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Edinburgh is not only an amazing destination in its own right, but it is also a great starting point for trips further afield in Scotland. Whether you are looking to wander around castles full of history, have fun nights out or get lost in the wilderness, this beautiful country has something for everyone!

Since I moved to Scotland from Finland, I have been committed to exploring as much as I can with limited access to a car while also being a full-time student! Travelling by public transportation is a great, eco-friendly option, particularly for those travelling on a budget! Here are some of my favourite places I鈥檝e visited that are easily accessible by train, bus or a ferry from Edinburgh:

1. Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park

Loch Lomond

Only a two hour train journey from Edinburgh is one of the most breathtaking places in Scotland: Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. This park holds the biggest water-area in the whole of Scotland and gives you plenty of options for activities: jet skiing, boat tours, swimming, hiking, a visit to the aquarium. There really is something for everyone, not to forget about its stunning scenery.

I got there by taking a 50 minute train to Glasgow and another 50 minute train from Glasgow to Balloch. After arriving to Balloch, you can use the local bus to get around the National Park.

2. Scottish Islands

桃子视频 student Essi on a trip to the Isle of Arran
Arran, Tiree, Orkney Islands鈥 where should I start? With 790 islands in Scotland, it would be a shame not to visit at least one of them. I personally have visited the Isle of Arran and Bute, and these two islands alone differed greatly from each other in terms of culture, scenery and people, so there is definitely more to see than you might think. Island hopping is definitely a must do, plus you get to go on a ferry ride!

I got to Arran by taking the train to Glasgow and from there hopping on a 50 minute train to Ardrossan Harbour, where you can get the ferry straight to Arran. The journey takes approximately 3 hours by public transport, so pack some snacks or have a wee lunch break when stopping in Glasgow.

3. Glasgow

Ashton Lane in GlasgowGlasgow
听 听 听 听 听 听 The famous Ashton Lane and South Portland Street Suspension Bridge


Only an hour away from Edinburgh is vibrant Glasgow, the biggest city in Scotland. Glasgow is known for its friendly people, its diversity and nightlife. Some of my favourite places include the West End, Ashton Lane, Pollok Park and the Riverside Museum. Whether it鈥檚 a trip to go on a shopping spree, visit one of the city鈥檚 many museums, or go on a night out, Glasgow鈥檚 the place for it!

4. Isle of Skye

Isle of Skye
Kilt Rock

If you fancy taking a longer trip, the Isle of Skye is a must! As travelling to Skye takes a bit longer, I would suggest having at least three days to complete the trip and consider hiring a car to give you more freedom on the road. You can also use different trip providers and hop on a group tour of Skye, or even take the bus straight to the main city, Portree! Some of my favourite places in Skye are the Fairy Pools, Old Man of Storr and Kilt Rock. Skye will definitely take your breath away!

5. Stirling

Stirling CastleStirling

The 50 minute train ride from Edinburgh makes Stirling a no-brainer day trip destination! The city is very walkable and holds a lot of history. Its main attraction, Stirling Castle, is definitely a hotspot of the city and worth a visit. Whether you want to learn more about Scottish history, admire beautiful architecture or just have a wee wander around, Stirling, with its many pubs, shops and cafes, is the perfect choice.

6. Dundee

Dundee
Dundee is the UK鈥檚 first and only UNESCO City of Design, which makes it an unique place to visit. It is known for its three Js: jute (a raw material used to make rope), jam (the city is known for its marmalade) and journalism (Dundee is home to several media publications). This is also a great option for a day trip, being only one and a half hours away from Edinburgh by train and a bus. When visiting Dundee, make sure to visit the V&A Museum, stroll around Perth Road and check out the Discovery Point. Not to forget that the journey to Dundee is stunning, thanks to crossing the The Forth Bridges!

Essi Eskelinen

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