5 things to do in Edinburgh this January

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

After the festivities of the past month, it can sometimes feel like there’s not a whole lot going on in January.

Edinburgh Castle - Credit Visit Scotland & Kenny Lam If your calendar is looking a little empty, why not plan a day out in Edinburgh? To make a day out even sweeter, we’ve got a great upgrade offer on eXpress services. You can enjoy First Class travel for just £1 more than the standard class fare when you travel eXpress between Glasgow and Edinburgh via Falkirk High.

In First Class you can enjoy more space and reclining seats. Once you’re settled, tuck into a hot drink and a snack while you speed to the capital in as little as 42 minutes. So after a relaxing journey, what can you do for a great day out?

Here’s our top five picks for Edinburgh this January:

Visit top attractions

You never really know what you’re going to get with the weather in Scotland in January so Edinburgh is a great city for a good mix of indoor and outdoor attractions. The National Museum of Scotland is perfect for a rainy day – it’s free to go in, it’s a short walk from Waverley train stations and there is something in there for everyone. If the weather is dry, head up to the outdoor viewing terrace for great views over to the castle and the rest of the city. If you’ve had enough of all the warm and fuzzies of Christmas, the Edinburgh Dungeon is fantastic to get the heart racing and adrenalin pumping. If you’re travelling with kids, don’t forget to show a Kids for a Quid ticket to get one free child entry.

Enjoy a lantern festival

Brighten up the gloomy evenings with a trip to the lantern festival at Edinburgh Zoo. On until the 26 January, take a wander through prehistoric times and find yourself in the world where dinosaurs roamed. Enjoy the enchanting sight of over 600 lanterns as you walk the route around the zoo. To get there, hop off the train at Waverley or Haymarket and take the number 12, 26 or 31 bus.

See the Old Town

January can bring with it some beautiful weather – cold, crisp days with sunshine. When the sun does shine, Edinburgh is a great city for simply wandering around stopping in cute cafes to warm up in every once in a while. The Old Town is home to some of the city’s most famous landmarks including Edinburgh Castle, St Giles Cathedral, the Hub and Holyrood Palace. You can get great views from the Castle Esplanade! Down the Royal Mile, there are lots of little alleyways that make for great photo ops and are intriguing to wander through.

Treat yourself

Loads of restaurants have great deals on in January to entice people out. If you’ve got some Christmas money left over, why not treat yourself? Book a nice restaurant you’ve always fancied trying, or revisit an old favourite. When you’re taking the train, you could even have a glass of bubbles to toast the new year. Take a look here for ion magazine’s top 6 dining deals this January.

Take a walk

Blow the Christmas cobwebs away with a hike up Arthur’s Seat. Starting in Holyrood Park, the walk is well worth the effort for the views at the top. You can see for miles! See if you can spot the now teeny-tiny castle, the three bridges and the beaches of East Lothian. Be sure to wrap up warm and wear proper footwear as it is really steep in parts. If it’s not too windy, take a picnic and sit awhile to savour the views at the top. Once you get back down, it’s definitely time for a warm up in one of Edinburgh’s lovely cafes or cosy pubs. For a quicker walk that requires a little exertion for great rewards, take a walk up Calton Hill. It’s right next to the city centre and gives you the perfect photo spot overlooking the city and the castle.

Whatever you get up to in our capital this January, we hope you have a great time.

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