Four 4 Free: Edinburgh


The Scots are said to be a thrifty lot and you can follow that example with this list of four free things to do in Edinburgh.

1. The Writers Museum: This museum in a charming old house celebrates the lives of the great Scottish writers Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson. You will find rare books, portraits and personal objectsi including Burn’s writing desk and Stevenson’s riding boots.

Lady Stair’s Close. Tel: 0131 529 4901. Hours Monday to Saturday 10am – 5pm; Sunday 12pm – 5pm (during August only).–Museum

2. Arthur’s Seat: This is the main peak in in the middle of Holyrood Park, a huge open space at the bottom of the Royal Mile and across the street from Holyrood Palace. There are a few ways up, the easiest way is from the east where you start with the grassy hill rising behind Dunsapie Loch. It’s fairly easy going; I am not in the greatest of shapes and I made it with generous rest times. The good news is that if you don’t feel like making the whole climb, just rambling around the mountains will take you to some fine views of the city and a blue water vista across the Firth of Forth to Fife. Try saying that three times quickly.

Hours: Open daily. Here’s a detailed map;

3. Royal Botanic Gardens: Over 70 acres of landscaped grounds, these gardens are world-renowned. There’s a fee for visiting the glasshouses, but the grounds are totally free. Look for the Scottish Heath Garden, the Rock Garden, home to more than 5,000 alpine plants and the 165 meter-long herbaceous border.

Inverleith Row. Open daily except Christmas and New Year’s 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. March-September, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. November-January and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Februrary and October.

4. Museum of Childhood: This unusual museum was the first in the world to celebrate childhood. There are toys and games from across the decades and visitors can play with the toys or get hands-on with dressing up costumes and games. Not just for children, this is the kind of place where adults can wallow in the pleasant nostalgia triggered by the sight of an old favorite toy. The Stanbrig Eorls dolls house has 21 rooms containing over 2,000 items.

42 High Street, Royal Mile. Open Monday – Saturday 10am – 5pm; Sunday 12pm – 5pm.


Related post: Edinburgh photo gallery