Edinburgh Winter Days Out
Find your winter adventure with days out from Edinburgh.
Our Edinburgh Days Out travel pass gives you two-days consecutive travel within around an hour of Edinburgh. You might just be surprised how far that can take you.
There’s plenty to see in the capital, but sometimes it’s good to escape the hustle. So whether you fancy heading for our glorious mountains and coastline, or into the heart of the Scottish borders, the travel pass can get you there for an unforgettable day out.
About your Edinburgh days out ticket
Tickets cost £18 for an adult and £9 for children aged 5 to 15. Children aged under five travel for free. A family ticket (two adults and two children) costs £34.
Your ticket lets you travel at any time on Saturdays and Sundays. During the week, you can only use it on services after 9:15am and there are a few restrictions to keep in mind for travel during evening peak times.
The Edinburgh pass will take you to North Berwick in the east, the Borders Railway and Tweedbank to the south, Falkirk and Stirling in the west and there’s Queensferry and Kirkcaldy if you want to head North. Then there’s all the stops on route to these locations – in short, there’s plenty to see.
That’s your tickets sorted – now it’s up to you to plan your adventure. Here are five of our favourite escapes from Edinburgh to get you started.
- Route: Edinburgh Waverley to North Berwick
- Typical journey time: 33 minutes
Head for the beach but leave your swimsuit at home for a winter trip to this charming seaside town. You can’t beat a casual stroll along the beach on a crisp day, maybe with the dog in tow (or towing you).
On a clear day, make your way up North Berwick Law for some knockout views. The one-hour climb leads to views of Edinburgh Castle and Arthur’s Seat in the distance and, closer by, Bass Rock.
While in town you should sample some sea food, and it doesn’t get much better than the fresh catches on offer at The Lobster Shack. An unassuming little harbour beach hut with gourmet flavours – not to be missed.
It’s also a great time of year to spot wildlife at the Scottish Seabird Centre, just a few minutes’ walk from the train station. Cormorants, shags, and eiders are among the birds you can regularly catch sight of during the winter months.
- Route: Edinburgh Waverley to Linlithgow
- Typical journey time: 23 minutes
Linlithgow is a quaint town steeped in Scottish history. Most notably, it’s the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots. Her one-time home – the stunning Linlithgow Palace – is the best place to uncover some of the stories of this Scottish icon. Explore the ruins, drink in views over the loch, and scale the seven floors of Queen Margaret’s Bower.
If the Palace doesn’t satisfy your thirst for architectural gusto, right next door you’ll find St Michael’s Parish – a stunning church which has occupied the grounds since 1138. Take in the meticulous window art, impressive spire and stroll the idyllic grounds.
Not far away you’ll find a great choice of independent shops, cafes and community pubs with roaring fires – ideal for a winters day refuel.
- Route: Edinburgh Waverley to Tweedbank
- Typical journey time: 1 hour
The longest new train line to be built in over 100 years – the Borders Railway is a fresh slice of railway history. It’s the perfect way to explore some of Scotland’s less acclaimed scenery. The views from the carriage alone are a sight to behold; open farmland, quaint villages, and rolling hills let you know you’re travelling through some of Scotland’s most scenic heartlands.
But don’t spend all your time on the train. Key stops along the way include Newtongrange – home to the National Mining Museum. Here you can avoid the winter weather by donning a hardhat and going underground where real ex-miners will take you on a tour of the pithead.
The line ends at Tweedbank station – just a short walk from there you’ll find the luxurious Abbotsford House, once home to Sir Walter Scott. Discover the writer’s life by exploring the stories dotted around the library, the Chinese drawing room, and the vast garden.
- Route: Edinburgh Waverley to Livingston North
- Typical journey time: 22 minutes
Shopping – the classic winter activity. When the cold winds blow, and the rain comes, you can always seek refuge in the shopping centre and get prepped for Christmas, or treat yourself in the new year.
When it comes to retail therapy, there aren’t many places better than Livingston – a quick bus or taxi journey from Livingston North train station takes you to two major shopping centres.
At the Designer Outlet, you can find brand-name bargains from Adidas, Levi’s, Ted Baker and much more. At the Centre, you’ll find department stores and high-street favourites like Debenhams, Primark, M&S, and much more.
And then there’s the food – AskItalian, Chiquitos, Nando’s, Pizza Express – you won’t be short of options.
- Route: Edinburgh Waverley to Falkirk High
- Typical journey time: 25 minutes
Smack bang in the middle of Edinburgh and Glasgow is Falkirk, a town with historical treasures and modern gems. Marvel at the Falkirk Wheel – the world’s only rotating boat lift which takes boats 115ft between the different levels of the Union and Forth & Clyde canals – and then take a ride on it yourself.
Don’t forget to visit the 30-metre-high Kelpies, two iconic horse head sculptures made from 300 tonnes of steel. You can admire from afar or take the Kelpies Experience Tour to get inside the great sculptures.
Prefer some history? Go for a stroll at Callendar Park to discover the Antonine Wall, the northern frontier of the Roman Empire in Britain. Then explore the impressive 14th century Callendar House, which welcomed important historic figures such as Mary Queen of Scots and Bonnie Prince Charlie.
How to buy a ticket
- By phone – call 0344 811 0141
- From a ScotRail ticket office
Had a great day out? Tell us about it!
These are our top five picks for a winter day out from Edinburgh. Got a better idea? Been to see what we’re chatting about? Share your adventures with @myScotRail on Twitter or Instagram using #UnlockScotland – we’d love to hear about them.