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Surroundings, Edinburgh

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The surroundings of Edinburgh include Craigmillar Castle, Culross and the Forth Railway Bridge.

Inveresk Lodge Garden

Inveresk Lodge Garden is a terraced garden located in Musselburgh, just to the east of Edinburgh. It features a display of plants suitable to small gardens, including an excellent range of shrubs and roses. Many of the plants hold the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.
Address: 24 Inveresk Village, Musselburgh EH21 7TE, Scotland

Newhailes House

Newhailes House in Musselburgh became a center of the Scottish Enlightment, playing host to many famous figure of the time under the ownership of Sir David Dalrymple. The ouse was originally built in 1686, but was enlarged by the new owner in 1707.
Address: Newhailes Road, Musselburgh EH21 6RY, Scotland

Duddingston, Scotland

A boathouse in Duddingston.
Duddingston near Duddingston Loch - now a bird reserve - is one of the prettiest historic villages near Edinburgh. Raeburn recorded the lake in the evocative "Reverend Robert Walker Skating on Duddingston Loch" (National Gallery). The village's Sheep's Heid Inn is the ideal place for a break. The skittle alley in this 14th century pub is said to be the oldest in the country.

Zoological Park

Edinburgh's zoo was founded in 1913. It extends for an area of about 80 acres/32ha in Corstorphine Road. This, the largest zoo in Scotland, can boast a collection of over 2,000 animals including lions, tigers, leopards, Scottish wildcats, Highland cattle, brown bears, polar bears, gorillas, Californian sea lions, antelopes, hippopotamuses, camels, guanacos, kangaroos, reptiles, flamingos and a very wide collection of birds. The penguin colony is thought to be the largest in the world.
Address: Murrayfield, Edinburgh EH12 6TS, Scotland

Blackford Hill Royal Observatory

The Royal Observatory stands on Blackford Hill to the south of the city and the amazing world of the universe is revealed to visitors with the aid of telescopes, models, videos and computer games.
The commanding position of the observatory offers another fine panoramic view of the city.
Address: Visitor Centre, Blackford Hill, Edinburgh EH9 3HJ, Scotland

Leith, Scotland

An old merchants house in Leith.
Situated at the mouth of the Water of Leith in the Firth of Forth, Leith is Edinburgh's main port. Until 1920, it was an independent town which had grown considerably in importance during the Industrial Revolution mainly through shipbuilding. Four new docks alone were built during the second half of the 19th century, but with the decline of the port after World War II, the town's economic fortunes waned. However, in the last few years, redevelopment has brought new hope to the fragile local economy. The houses around the Shore, Constitution Street and Bernhard Street have been brightened up, including the old Customs House and Andrew Lamb's House in Burgess Street which was built in the 17th century by a prosperous merchant. A good example of modern architecture is the King's Landing housing estate. The name derives from the visit of George IV to the town in 1822. He was the first monarch to set foot on Scottish soil for more than 100 years.

Scottish Agricultural Museum

The history of rural life in the Edinburgh region is the subject for this agricultural museum near the airport in Ingliston.
Address: Ingliston, Edinburgh EH28 8NB, Scotland

Niddry Castle

A tour of this 15th C castle (10mi/16km west of Edinburgh) passes through the Great Hall, guardroom and dungeon as well as the chamber where Mary Stuart once sought refuge. Tea is served in the Laird's Hall.

Craigmillar Castle

Stone wall of Craigmillar Castle.
Begun in the 14th century Craigmillar Castle (2mi/3km east of Edinburgh) was a favorite with Mary Stuart who withdrew here after Rizzio was murdered in 1556. The death of her husband Lord Darnley was, so it is said, planned here. The L-shaped tower house dating from 1374 was extended ca. 1427 with a curtain wall and small towers. The three-story east wing was added in the middle of the 16th century. As well as the 17th century living quarters, the kitchen and dungeon are of particular interest.
Address: Craigmillar Castle Road, Edinburgh EH16 4SY, Scotland

Butterfly and Insect World

Hundreds of colorful butterflies from all over the world flutter freely through an exotic rain forest of tropical plants. Leaf-cutting ants, stick insects and scorpions are among the more unusual insects on view (Melville Nursery on the A7 5mi/8km south of the city).
Address: Dobbies Garden World, Lasswade, Edinburgh EH18 1AZ, Scotland

Scottish Mining Museum

The two mines which make up the Scottish Mining Museum document the history of the Scottish mining industry.
Address: Lady Victoria Colliery, Edinburgh EH22 4QN, Scotland


Prestongrange lies on the B1348 near Prestonpans to the west of Edinburgh. The museum's underground gallery gives the visitor an insight into the tough working environment of the miner. Particularly impressive are the huge plane, scraper and coal cutter.

Lady Victoria Colliery

A visit to the Lady Victoria Mine near Newtongrange 10mi/16km south of Edinburgh is a rewarding experience. A working mine from 1890 and a showpiece for the Scottish coal fields, it closed in 1981 but then the old plant and coal seams were converted into a museum. Of greatest historical interest is the "Grant-Richie" winding engine which was used to lift the coal from a depth of almost 1,640ft/500m. The mine was named after the wife of the former mine owner Lord Lothian.

Roslin, Scotland

The mining village of Roslin (pop. 1,600) about 5mi/8km south of Edinburgh was a popular spot around 1800 because of a poem by Scott entitled "The Lay of the Last Minstrel".

Roslin Chapel

What attracts most visitors to Roslin today is William Sinclair's 15th century chapel with its ornate stone carvings and allegorical sculptures such as the "Dance of Death". According to legend, a richly decorated Late Gothic column known as the "Prentice Pilar" was produced by an apprentice.

Crystal Visitor Centre

To learn something of the mysteries of glass blowing and crystal cutting, take a 30-minute tour through the glass factory in Eastfield/Penicuik 10mi/16km south of Edinburgh.

Crichton Castle

On a hill by the banks of Tyne Water stands Crichton Castle (12mi/19.2km east of Edinburgh). Praised by Scott in his "Marmion", the original 14th C tower house had three wings added in the 15th C and in the second half of the 16th C the fifth Earl of Bothwell gave it an Italianate elegance by supplementing the north wing with Florentine arcades and enhancing the facade and brickwork with diamond bosses. It is thought that Mary Stuart and Lord Darnley stayed here during their honeymoon - at least the stone over the two central pillars on the east side of the courtyard bear the initials MSD.
Address: Longmore House, Salisbury Place, Jedburgh TD8 6JQ, Scotland

Dunsyre Stonypath

The official sign outside the fantastic gardens belonging to the Scottish artist Ian Hamilton Finlay refers to them as "Stonypath". However, "Little Sparta" is the name chosen by Finlay for this 4acre/1.6ha cultural oasis near Dunsyre in the thinly-populated Pentland Hills about 24mi/39km southwest of Edinburgh. The artist gardener and his wife Sue started work here in 1966 and out of an abandoned farmhouse they have created a world of fairy tales, myths and history. Sundials, Classical chapels and stones engraved with mottoes catch visitors unawares among the broom, lilies and lupins. Hidden away in a labyrinth of allusions to form and sense are paving slabs adorned with the motto "The order of the present is the disorder of the future", a memorial pyramid to the Romantic Caspar David Friedrich, a bust in shimmering gold of the French revolutionary St Just with the words "Apollon Terroriste" on his forehead, aircraft-carrier sculptures in miniature parodying military action and the Classical facade of an ancient temple to Philemon and Baucis. Finlay is now well-established internationally in the world of art.

Lauriston Castle

This Edwardian country mansion (in Cramond Road South, 4mi/6.4km northwest of the town center) was originally built by Sir Archibald Napier, the father of the mathematician and discoverer of logarithms John Napier. In 1827 it was bought by the banker and newspaper publisher Thomas Allan who commissioned William Burn to make considerable extensions.
Around 1903 William Reid, the owner of Morrison joiners in Edinburgh, provided furniture for the mansion's interior and he also acquired the valuable 18th C English and Italian works, the Blue John vases from Derbyshire and the Crossley wool mosaic.
Address: 2A Cramond Road South, Davidson's Mains, Edinburgh EH4 5QD, Scotland

Church, Dalmeny, Scotland

Dalmeny boasts one of the finest Norman churches in Scotland. St Cuthbert's, which dates from the middle of the 12th century, has a richly decorated south portal - two relief arches with signs of the zodiac, masks and the lamb of God - and some fine wood carving. It also retains the original cross vaulting.

South Queensferry - Dalmeny House

Just outside Dalmeny (8mi/12.8km northwest of Edinburgh), a road branches off to the right to Dalmeny House, which occupies a commanding position overlooking the Firth of Forth. This residence of the earls of Rosebery was designed in 1815 by William Wilkins in Tudor Gothic style. Of greatest interest from an architectural point of view are the dragon beam hall and the fan vaulting in the corridors. It is, however, the valuable art treasures that probably attract most visitors. In 1878 the fifth Earl of Rosebery married a Rothschild heiress and as a result the collection was considerably extended. The French furniture dates mainly from the time of Louis XV and Louis XVI, including a Jean-François Oeben bureau which belonged to the dauphin. Sèvres and Vincennes porcelain, Beauvais tapestries by François Boucher and silk curtains said to have been embroidered by Marie Antoinette and her court ladies form another part of the Rothschild collection. Portraits by Reynolds, Raeburn, Gainsborough and Nasmyth and tapestries designed by Goya (1800) are also on display. The Napoleon Room contains paintings and personal effects belonging to the emperor and also a seat used by the Duke of Wellington.

Hopetoun House

Generations of the Hope family, later the Marquess of Linlithgow, have resided in the impressive Hopetoun House. Lying some 3mi/4.8km to the west of South Queensferry, it was begun in 1699 by Sir William Bruce, who also built the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh. By 1703 he had completed the rectangular central section. His pupil William Adam and sons John and Robert Adam extended the house between 1721 and 1754. It was Adam who provided the Baroque mansion with a finely ornamented two-story facade adding semi-circular colonnades and pavilions to both sides. The original entrance hall was converted into a garden room - the oak paneling and gilded capitals are original. The splendid rooms of the mansion are decorated with damask wallpaper, tapestries from Antwerp and Aubusson (17th century), delightful stucco ceilings and furniture from the 18th and 19th centuries. In the Red Drawing room hangs Canaletto's "The Doge's Palace and Campanile by the Grand Canal in Venice". Portraits by Raeburn, Ramsay and Gainsborough decorate the Dining Hall. Also represented are Rembrandt, Titian and works from the Rubens School ("The Adoration of the Shepherds" in the Yellow Room). Early 19th century Meissen and Derby dinner services and vases take place of honor in the porcelain collection.
ENLARGE MAP PRINT MAP EMBED < > Hopetoun House - Floor plan map Hopetoun House Map

Linlithgow, Scotland

Almondell & Calderwood Country Park

Nature trails and pretty picnic sites attract many visitors to Almondell and Calderwood Country Park which is located southeast of the M8 near Livingston. Guided tours of the park are available on request. The Visitor Center can supply information on fauna and flora and also local history.

Bo'ness Railway

The railroad museum at Bo'ness (full name: Borrowstounness; pop. 14,400;) by the Firth of Forth has a fine collection of steam locomotives. It is possible to take a short train ride towards Grangemouth. In Kinneil House (16th/17th century) James Watt worked on the first steam engine.

Grangemouth, Scotland

Take the M9 or the A905 to the west past the oil refineries of Grangemouth (pop. 19,000). Now Scotland's main center for petrochemicals, Grangemouth is supplied with North Sea oil via a pipeline from Cruden Bay. A bridge near Bowtrees carries the A876 across to Kincardine-on-Forth where the A985 leads east along the north bank of the Firth of Forth through the industrial belt to Dunfermline and the Fife peninsula.

Haddington, Scotland

The fine town of Haddington was founded in the 12th C and is a popular place for day-tripping tourists from Edinburgh.

Aberlady, Scotland

The coastal village of Aberlady (pop. 700) is noted for its fine sandy beaches and the sea bird reserve in Aberlady Bay. The 16th C Luffness Castle is an extension of a medieval keep (13th C).

East Linton, Scotland

Head inland through Whitekirk to East Linton (pop. 850), a pleasant little town on the Tyne which flows through a gorge here and is crossed by a 16th century bridge.

East Fortune - Museum of Flight

To the northwest of East Linton near East Fortune a former RAF airbase houses a museum of over 30 old airplanes, including a De Havilland Puss Moth (1930), a Weir W-2 (1934), a Supermarine Spitfire and a Sea Hawk.
Address: East Fortune Airfield, North Berwick EH39 5LF, Scotland

Hailes Castle

Hailes Castle is situated about 2mi/3km southwest of East Linton. It was built in the 13th century but destroyed by Cromwell in 1650. The narrow dungeons below both towers are particularly interesting.

Traprain Law

To the rear of Hailes Castle rises Traprain Law (724ft/221m) where a hoard of fourth century Roman silver coins was found in 1919. They are now kept in Edinburgh's Museum of Antiquities.

Preston Mill and Phantassie Doocot

River in front of Preston Mill.
The 18th C Preston Mill is located in a picturesque spot on the banks of the Tyne. It is the only working mill of its kind in Scotland. The nearby dovecot once accommodated more than 500 birds.

Gifford, Scotland

The Lammermuir Hills which rise to a height of 1,750ft/533m are visible to the south of Haddington. The rivers that rise in these hills are famous among anglers for their trout stocks. The small town of Gifford makes a good starting point for excursions into the hills. Yester Castle, now a ruin, was immortalized in Scott's "Marmion" and the hillside castle at Nunraw (17th century), now a Cistercian abbey, was the setting for Scott's "The Bride of Lammermoor".

Winton House

Fine stepped gables, unusual chimneys and pretty roof towers are the distinguishing external features of Winton House, a Renaissance-style mansion converted ca. 1620 by William Wallace. Situated at the eastern end of Pencaitland, the house boasts magnificent plasterwork ceilings, a painting by Canaletto, period furniture and ornate fireplaces.

North Berwick, Scotland

The refined resort of North Berwick (pop. 5,100) can boast a number of golf courses. It is also where Robert Louis Stevenson spent many summers as a child.

Tantallon Castle

Some 3mi/4.8km to the east of Haddington and perched on a 100ft/30m rock lie the red sandstone ruins of Tantallon Castle. The fortress was built in 1374 for the Douglas clan. Both James IV and James V failed in their attempts to capture the stronghold which was equipped with ramparts, ditches, corner towers and a central gatehouse. Cromwell's troops under the command of General Monk did succeed in capturing and destroying it in 1651.
Address: Longmore House, Salisbury Place, Jedburgh TD8 6JQ, Scotland
PRINT MAP EMBED < > Tantallon Castle - Floor plan map Tantallon Castle Map

Dirleton Castle

Dirleton castle outside Edinburgh.
The remains of one of Scotland's first sandstone castles with its curtain wall and moat are to be found in the little village of Dirleton. The origins of this Norman fortress date from 1225. It was rebuilt in the 15th century but destroyed by Cromwell in 1650. Beneath the castle lie fine Victorian flower beds and a magnificent 16th century garden which was laid out by the earls of Gowrie.
Address: Longmore House, Salisbury Place, Jedburgh TD8 6JQ, Scotland

Dunbar, Scotland

Remains of a medieval castle (15th century) stand at the entrance to Dunbar's harbor (12mi/19.2km to the east of Haddington). The pretty resort's name derives from the Gaelic words "dun" meaning fort and "barr" meaning mound. Mary Stuart fled here after the murder of her trusted ally Rizzio. The Renaissance town hall dates from the 17th century and Lauderdale House at the end of High Street has an impressive facade and two wings which were designed by Robert Adam (1790-1792).

John Muir House

In 1836 John Muir was born at 126 High Street. He is famous in the United States as the founder of the National Parks such as Yosemite and the Sequoia National Park in California. The upper floor of the house was converted into a museum in 1981.
Address: 126 High Street, Dunbar EH42 1JJ, Scotland

Muir Country Park

Situated by the coast to the west of Dunbar, this country park (1976) with nature trails was named after John Muir.

Dalmahoy Country Club Resort

The Dalmahoy resort has two courses, set over a 1000-acre parkland, complete with numerous lakes and streams. The courses hosted the Solheim Cup in 1992.
Other facilities include tennis, squash and snooker.
Address: Kirknewton, Edinburgh EH27 8EB, Scotland

Little Sparta

There is no other garden quite like Little Sparta in the world. It features a variety of ornaments such as model ships and sundials, and includes a number of references to classical literature and mythology. It merges with an open heath.

Malleny Gardens

The garden also has four 400-year-old clipped yew trees and extensive woodland, splendid bush roses and the national bonsai collection. The 17th C house is not open to the public
Address: Balerno, Edinburgh EH14 7AF, Scotland

Pentland Hills Icelandic Trekking Centre

Pentland Hills and West Edinburgh.
This riding center offers long treks on west coast islands. Icelandic horses are used for the treks. They are known to be small, strong and kind-natured. Rides are usually 200 kilometers or more.
Holidays are all-inclusive.

Preston Tower, Prestonpans, Scotland

Preston Tower was built by the Hamilton family in the 15th C, adjacent to Hamilton House. It underwent renovations in the 17th C, including a Renaissance addition on top.
Preston Tower was purchased by the National Trust of Scotland in 1969.

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