tour

Step down into Edinburgh’s hidden history at The Real Mary King’s Close, voted Scotland’s Best Heritage Tourism Experience. Discover over 400 years of history and learn about the intriguing stories of Edinburgh’s past residents. From the deadly plague epidemic to a famous royal visitor, there is a myriad of tales just waiting to be told. Journey through time and find out why the Close, once open to the skies and bustling with trade, came to be underground. An experience rooted in social history, this 1-hour character-guided tour also includes an immersive walk-through of the city’s uniquely preserved streets and spaces, all located underneath Edinburgh’s famous Royal Mile. Expect a truly unique glimpse into the city’s past. 

Edinburgh: Guided Gin Tasting at 56 North Distillery

3. Edinburgh: Guided Gin Tasting at 56 North Distillery

Step inside Edinburgh's 56 North Distillery to sample and discover how award-winning gins are made. Begin by entering Scotland's oldest dedicated gin bar with over 300 gins on the shelf. You will be welcomed with a South Loch Gin and Fever-Tree tonic and introduced to the beautiful copper stills that produce all of the South Loch Gin. Savor your gin and tonic whilst learning all about botanicals, production, bottling, and gin production. Then, sample three gins made at the South Loch Gin distillery with tasting notes and insights into the research and development behind them. Finish off by enjoying a South Loch Gin cocktail made by a dedicated bar team.

Firth of Forth: Sightseeing Cruise with Cream Tea

4. Firth of Forth: Sightseeing Cruise with Cream Tea

The Firth of Forth is simply overflowing with myths, turbulent history, and fascinating marine wildlife. Join this boat tour on a 90-minute cruise onboard a superb vessel. Depart from South Queensferry, which is only a short distance from Scotland's bustling capital city of Edinburgh. Take in views of Blackness Castle, the ship that never sails and featured in Outlander and the Outlaw King. There are also views of Limekilns village, mentioned in Robert Louis Stevenson's 'Kidnapped'. It was from Limekilns that David Balfour and Alan Breck were carried across the Forth in a rowing boat. You will also see the Three Bridges as you have never seen them before including the UNESCO World Heritage Forth Bridge. For your comfort relax onboard with friends and family in the observation lounge or on the outside decks and listen to the guided commentary while you enjoy your complimentary cream tea. Spot the marine wildlife, during your tour, you will find plenty of opportunities to see a wide variety of marine wildlife including seabirds and seals.

St Andrews, Dunnottar Castle & Falkland Tour in Spanish

5. St Andrews, Dunnottar Castle & Falkland Tour in Spanish

The first stop of your tour is just outside of Edinburgh at the South Queensferry. Here you will see the beautiful and spectacular works of industrial engineering, the UNESCO World Heritage Site - Forth Bridge. Then you will head to your next stop of the tour.  Your second stop of the tour is St. Andrews. This seaside town is known for being the home of golf, but that is not all. See the historic coastline and visit the beach where the mythical scene of Chariots of Fire was filmed. When you arrive your guide will take you on a walking tour of St. Andrews where you will learn about the history and tales of the town. You will then have free time to explore St. Andrews on your own. After exploring St. Andrews continues on to Dunnottar Castle. This castle is situated on a cliff facing the North Sea and is considered by many to be the most beautiful castle in Scotland. Then start heading back towards Edinburgh, stopping at the small village of Falkland along the way. This village is famous for its beauty and for being the perfect setting to represent Inverness in the Outlander series.

Edinburgh Ghosts & Gore Walking Tour

6. Edinburgh Ghosts & Gore Walking Tour

Your ghostly guide is the deceased Alexander Clapperton, who was an Edinburgh Cemetery Director during the 1840s. Mr Clapperton will take you on a light-hearted journey through Edinburgh's dark past, telling tales of tortures, plague, witchcraft and invasion as he leads you through the Old Town's atmospheric closes and courtyards. En route Mr. Clapperton will introduce some Edinburgh characters summoned from the mists of time - so be prepared for a few laughs and well as the odd fright! The tour price includes a copy of the bestselling 'Witchery Tales' book - essential bedtime reading and an ideal way to delve further into Edinburgh's darker history!

Edinburgh: Distillery Tour with Scottish Gins and Cheeses

7. Edinburgh: Distillery Tour with Scottish Gins and Cheeses

Learn about flavor pairings and Scotland's gin-making history in a fun and delicious way on this tasting tour in Edinburgh. See some world-class gin stills and savor a gin and cheese pairing. Be welcomed by your host and listen as they give you an in-depth introduction to the on-site stills. Head to the cozy tasting room where a board of eight Scottish gins and a range of tonics will be waiting for you. Let your guide talk you through each gin and the aromatic cheese that is paired with it. Get information on gin companies, the history of gin-making in Scotland, and uncover the secrets to making a delicious gin. Have the opportunity to ask anything you'd like about your favorite spirit. Afterwards, you can stay and peruse a selection of over 400 gins, or you can head out to enjoy Edinburgh's historic center.

Scotland: Orkney and Northern Coast 5-Day Tour

8. Scotland: Orkney and Northern Coast 5-Day Tour

Drive to the top of Scotland on a scenic 5-day tour, and learn the history of the Highlands at sites such as the battlefield of the Macdonald clan massacre, and Stirling Castle. Spend the day on the Orkney Isles, and travel the northenmost coast of mainland Scotland. The tour is by luxury 16-seat Mercedes minibus for a more intimate experience, while bed and breakfast accommodation is provided in Inverness, the lovely town of Kirkwall, and the whitewashed fishing village of Ullapool at the mouth of Loch Broom. Day 1: Depart Edinburgh, heading west towards Stirling. Pass Stirling Castle and the Wallace Monument, and continue to Doune Castle, used for location shoots in Monty Python’s “Holy Grail.” Stop in the small town of Callander for refreshments. Then, marvel at the splendor of Loch Luibnaig, Loch Earn, Glen Ogle, and Glen Dochart on a scenic drive over the wild and remote Rannoch Moor. The views of the extinct volcano will take your breath away, and were also the scene of the infamous Clan Macdonald massacre of 1692. Continue north up the Great Glen to mysterious Loch Ness, with plenty of time to try and spot “Nessie” the Loch Ness Monster. The evening will be spent in Inverness, with free time to explore the “Capital of the Highlands.” Day 2: Depart Inverness early to cross over the Black Isle and past Andrew Carnegie’s Skibo Castle. From here, drive the northeast coastline, traveling into some of Scotland’s most dramatic scenery. Enjoy the views of some of Europe’s oldest landscapes, and the chance to spot wildlife such as golden eagle and red deer. Close to Scotland’s most northerly mainland village, John O’ Groats, board the ferry to cross the Pentland Firth to the Orkney archipelago. It is a short drive on arrival to the famous Italian Chapel, where you will stop for a quick visit before continuing to the Viking stronghold of Kirkwall, your home for the next 2 nights. Look inside Kirkwall’s magnificent Viking cathedral, and wander the winding streets of the historic town center. Day 3: Explore the ancient island of Orkney, and discover a land of contrasts, where fertile green pastures are fringed by shores of golden sands, and washed by the waters of the North Sea and Atlantic Ocean. Highlights include a visit to Skara Brae, the mystical prehistoric stone circle at Brodgar, the standing stones of Stenness, and Maeshowe, where Vikings left one of the largest collections of Norse runic inscriptions in the 12th century. Day 4: It’s time to leave Orkney and sail the Viking waters back to the mainland. From here, travel across the very top of Scotland, driving past the stunning Ben Loyal and Ben Hope mountains, following the rocky cliffs and stunning golden sand beaches of the northern coastline. Go to the far northwest of the Highlands, and admire the grandeur of the wild Assynt mountains. Stop to view the 15th-century ruins of Ardvreck Castle. Continue to Ullapool at the mouth of Loch Broom, a beautiful whitewashed fishing village where you will spend your last night. Day 5: Your morning includes visits to Corrieshalloch Gorge, and the ancient Clava Cairns, as well as exploring the more recent bloody history of the Culloden battlefield. Return south through the magnificent Cairngorm National Park, driving past the ancient Caledonian pine forests of Highland Perthshire, before your drop off in Edinburgh.

Edinburgh: Greyfriars Kirkyard Tour

9. Edinburgh: Greyfriars Kirkyard Tour

Meet your expert local guide and visit the graves of some of the lesser-known individuals buried in Greyfriars Kirkyard. Learn about the lecturer who taught Charles Darwin, an actor buried in full theatrical costume, and a First World War ace pilot. Uncover fascinating stories from centuries past as you wander through Edinburgh's most historic cemetery. Hear more about the mysterious Miss Cathcart. Visit the gravesite of a bestselling novelist from the 1770s. Discover burial sites that have links to contemporary popular culture, namely the Harry Potter book and film series. In addition to learning about the hidden history behind the graveyard, spot the burial places of famous individuals related to the history of Edinburgh.

Isle of Skye and Outer Hebrides 6-Day Tour from Edinburgh

10. Isle of Skye and Outer Hebrides 6-Day Tour from Edinburgh

Day 1: Edinburgh to Inverness. Depart Edinburgh at 8:30 AM and head north towards Bannockburn, which is the site of the famous battle won by outlaw king Robert the Bruce. Learn about William Wallace as you pass Stirling Castle. Catch a glimpse of Doune Castle, which appears in Monty Python & the Holy Grail, Outlander, and Game of Thrones. Soak up the atmospheric scenery in Glencoe. Look out for Ben Nevis, the UK’s highest mountain, on your journey toward Loch Ness. Learn about the legend of the ‘Nessie’ the Loch Ness monster then continue onto Inverness. Arrive around 5:30 PM and spend free time enjoying a walk along the River Ness or to Inverness Castle for views of the city. Then you can wander around the various bars and restaurants.  Day 2: Inverness to Stornoway. Begin your day with fresh air and stunning scenery at Black Water Falls. Continue north along a beautiful stretch of road then take to the water on the ferry from Ullapool to Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis. Keep an eye out for dolphins along the way. Explore the remote and rugged Atlantic coastline of Lewis. Visit the Butt of Lewis, the most northerly point on the island, to see the isolated lighthouse and dramatic force of the sea against the cliffs. Return to the main town of Stornoway for the night. Day 3: Stornoway. Prepare for an exciting day touring the cultural attractions on the Isle of Lewis. First, go back to the Neolithic period as you visit the mysterious 5000-year old Callanish Standing Stones. Then fast-forward to the Iron Age at the broch of Dun Carloway. Experience 17th century island life at the Gearrannan Blackhouse Village and unwind with a wee dram of whisky at Abhainn Dearg, which is the most westerly distillery in Scotland. Spend free time back in Stornoway. You can wander around the pretty harbour and go in search of fresh seafood in the local restaurants.  Day 4: Stornoway to Portree. Depart Stornoway and drive south towards the idyllic Isle of Harris. Marvel at the flawless white sand beaches with turquoise sea and a backdrop of mountains on West Harris. Board the ferry and go over the sea to the Isle of Skye, where you will spend the afternoon exploring the Trotternish peninsula. Soak up the enchanting scenery and learn about the island’s myths and legends. Arrive at your final stop, Portree, in time to enjoy dinner in one of the town’s restaurants. Day 5: Portree. Enjoy a magical day of island exploration on the Isle of Skye. Hear about the island’s resident fairies on a stop at one of the famous Fairy Bridges. Visit the enchanted waters of the Sligachan River, with views of the old bridge and the breathtaking Cuillin mountains. Drive over the Skye bridge to the iconic and absolutely beautiful Eilean Donan Castle. This castle was used in the filming of Highlander and James Bond, The World is Not Enough. Spend free time back in Portree visiting the shops, restaurants, and picturesque harbour with its colourful facades. Day 6: Portree to Edinburgh. Explore more of the beautiful Isle of Skye before taking the ferry to the west coast fishing village of Mallaig on the west coast. Experience one of the most spectacular railway journeys in the world and travel over the Glenfinnan Viaduct on the Jacobite Steam Train, made famous by Harry Potter. Take the scenic route back to the city, through the Cairngorms National Park. Arrive into Edinburgh around 8:30 PM. 

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What people are saying about Edinburgh

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 757 reviews

It was really enjoyable! The pre-recorded audio guide was very interesting and added to the whole experience. We got to see many seals and even some little puffins as we accidentally timed our trip for when the puffins are in mating season. We were blessed with the weather, sat outside but obviously if you get cold make sure you are wrapped up warm as the wind can probably be a bit biting. There are some coffee shops nearby, as well as a shop/bar in the boat that served hot drinks. The public parking nearby is limited so if you are driving, make sure you get there early to ensure you get a space, as the public car park serves 2 boat companies and the restaurants nearby. All in all, it was a wonderful day out. Would recommend, and I would go again!

A great experience with opportunities to see seals, cormorants and puffins as well as spectacular views of all three bridges. No need to exchange voucher as described. Trip only slightly let down by the recorded commentary that was repeated in a few places

Efficient, easy, friendly, informative. Everything one could wish for. I appreciated the efforts of the captain , to turn the boat around slowly at times, permitting all passengers to view or photographs animals or points of interest

Excellent, could walk about the boat taking in all the views which were spectacular, also serve tea and coffee !!!

We learned a lot and enjoyed trying the South Loch gins. James is entertaining and funny. Well worth it!