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Edinburgh Excursions

For those wishing to take full advantage of traveling to Edinburgh, we have prepared for you our very own "Taste of Scotland - Excursions". We encourage you to take time and part take in some of these amazing, fantastic tours of Edinburgh and the surrounding area. It will leave you speechless!

The tours are only available on Thursday and Friday (10th / 11th May) and we ask that you indicate your first and second preferences using the appropriate section on the conference registration form. Tours which don’t attract the minimum number of participants will be cancelled and guests moved to their second preference.

We also have a super group activity available on the Saturday afternoon. This will be a private sailing for up to 100 guests on board the Maid of the Forth. Departing at 2pm you will sail under the 3 iconic Forth bridges (Forth Road Bridge, The Queensferry Crossing and the The Forth Rail Bridge) then on to Inchcolm Island returning to shore at approximately 3.30pm. Again please indicate on the registration form whether you would like to be part of this experience.

All tours will be operated by Andrew Burnet & Company Ltd. For further information or to book your tours contact Andrew directly by email

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle is one of the most exciting historic sites in Western Europe. Set in the heart of Scotland's dynamic capital city it is sure to capture your imagination. The scenery will take your breath away.

We suggest extending the tour beyond the Castle to include a guided walk along the historic Royal Mile. This street runs through the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town, connecting the Castle, perched high on a base of volcanic rock, with the splendorous Palace of Holyroodhouse, resting in the shadow of Arthur's Seat. The Mile is overlooked by impressive, towering tenements, between which cobbled closes and narrow stairways interlock to create a secret underground worl

The Palace of Holyroodhouse

Her Majesty The Queen's official residence in Scotland. Standing at the end of Edinburgh's historic Royal Mile, this fine palace is the home of Scottish royal history.

Visitors can explore 14 magnificent historic and State Apartments, the romantic ruins of the 12th-century Holyrood Abbey and the remarkable royal gardens.

The Queen's Gallery at the Palace of Holyroodhouse hosts a programme of changing exhibitions from the Royal Collection.

Vintage Red Bus city centre sightseeing tour

Hop aboard this 1960’s classic Route Master bus for a guided tour of the key streets and buildings in both the New Town and The Old Town.

City centre walking tour

Hosted by a local historian this guided walking route will take you around some of the hidden parts of the city each with its own story to tell. From hidden Victorian gardens to site that inspired crime novels and stories such as Jekyll and Hyde. You will be taken into the Old Towns underground vaults and see and hear tales relating to the city’s most infamous characters Messrs Burke & Hare!

Enlightment Walking Tour

Discover Edinburgh at the moment it transformed the world of history, science, literature and philosophy. On this private tour you’ll see a city that was home to an extraordinary concentration of great minds: David Hume, Adam Smith, James Hutton and Walter Scott.

The tour begins in the heart of medieval Edinburgh. The guide will take you through various locations around the Old Town of Edinburgh and the Canongate area, which have links to the men described above, and bring their lives and their ideas to your group! The tour will also take guests to the courtyard of the Old College, University of Edinburgh which has ties to the movement.

44 Scotland Street Tour

This tour is an insight into the locations, characters and stories featured in Alexander McCall Smiths' serial novel – ‘44 Scotland Street’.

The book is an episodic novel by Alexander McCall Smith, the author of The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency. The story was first published as a serial in The Scotsman newspaper starting 26 January 2004, every weekday, for six months.

Rebus Literary Experience

Ian Rankin’s series about the mercurial Detective Inspector John Rebus accounts for an estimated 10% of all crime book sales in the UK (as of 2015) and the books have been translated into 26 languages around the world.

Experience the dark and hidden world of Ian Rankin’s best-selling Rebus novels and discover the history and mystery of the real locations, with stunning views of some of Edinburgh’s unexplored areas.

The Potter Trail

Grab a wand and join your robed guide to experience Harry Potter's magical Edinburgh on a guided visit to city locations featured in the films and used by JK Rowling as inspiration for her novels.


Who the world’s worst poet was, and which Hogwarts teacher is named after him!

Where Lord Voldemort is buried!

In which café Rowling wrote the FIRST Potter boo

Burns & Stevenson Tour

Did you know that Edinburgh was once home to some of history’s most notable writers? Come learn about literary icons Robert Burns and Robert Louis Stevenson amidst the inspiring backdrop of Edinburgh’s old city! In the delightful surroundings of the historic Royal Mile, experience this engaging ninety-minute walk that starts at the Canongate Church and ends at the Writers Museum.

Tour of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

Home to Scotland’s outstanding national collection of modern and contemporary art, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art includes two buildings, Modern One and Modern Two.

The early part of the collection features French and Russian art from the beginning of the twentieth century, cubist paintings and superb holdings of expressionist and modern British art. Special highlights include paintings by Matisse and Picasso.

The Gallery also has an outstanding collection of international post-war work and the most important and extensive collection of modern Scottish art.

Tour of The Scottish National Portrait Gallery

The Scottish National Portrait Gallery was designed by Sir Robert Rowand Anderson as a shrine for Scotland’s heroes and heroines. It opened to the public in 1889 as the world’s first purpose-built portrait gallery.

The Gallery is also home to the NGS’s outstanding collection of photographs which includes around 6,000 works by the early Scottish pioneers of the medium, Robert Adamson and David Octavius Hill as well as new works by leading-edge contemporary photographers.

Tour of Summerhall Distillery – home to Pickering’s Gin

Pickering’s is lovingly created by its founders, Marcus Pickering and Matthew Gammell. Business partners for 12 years. Friends for even longer.

Summerhall Distillery is housed on the site of an old animal hospital. Part of a veterinary school known locally as the Dick Vet. Now it’s an arts venue called Summerhall featuring a pub called The Royal Dick. The Distillery is adjacent to the pub. Edinburgh’s first exclusive gin distillery in over 150 years. Where they produce their small batches of hand crafted, beautifully balanced, marvellously mixed Pickering’s Gin.

A hike to the top of Arthurs Seat

Arthur's Seat is Edinburgh's highest hill, visible for miles around. The rocky slopes and cliffs of Arthur's Seat and Salisbury Crags are part of Holyrood Park and provide a spectacular natural backdrop to the city.

Arthurs Seat is an ancient volcano, and sits 251m above sea level giving excellent view of the city; it is also the site of a large and well preserved fort. This is one of four hill forts dating from around 2000 years ago. With its diverse range of flora and geology it is also site of Special Scientific Interest. The guide will also explain the incredible range of geology features found all over this iconic roc

3 Islands & 3 Bridges Seafari Adventure

An adrenalin filled adventure on board a rib boat which will speed you across the Firth of Forth and out to take a closer look at our 3 world famous bridges spanning this stretch of water - the original Forth Road Bridge, the iconic Forth Railway Bridge and the brand new Queensferry Crossing. The tour then kicks on to some of the smaller islands in the estuary where sea life and birdlife abound.

Trout Fishing near Edinburgh

You will be taken to a private loch not far from Edinburgh for a half day of tutored fishing hosted by one of Scotland’s best fishermen.

The loch is stocked with brown trout so a catch is pretty much guaranteed, ghillies and guides will also be on hand to help you with the equipment & clothing, the art of casting and perhaps even how to cook your catch!

Classic Country Pursuits Activity

A half day adventure trying out some our classic countryside pursuits such as: Quad biking, Honda Pilots, Blind Land Rover driving, 4x4 off-road driving, Rage Buggies, laser clays, archery, clay pigeon shooting, target rifles or falconry.

Tour of Rosslyn Chapel & Glenkinchie Distillery

A combined tour taking you out to beautiful East Lothian (30 minutes from the city) to visit Rosslyn Chapel, located in the village of Roslin and dating back to 1446 when William St Clair, 3rd Prince of Orkney, began it’s creation. It is now a Category A listed building displaying outstanding craftsmanship and holds an important place in the history of Scotland.

Anyone who has read Dan Brown’s worldwide best seller ‘The Da Vinci Code’ or has seen the film starring Tom Hanks, will be fascinated by the mysteries and legends surrounding this ‘Architectural Wonder’

The short journey to Glenkinchie Distillery follows where you will be given an in-depth tour of this small working distillery (the most southerly in Scotland) and offered a whisky tasting to round off a super day.

Stirling Castle & Glenturret Distillery

Another combined tour taking you to one of Scotland’s grandest castles in Stirling. The castle’s long, turbulent history is associated with great figures from Scotland’s past, such as William Wallace, Robert the Bruce and Mary Queen of Scots. It has seen many royal dramas and witnessed the lives and deaths of almost every Scottish monarch up to the Union of the Crowns in 1603.

From here the short journey will take you to Glenturret Distillery nestled in the Perthshire hills and home to The Famous Grouse.

You will be given an in-depth tour of this distillery which is Scotland’s oldest working and offered a whisky tasting to round off a super day.

Learn about the many fantastic tours you can part take to discover the many top attractions in Edinburgh.  Edinburgh can be enjoyed by all - take a look at our guide 'Taste of Scotland Excursions".