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Curtis's Blog: A day off in Edinburgh, what to do?

By Megan 12 Oct 2015

We all have those weeks where we’re worn out and want nothing more than a day doing something fun and relaxing. In Edinburgh, there are plenty of different things to do with a day off, whether you’re a history buff, curious about the universe, or just fancy a day out. From huge museums, to glorious castles, the city is perfect for a wonderful day away from the hard work of University.

Below is a list of my personal top 5:

  1. The National Museum of Scotland. 
    Nestled on Chamber St., just a few minutes’ walk from the Royal Mile past the famous Elephant House and adjacent to the Greyfriars’ Bobby, this museum is huge. Containing sections dedicated to wildlife, culture, planets and the universe, the museum boasts artefacts from New Zealand to America, as well as ancient items from the local Lothian area. A perfect day out for those who are interested in the world, and with free entry, the National Museum is perfect for students!
  2. Edinburgh Castle.
    One of the more expensive days out on this list, Edinburgh Castle is an absolute marvel to look at from Princes Street. One of Scotland’s most famous tourist destinations, the Castle holds a long history of war, restoration and imprisonment. Currently allowing access to tentatively recreated prisons and soldier’s accommodation, the main attraction here is the chance to catch a glimpse of the beautiful Crown Jewels of Scotland and learn of their long history. Along with the firing of the cannon’s at 1pm Monday-Friday, this castle is a must-see attraction for anyone living in Edinburgh.
  3. Greyfriars’ Kirkyard.
    Characterised as perhaps the most haunted place in Britain, this graveyard houses some of the most well-known figures of Scottish history, such as Bloody Mackenzie, whose poltergeist is claimed to hassle those who venture too close to his Mausoleum. Another free entry location, this one is great for the ghost hunters out there, and ghost tours run frequently throughout the graveyard. A perfect walk if you’re needing a break from Uni work too, especially in the daylight!
  4. Edinburgh Zoo.
    Another fantastic day out to celebrate an assessment being over, or finishing an exam. Currently housing some of the most exotic animals in the world, as well as the famous Panda’s we all know and love, the zoo is a perfect attraction for everyone. With daily events such as the Penguin Parade, and a chance to walk with Yoonarah, the first Koala born in the UK, the zoo is also home to Lion’s, Macaque and Capuchin Monkeys. Easily accessible by bus from central Edinburgh, the zoo is the perfect way to relieve stress and see some amazing wildlife all in one go.
  5. Dynamic Earth.
    Another spot for those of you who love the natural sciences, as well as those who are curious. Dynamic Earth explains the story of Planet Earth, from the formation of the planet that became Earth, up to the Space-race of the 60s and our own technological advancements. Housing Scotland’s only 360 degree full dome theatre and a 4D volcanic experience, Dynamic Earth is a great one to visit with family and friends alike! Other exhibits include Dinosaurs and a journey through our history as Human Beings.

So there we go, my top 5 things to do in Edinburgh when you have a day off!

Although some of these attractions may be somewhat pricey, all of them are worth saving up for, and with a group of your friends these days out will really lower the pressure of University life!


Megan is part of the QMU Browzer Team
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