Edinburgh Coach Tours
Day trips from Edinburgh by bus and coach
You can tailor your very own coach or bus tour by combining public transport with walking. This is the cheapest way to visit attractions and places of interest around Edinburgh. If taking public buses doesn't appeal to you, there are many coach tour operators doing day or half a day tours from Edinburgh.
Scotland is tiny in comparison to other countries and there are countless options for bus day trips and tours to see attractions in the immediate vicinity of Edinburgh, further down South or up North:
- South Queensferry - First Edinburgh operate buses X4 and 43 to South Queensferry. South Queensferry is the home of the Forth Railway Bridge, one of the most impressive architectural achievements of the Victorian age. Half a day is sufficient for a tour of South Queensferry. There are no guided bus or coach tours to South Queensferry.
- Penicuik and Edinburgh Crystal - Lothian Regional Transport buses 37 or 37A take you to Penicuik, the largest town in Midlothian and home of the Edinburgh Crystal factory where you can take an interactive tour and see how crystal and glass is made. Half a day is sufficient for this tour. You can also take the Peebles coach operated by First Edinburgh to get to Edinburgh Crystal. There are no guided bus or coach tours to Penicuik.
- Roslin and Rosslyn Chapel - Lothian Regional Transport buses 15 and 15A or First Edinburgh buses 140, 141 and coach 62 go to Roslin. A visit to Rosslyn Chapel, one of the most architecturally impressive chapels in Scotland and one of the finest examples of stone carving in Europe is a must. Rosslyn Chapel was recently included in 'The Da Vinci Code' by Dan Brown as the location where the climax of the book unfolds. Half a day is sufficient for a tour of Rosslyn Chapel. There are guided day bus tours to Roslin that also include other historic sites, some associated with the Knights Templar or even a trip further south to the Borders.
- North Berwick and Tantallon Castle - First Edinburgh operate buses X5 or 124 to North Berwick. Here you can soak up the sun or stroll along the beach. Several miles offshore lies the Bass Rock. Once a prison, this extinct volcano is now one of the largest bird colonies in Europe. Your private day tour should also include a visit to Tantallon Castle, 3 miles from North Berwick which you can reach by taking the Dunbar coach. Take First Edinburgh 121 bus to include the Museum of Flight in your trip. A day is sufficient for a tour of North Berwick. .
- Linlithgow and Bo'ness - First Edinburgh operate coaches 36, 38 or X30 to Linlithgow. Located in West Lothian, Linlithgow is home of Mary Queen of Scots' birthplace, Linlithgow Palace, which is well worth a visit. Your day tour can include a walk around Linlithgow Loch, famous for its large number of swans. You can then take buses 250, 234, 236 or 248 to Bo'ness and visit the Railway Museum. A day is sufficient for a tour of Linlithgow and Bo'ness. Linlithgow is also included in several day tours from Edinburgh to the Highlands.
- Stirling - First Bus coaches 38 and X38 run regularly to Stirling. Best known for its associations with William Wallace, Stirling requires a full day to be explored in detail. Begin at Stirling Castle and then continue with Stirling Bridge and the Wallace Monument. Other historic sites such as the church of Holy Rude can be found around Stirling Castle. Stirling is included on the itinerary of most guided bus and coach tours but often either Stirling Castle or Wallace's Monument are visited, rarely both in the same tour.
- Fishing Villages of Fife - Stagecoach Fife operate express coaches X59 and X60 to St. Andrews from Edinburgh. Change at Leven and hop on bus 95 or coach X26 from Glasgow and visit some of the beautiful villages on Fife's Coast: Lower Largo, Elie, Anstruther, Pittenweem, St. Monans and Crail. A full day is required for a tour of maximum 3 villages.
Most suggested day trips and tours above are easily covered in one day. Long distance guided day tours by minibus or coach are available from Edinburgh. Most tours itineraries include:
- Day tour of whisky distilleries in Central Scotland and West Highlands.
- Day tour of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs.
- Day tour of the fishing villages of Fife, Falkland Palace and St. Andrews.
- Day tour of Glencoe and Loch Ness.
- Day tour of the scenery and historic abbeys of the Scottish Borders.
Coach hire for tours and transport
For private luxury tours you can hire a coach for a half day or full day tour around Edinburgh and Lothian or go further afield to the Scottish Borders or Fife.
If you are travelling with a large party you can hire a coach from one of the operators in Edinburgh for transfer to your accommodation or for transport to your destination.
Operators who hire out coaches are usually pretty flexible so you can use them for basically anything. You can hire a coach for golfing trips or for a single day coach trip to Edinburgh for the Military Tattoo.
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