6 beautiful day trips from Edinburgh, Scotland

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Edinburgh is a great city to visit. But what if you have a few extra days to spend in the area? Taking a few day trips from Edinburgh will reveal a lot more of the beauty of Scotland, especially the coast and countryside. Come along with me on my favorite day trips from Edinburgh.

1. Fishing villages of Fife

This is my favorite of all day trips from Edinburgh. Each village has its own charm, character and beautiful views of the rugged coastline of Fife.

St. Monans, Scotland - People walking toward the village on the beautiful coastal trail.People walking toward the village of St. Monans on the beautiful coastal trail.
See my photos from St. Monans

Our tour of the fishing villages of Fife started with Ellie in the south and worked our way to tiny Crail in north. Unfortunately, you need a rental car to be able to get to all of them as they are all the way down by the sea. It is best to learn a few easy tips for driving in the UK, and then you can easily visit some of these remote villages.

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2. St. Andrews

Next on my list of day trips from Edinburgh would be St. Andrews. A visit to St. Andrews can be coupled with visiting the fishing villages, even though that made us arrive late in the day and not be able to visit the beautiful ruins on the coast.

St Andrews, Scotland - Rugged coastline at St Andrews
Rugged coastline at St Andrews, Scotland
See my photos from St Andrews

A better option would be to find a budget hotel in St Andrews and spend the night there so you can enjoy the sights the second day. You can get more details in my walking tour of St Andrews.

3. Stirling

With its imposing castle and historical sights, Stirling is a beautiful day trip from Edinburgh.

Stirling, Scotland - Amazing panorama of river Forth and the Stirling battlefield.
Stirling, Scotland – Amazing panorama of river Forth and the Stirling battlefield.
See more photos from Stirling, Scotland

If you plan on seeing the National Wallace monument, you need a rental car. For more details you can read my walking tour of Stirling.

4. Loch Lomond National Park

Loch Lomond is the largest lake in Scotland, and as such, it offers lots of things to explore. Head out early in the morning from Edinburgh so you can take advantage of the sights.

Boats anchored at the beautiful harbour at Balmaha
Boats anchored at the beautiful harbour at Balmaha
See my photos from Balmaha

If you are visiting Stirling, I suggest spending the night in a budget hotel and heading to Loch Lomond in the morning so you can enjoy the entire day visiting the lake.

For more detail read my tourist guide for Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park.

5. Culross

Culross is a short drive from Edinburgh and a surprisingly quaint village.

A vintage Triumph car parked in front of the beautiful old Culross electrical substation.
See my photos from Culross

We really enjoyed our walk up the hill to the church and the old ruins.

6. Falkland

We stopped in Falkland on our way back to Edinburgh after visiting St Andrews. Falkland Palace is a great Scottish Castle to visit, but check their website before you go as it can be closed for private events.

Falkland, Scotland - View of the main village square at dusk.Falkland, Scotland – View of the main village square at dusk.
See my photos from Falkland

My resources for planning your day trips from Edinburgh

You can search for budget hotels in Edinburgh, Stirling, Fife or Aberfoyle.

Find a local tour from Edinburgh that takes you to many of these places without the hassle of a rental car or train ride.

You need a rental car for visiting the villages and smaller places. If there are more than two people in your party, a rental car also saves you money on other forms of transportation.

Planning a trip? Take my Smart Travel Planning course!

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