Attracting Edinburgh Attractions You Have to Visit

If you’re planning on spending Christmas in the UK, Edinburgh was voted one of the best cities in the world to enjoy a winter break. And while Edinburgh may seem small compared to other cities, in terms of unique Edinburgh attractions per square mile, it’s top of the table. The city is packed with amazing things to do, so unless you’re planning on making your stay a permanent one, you’re going to struggle to see even half of what’s on offer. To help you get the most out of Edinburgh attractions, we’ve put together a list of the top things to do in Edinburgh to get you started.

 

Greyfriars Bobby Statue

This wee dog has had a vice grip on the hearts of the British public since the late 19th century. Greyfriars Bobby was a Skye terrier who stood vigil at his master’s grave for years until his own death. In life he was dearly loved by the people of Edinburgh and the intervening years has done little to diminish that. His fierce loyalty has inspired books and even a movie by Walt Disney! A life-size statue was erected in recognition of his fierce loyalty at the corner of Candlemaker Row and the George IV Bridge.

Statue of Greyfriars Bobby Image title bobby’s bar by zoetnet is licensed under (CC BY 2.0)

National Gallery Of Scotland Complex

The Scottish National Gallery and the adjoining Royal Scottish Academy form a complex in the heart of Edinburgh city. Situated just off Princes Street, the galleries are Edinburgh attractions in their own right. They house a magnificent collection of both classical and contemporary art. The complex is comprised of distinct buildings, linked via an underground tunnel, and both are the designs of the renowned architect William Playfair. The complex also includes the Scottish Café & Restaurant, which boasts spectacular views of Princes Street Gardens.

 

The Royal Botanic Garden

This magnificent 70 acre garden is the second oldest of its kind in Britain. It is home to a herbarium, Britain’s biggest palm house, a tropical house, a terraced moorland garden and many other delights. The Gardens also host many exhibitions where you can learn more about the beautiful species on display, and join a guided tour of the gardens.

Edinburgh Botanic Gardens  and the glasshouse

Image title Rhododendron at Edinburgh’s Botanic Garden by Karen Bryan is licensed under (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Our Dynamic Earth: Edinburgh’s Science Centre

Our Dynamic Earth is an amazing multimedia journey back 500 million years through Earth’s history. Located at the foot of Arthur’s seat near Holyrood Park, the science centre is housed in an ultra-modern tent-like structure and invites guests to take part in a series of interactive exhibits. State of the art technology brings it all to life with an amazing 360 degree full dome film theatre.

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Fireplace at Christmas time with decorations and tree

Christmas in the UK – a Claus For Celebration

As the days begin to grow shorter and the winter chill sets in, the UK is transformed from a bustling summer getaway to a wonderful winter wonderland. It’s a time to cozy-up in front of a fire, snuggle down with a good book and enjoy all the age-old traditions of a traditional Christmas in the UK. And while there may be no place like home for the holidays, by the time the festive season is over, you’re often in need of another holiday. If that sounds about right, check out our top tips for getting the best holiday deals, book early and enjoy a Ho-Ho-Ho-liday with Christmas in the UK.

 

England: a Festoon of Festivities

Spreading Christmas cheer from the West End to the far South, the English capital dons a special sparkle throughout the festive season. From the giant Christmas tree and traditional caroling in Trafalgar Square, to the annual Nut Cracker ballet at the Royal Opera House, outdoor ice-skating rinks, Christmas markets and the bright lights of the London Eye, London is transformed into our very own tinsel town.

What to do:

Enjoy some retail therapy with Christmas markets in Bath, Lincoln, Birmingham and Salisbury. Experience ‘squibbing’ at the Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival, take to the streets in Worcester’s Victorian Christmas Fayre and eat your heart out at the Slindon Pumpkin Festival.

 

Scotland: Scenic Extravaganzas

Famous for its hilltop castle, cultural festivals and Hogmanay street party, CNN has voted Scotland’s majestic capital as one of the best cities in the world to enjoy a winter break. With a huge line up of Christmas markets, glittering lights, fairground rides and Europe’s largest open air ice rink, Christmas in the UK this year promises not to disappoint.

What to do:

At the heart of the festivities, St Andrew Square will host a variety of live shows, festive markets, fantastic food and musical extravaganzas. If you’re looking for a quieter winter break with friends and family, escape the city with a Railway Holiday to the Highlands and discover a side of Scotland you’ve never seen before.

 

Wales: a Winter Wonderland

When it comes to spending quality time with family and friends, Christmas in Wales will ensure you get all you could ever want for Christmas. With all the charm of quiet village living, as well as the festive season madness of the bigger cities too, Wales offers anyone looking to spend Christmas in the UK the best of both worlds.

 

What to do:

Enjoy ghosts of Christmas past at a Welsh Castle, take a walk along the Coastal Path or go shopping at the Swansea, Cardiff and Blackwood markets. Wrap things up with the Caerphilly or Llandudno Christmas Fayres, take a Santa Special train ride in Llangollen and let the Abergavenny Christmas Food Festival leave you hungry for more.

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Spooky room with spooky shadows

Spook-tacular UK Halloween Destinations

 

Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble, All Hallows Eve is approaching on the double. With deadly dungeons, haunted castles and a bloodthirsty history, enjoy heart-stopping tours, potent pub potions and ghoulish creatures with the most horrifying UK Halloween destinations.

 

London terrors

At the top of any UK Halloween destination list has to be the Tower of London. As London’s most notorious prison famed for torture and executions in the days of yore, the Tower of London is full of wonderful historical horrors.

If you’re in the mood for things that go bump in the night, take a night crawl through London’s cemeteries, walk the walk with Jack the Ripper Ghost Walks or brave the spookiest locations in London. With loads of horrifying events, eerie tours, blood-chilling venues, zombie dawn raids and costume scare tactics, make London your UK Halloween destination of choice … if you dare.

 

Haunted Edinburgh

If you’re looking for horrific history, Edinburgh is one of the spookiest cities in the UK. Each year, Edinburgh plays home to a host of traditional Halloween festivities. From fancy dress and bobbing for apples, to trick-or-treating, making Jack-o-lanterns, chilling ghost stories and Halloween parties, Edinburgh will push your scare threshold to the limit.

For a truly chilling Halloween experience, hop on to the Ghost Bus tour, enjoy a night of the living dead with a City of the Dead tour, celebrate Halloween at the Dungeons or relish in one of the many ghost tours throughout the city.

 

Ghoulish Wales

Steeped in a history of myths and legends, Wales is the UK Halloween destination of choice for all things paranormal. With haunted houses, haunted castles and haunted tours, Halloween in Wales will leave you breathless.

Deck the halls with home-made Halloween decorations, dive six feet under with Dolaucothi Gold Mine tours, search for bats at Tudor Merchants House and enjoy spooky stories at the National Waterfront Museum and Dyffryn Gardens.

Spooky old doll

Spooky Ireland

Take a walk on the dark side of Northern Ireland this Halloween. Whether you’re looking for scary outdoor adventures, spooky family activities or horrific Halloween festivals, Northern Ireland is taking fright night to a whole new level. Visit creaky homes and haunted landmarks, explore Dracula’s lair on location of the newest blockbuster, mash things up at the Metro Monster Mash in Belfast or get your scream on at the Halloween Howler in Lisnaskea.

 

So if you’re looking for a traditional, scare-the-socks-off-you Halloween experience, book the perfect UK city break and experience all the horrors that UK Halloween destinations have to offer.

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Top Tips for Getting the Best Holiday Deals

With so many taxes and fees being whacked on at the payment page of a website, it can seem like you’ve already spent a small fortune before even booking your holiday. Looking for a budget escape away? Don’t worry – simply follow our top tips for getting the best holiday deals!

 

Book Direct – Best Holiday Deals

We cannot emphasise this tip enough – when booking your holiday, always book direct with the hotel you’re planning to stay with. Whilst rates may not necessarily be cheaper than when booking through the likes of Expedia or Booking.com, often booking direct with a hotel is inclusive of additional perks – such as a free breakfast.

 

Book Mid-Week – Best Holiday Deals

If time isn’t an issue and you’re simply looking for a lovely getaway, then consider booking a break that departs mid-week. Booking onto a Friday or Saturday flight typically tends to be more expensive – and it makes sense – it’s the time when most long-distance commuters return home!

Even when booking with a hotel, mid-week rates are typically cheaper as this is when people are less likely to stay.

 

Always Book in Advance – Best Holiday Deals

Despite the age old adage that it’s best to wait last minute to book a bargain, this does not ring true with long-haul flights. Long haul flights typically tend to point toward destination business central hubs (such as New York to London, etc.) and as such rarely come down in price, but in fact actually increase.

If you’re planning to visit a particularly popular destination, it serves well to book in advance, not only to get the best price, but ensure you have a spot on the flight too!

 

Tips for the Best Holiday Deals

Stick by our tips and you’ll not be without the best holiday deals possible! Not sure where you want to go? Check out some of our suggestions here.

 

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a photo of a man open swimming

Wild Swimming in the UK

Wild swimming in the UK – it’s the new sensation sweeping the British nation and with Great Britain boasting so many platforms and terrains to try it out, it’s hard to know where to begin.

Wild swimming is the sport or practice of swimming in open natural waters such as rivers and lakes. With a summer heatwave rising temperatures across the UK of up to 28 degrees Celsius, it’s easy to see how wild swimming fever has grown in popularity.

 

Wild Swimming in the UK – Safety

 

Before you pull on your goggles and head straight for the lake, it’s important to remember that wild swimming, like any sport comes with risks. We share a few top tips for you to bear in mind when wild swimming in the UK:

  1. Never swim in canals and urban rivers. Asides from the nasty critters and bugs you can pick up in these waters, there’s also the risk of being injured by passing boats as well as being swept away by river rapids.
  2. Under all circumstances, avoid contact with green or blue algae. This sort of algae can be harmful to human health and is not something to be trifled with. If you’re unsure, we recommend staying out of the water. Always remember to cover cuts and scrapes with waterproof dressings before swimming to prevent any infection.
  3. Never ever swim alone. It’s also good practice to keep an eye on other swimmers and ask your swimming partner to keep an eye out for you if you don’t have great confidence in the water.
  4. Always have an escape plan. In the event you find yourself in a sticky situation, it is important to know how you will exit the water before you even enter it.
  5. Keep an eye on depth at all times. It is not advisable to jump or dive in shallow areas. Especially when wild swimming, make sure to wear footwear – there’s no smooth chlorinated pools here!

 

So, where can I go wild swimming in the UK?

 

The Outdoors Swimming Society is a great authority to refer to when search for your next wild swimming spot. Head on over to their website to find out if there’s a spot near you! In the meantime, you may wish to head to these popular wild swimming spots:

  • Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye
  • Serpentine Lake, London
  • Lllyn Cau, Snowdonia
  • Port Meadow, Oxford

Have you tried wild swimming in the UK? Share with us your top tips for staying safe as well as your favourite spots in the comments! Keen to explore more of the UK? Check out more attractions in the UK here.

 

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A photo of London landscape

Planning Your Next UK City Break

Planning an escape away this autumn but not sure where to go? Don’t worry, here at Best UK Hotels we have it covered. Pick one of our top three destinations listed below and get planning your next big UK city break.

 

Edinburgh, Scotland

 

Edinburgh is the inspiring capital of Scotland, where centuries of history meet a vibrant and beautiful setting. Whilst in Edinburgh, you’ll discover stunning scenery, creative architecture and mouth-watering food.  From the Edinburgh Fringe Festival to Edinburgh castle – you’ll never be short of things to see and do on your city break.

Edinburgh is known for its spooky history, and whilst there we recommend visiting the Edinburgh Old Town – Edinburgh’s oldest neighbourhood – dating as far back as the medieval age. The Old Town’s small streets are lined with boutique shops, pubs and historical monuments.

 

Where to stay: The Dunstane Hotel

The Dunstane is a boutique hotel that provides some seriously stylish accommodation. This hotel has beautiful and unique features not found elsewhere in Edinburgh, from the high ceilings to the designer bedrooms, right through to underfloor heated bathroom tiles. This hotel is rated 4 stars and is well known for providing exceptional customer service. Not only is it conveniently located being just a five minute walk away from Haymarket Train Station, but is also placed on a major public transport route making it absolutely perfect for exploring the wider area of Edinburgh.

 

London, England

 

There is just so much to see and do in London – the capital of the United Kingdom. If you’re not sure where to begin, it can be completely overwhelming. Cut down your exhaustive list for a day of sightseeing around the city – must visit attractions include Big Ben, the London Eye and Buckingham Palace – all within walking distance of each other.  If you’re a bit of a shopaholic, then head on down to the iconic Oxford Street for fashion shopping galore. For foodies, cream tea at Harrods simply cannot be missed.

Where to stay: Double Tree by Hilton (Victoria)

For a warm welcome and convenient location, the Double Tree by Hilton (Victoria) is a great choice. This hotel is just minutes away from the heart of the city, making it the perfect base if you’re planning to do some serious sightseeing. The hotel is ideal for easy access to central London and has great transportation links.

 

York, England

 

York, England is an up and coming destination. Having been voted Europe’s most favourite City in 2007, the city is home to Europe’s most visited street and has quickly evolved to become one of the UK’s most popular tourist destinations.

York is a beautiful place, built up of medieval stone that encloses a wealth of rich history. In previous history, York was also regarded as one of the two capitals of Roman Britain. Sounds like your cup of tea?

Visit the JORVIK Viking Centre, a fantastic local attraction, exhibition artefacts over 1,000 years old. The National Railway Museum is also the largest of its kind in the word, and to add into the bargain, admission is completely free. Of course, this is just a snapshot of all the wonderful attractions York has to offer.

 

Where to stay: The Grand Hotel and Spa

The Grand is classed as a 5 star hotel and spa and is widely regarded as the finest in the area. With a century of history behind it, this luxury destination is an absolute must-visit for history buffs. The hotel is just five minutes’ walk from the city’s delightful maze of medieval streets as well as boutique shopping spots.

 

UK City Breaks – Which One Will You Choose?

 

No matter what UK city break you pick, we are positive that Edinburgh, York or London will not disappoint. The only question is, what destination will you choose?

 

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A photo of a fine dining meal

Top 3 Restaurants in Scotland you have to Visit

If there’s one thing you’re guaranteed to remember when reminiscing about holidays, it’s the food. If you don’t remember your food, then you’ve not experience a true taste of the country you’re visiting. With festival season well and truly on its way, we explore the restaurants in Scotland you have to visit this summer.

 

The Skerries, Edinburgh

 

If you’re heading to the Fringe this year, then a quick stop by the Skerries, situated in Haymarket is an absolute must. A fine dining experience to cherish, find yourself delighted by the Orcadian inspired menu, brought to you by head chef, Paul Hood. Mixing traditional cuisine with a contemporary twist, enjoy the gorgeous gastronomy brought to you by local suppliers. Snap up the Festival Fizz offer or book direct with the Skerries sister hotel, the Dunstane and receive a discount on your meal!

Don’t miss out – book your table here!

 

The Conservatory Restaurant, Inverness

 

Head onto the luxury hub of Inverness, the Kingsmills Hotel and spa, for a delightful evening in their Conservatory restaurant. Enjoy a varied menu of Scottish culinary treats such as Loin of Ardgay Red Deer, served with roasted parsnips and Pan Seared Scottish Hake Fillet, served with dill and lemon potato cake.

Totally tantalising? We agree.  Book your table here!

 

Asknish Bay Restaurant, Loch Melfort

 

Located just outside Scotland’s seafood capital, Oban, enjoy world-class views and dining in the Asknish Bay Restaurant. Boasting two AA rosettes for their outstanding fine dining restaurant, this is a destination worth travelling to. Enjoy incredible local seafood such as Islay scallops, lobsters, langoustines and crab.

Book in for a fine-dining experience of a lifetime here!

 

Restaurants in Scotland you have to Visit

 

As it is the year of food and drink in Scotland, there’s never been a better reason to hit the road and take a road trip to explore the best of Scottish cuisine. Not sure where to stay when visiting our favourite restaurants in Scotland? Check out this helpful guide here.

 

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A photo of Scottish scenery

The Ultimate Scottish Road Trip

Scotland – a country known for its world-class scenery, memorable music scene and of course, eclectic cuisine of all things Haggis, Whisky and square sausage.  Planning a trip to Scotland? Why not take our ultimate Scottish road trip?

 

Kick things off in the Kingdom of Fife

 

The first port of call for anybody new to Scotland is a trip to the beautiful East coast. Pop on down to the proclaimed home of golf, St. Andrews and play on world-famous courses, or even head on over Anstruther for a true delight of a fish supper from the Anstruther Fish Bar.

 

Where to stay: Elderburn Luxury Lodges, Silverdyke Holiday Park.

 

Imagine in Inverness

 

Explore the ruins of the battle grounds of Culloden, unfurl the myth of the Loch Ness monster and embrace the stunning Scottish scenery on offer. Are you a fan of Scotch Whisky? Why not take a Speyside Whisky tour? Indulge in having your very own Whisky tour-guide-come-chauffeur and spend the day having a true Whisky adventure sampling all the best distilleries Speyside has to offer.

 

Where to stay: Kingsmills Hotel, Eagle Brae.

 

Be Inspired in Islay

 

No trip to Scotland would be complete without a trip to the scenic Outer Hebrides. Visit the Isle of Islay and immerse yourself in the serene tranquillity and natural wild beauty that the island offers. Take an opportunity to sample the peaty malts of Islay, or set off for some island hopping across to Jura and other neighbouring lands.

 

Where to stay:  Islay Cottages.

 

Explore in Edinburgh

 

Finish off in the Scottish capital of Edinburgh. Explore this UNESCO heritage site and unravel Scottish history with a trip to Edinburgh Castle, visit the spooky underground city vaults and discover the site of the Covenanters Prison – widely regarded as the world’s first concentration camp. Finish off with a bit of souvenir shopping and head on over to Edinburgh’s Grassmarket to snap up a vintage bargain or two.

 

Where to stay: The Dunstane, Parliament House Hotel.

 

Planning your Scottish Road Trip

 

Planning your Scottish road trip can be a lengthy task – especially considering how many fantastic attractions there are! Why not visit some of our previous suggestions to help get your creative juices flowing.

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5 Extraordinary UK Attractions you have to Visit

The United Kingdom is known for many things – exquisite tea, greasy spoon caffs and haggis to name a few. However, if you’re on your first trip to the UK, it’s hard to narrow down so many of the incredible attractions to visit during your stay. Thankfully, here at Best UK Hotels, we’re on hand to give you a little guidance. Without further ado, we present 5 extraordinary UK attractions you have to visit!

 

The Forbidden Corner – North Yorkshire

 

You could be forgiven for thinking you’d stepped onto the set of Labyrinth but tucked away in a nook of North Yorkshire lays the Forbidden Corner. A maze swarming with puzzles, timorous beasties and surprises round every corner, this is a true delight to experience with the family.

Fancy a trip to the Forbidden Corner?

Click here to find out more.

 

The British Museum – London

 

One of the UK’s best loved and best known attractions; the British Museum is a must-visit for anybody taking a trip to the UK’s capital. Packed full of thousands of exhibits, artefacts and works of art, account for a full day to explore this British gem.

Click here to find out more.

 

Diggerland – Various Destinations

 

It is what it says on the paint tin. Head on down to one of the UK’s Diggerland theme parks and drive a real JCB! Fancy yourself as a construction genius? Perhaps you just want to dig a big hole. We’ve heard it’s very therapeutic.  Visit Diggerland today!

Click here to find out more.

 

Sgùrr Thearlaich – Isle of Skye

 

If diggers aren’t your thing, or even if they are, a trip to Sgùrr Thearlaich on the Isle of Skye is a must. Have your breath taken away by some of the best scenery in the world.

Find out more here.

 

Culross – Fife

 

You could be forgiven for thinking you had arrived at a historical reconstruction, but the town of Culross really is a pocket of history frozen in time. Enjoy the ambience of this quaint little town and enjoy an authentic Scottish day out.

Find out more here.

 

UK Attractions to Visit

 

Can’t wait to visit our selection of top UK attractions? Why not check out some of our previous suggestions and stay for longer!

 

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Comedians to look out for at the Fringe this Year

With Edinburgh Fringe Festival approaching, you may want to start planning your trip. With loads of great comedians to look out for at the Fringe Festival – here is a helpful guide on who you should go along and see this August.

Star of the Last Leg, Adam Hills, is a Fringe Festival favourite.  His show, Clown Heart, is an hour long production, promised to not disappoint. His work is renowned for being witty and hilarious and he has even been praised by The Scotsman – “’If you cannot enjoy Adam Hills you cannot have a pulse’. Tickets are priced at £14 and are available to purchase now online.

Next up is I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here Now presenter, Rob Beckett, who is playing at the Pleasance Dome from the 5th-30th August. Rob increadbilly smiley and energetic performances should not be missed so make sure you look out for him this year at The Fringe. Tickets are £12, however there are limited 2 for 1 tickets available from the official Fringe website.

Comedian and frequent Celebrity Juice guest Chris Ramsay will also be back at the Fringe Festival and he’s “All Growed Up”. Defined as “Stand up gold” by the guardian, Chris’s 11 night stretch is destined to be a sell-out come August. If you are desperate to see this rising star of the comedy circuit live, you better be quick!Tickets are online now and are priced at £15.

“Comedy genius’ (Daily Mirror) and newcomer Lee Nelson will be playing at the Pleasance Courtyard this August. Although he is new to the comedy scene, Lee has been celebrated by critics for his modern style of performance. A selected number of full price tickets are available online on a buy one get one free promotion.

If  you’re looking for a familiar face at The Fringe Never Mind The Buzzcock’ funny man Phil Jupitus will also be playing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this year, for free! Phil is back with his tour Porky The Poet in Apologist Now! will be at the Liquid Room Annexe from the 8-30th August. The show is non-ticketed so make sure you get along early to ensure you get a seat.

 

 

Comedians to look out for at the Fringe this year

 

 

This is our top five pick of comedians to look out for at the Fringe this year! For more information on venue and ticket purchases make sure you visit their website.

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