See the best of the Scottish capital on this independent day trip from London to Edinburgh. Travel by train through England's countryside and jump aboard your hop-on hop-off city tour in Edinburgh. Wander along the Royal Mile ' a UNESCO World Heritage site ' and marvel at the Scottish Crown Jewels inside Edinburgh Castle. Gaze up at the Scott Monument and visit the Scotch Whisky Heritage Center. With your rail travel, hop-on hop-off bus tour and entry to Edinburgh Castle all included, you're free to explore Edinburgh at your leisure.
Depart central London in the early morning and head north by train on your 4.5-hour journey to Edinburgh. Travel through England's open countryside, skirt the canals and waterways of the Midlands and pass old mill towns built during the Industrial Revolution. Upgrade to first class train tickets if you wish, for wider seats, complimentary snacks, free Wi-Fi and quieter coaches.
On arrival in Edinburgh, head to the bus stop for the city's open-top sightseeing service ' it's located right by the station and is easy to spot! Jump aboard for a bird's-eye view of Scotland's majestic capital and enjoy the freedom to hop on and off as you please. Frequent departures throughout the day mean you have total flexibility to plan your day.
Perhaps alight at Edinburgh's historic Old Town and stroll along the city's famous Royal Mile, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The charming Royal Mile runs right through the Old Town, with cobbled alleyways leading down the hillside to the city center. St Giles' Cathedral and the National Museum of Scotland are close by.
Cross the courtyard at the top of the Royal Mile and head through the grand entrance of Edinburgh Castle. There has been a castle on this site since the 12th century, and over the years it has been used as royal residence, prison and army garrison. Gaze out over the city from your vantage point on the castle ramparts, before heading inside to discover the dazzling Honours of Scotland, the country's crown jewels. Wander through the Royal apartments where Mary, Queen of Scots gave birth to the boy who was to become King of Scotland.
You might decide to visit the Scotch Whisky Heritage Center to learn about the nation's favourite tipple, or head down the hill to gaze up at the famous Scott Monument, decorated with 64 characters from Walter Scott's novels.
Jump back aboard the hop-on hop-off bus service to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, where state ceremonies and official entertaining take place when the Queen is in Scotland, or stroll along Princes Street checking out the tartan, whisky and shortbread that have made Scotland famous.
Enjoy complete freedom to explore Edinburgh at your own pace, then travel back to London by train where your tour will come to an end.