Walking Tours Near Edinburgh

Looking for things to do around Edinburgh? – Why not visit Dunfermline or South Queensferry. Both have excellent connections to the City. They feature a very distinct history and a variety of things to do today. Join me for a private walk tour or a small group walk. In Dunfermline you will be charmed by the Norman Abbey church, Abbot House and an extensive parkland gifted by Andrew Carnegie whilst you can admire the three bridges that make South Queensferry special. It is inviting with seaside, colourful houses and wonderful artisan shops and a marina. Both are great for children too.


A day for all the family – ruins of castles, a Norman Abbey Church, the tombs of kings like Robert the Bruce and more. There is also the wonderful Pittencrieff Park for play and relaxing walks – formal and a woodland valley. You may want to discover Andrew Carnegie’s life that began in Dunfermline or see where “Braveheart” stopped to refresh himself.

South Queensferry

This is a popular place for walks on the beach or along the promenade – and to admire the three bridges across the Firth of Forth that make this place unique. For boat fans there is the marina and the old harbour – or you may just enjoy the charm of this town with its countless eateries and artisan shops. You find out the story beyond – like the Berryman story.


Dunfermline is a town of 50.000, only 40 minutes’ drive (an hour by bus/ 35 min by train) from the centre of Edinburgh. With its close proximity to Edinburgh,  just 2.5 miles north of the Firth of Forth, it is often overlooked. This is unfortunate because it has soo much to offer with its history going back to the first Abbey built in the 11th century. It had been a favourite royal residence for hundreds of years.

In modern days, a variety of famous people like Andrew Carnegie (steel magnate), Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull rock band), Barbara Dickson (singer)  and Ian Banks (Wasps Nest) were born here.

The nave from the 12/14th century Abbey Church is still standing – while the choir is a new build from the early 19th century and there are the remnants of Saint Margaret’s original shrine. 

Your look may be drawn to the ruins of the 17th century Royal Palace. Here, Charles I was the last King to be born in Scotland . 

King Robert the Bruce is resting here…

Next door is Pittencrieff Park, gifted to the town by none less than Andrew Carnegie, famous son of the town. This is a large park with lawn, woodland, a deep gorge and walled garden – not to mention some historic buildings and play parks for the children. Truely a park for all the family and large enough to relax with a beautiful walk.

This is not a day to shop – rather for admiring the ingenious building techniques of days begone and the stories behind them. It also gives opportunity to just breathe in the fresh air of a beautifully landscaped park as will as venturing into a gorge where you will feel far away from the town surrounding it.


  • Take a peek at the world-famous Abbey church & Royal Palace
  • Visit the oldest building in Dunfermline, Abbots House
  • Discover the birthplace of Andrew Carnegie, the famous industrialist.
  • Pittencrieff Park with play park – formal garden – woodland walk…
  • Journey through charming streets and historical buildings
    Where do we meet?

    We meet at the Mercat Cross across from the Guildhall and Linen Exchange.

    How do I get there?

    Bus: From Edinburgh Bus station or Westend Queensferry Road get the Stagecoach Bus No 55X. Half hourly service . Get off at the Bus Station.

    Train: From Edinburgh Waverley to Dunfermline Town stop

    Alternatively, you can park your car at any of these public car parks

    Where will we go?

    The walk takes in the historical landmarks of Dunfermline and we start with Abbey / Royal Palace (ruin) / Abbotshouse / City Chambers and continue into and through the Park with all its own attractions. We exit the park on the other side and visit the Andrew Carnegie Birthplace. There is no entry charge, but a small donation will be welcome. See the old hand loom and find out how Carnegie ended up in the States as a billionaire.

    Thereafter we wind our way back to the mercat cross past a variety of interesting buildings.

    From the mercat cross you may want to head back to the park or pay entrance fee to admire the Abbey and Palace a bit closer.

    How long is the walk?

    The walk takes 2.5  hours

    South Queensferry

    South Queensferry is the go-to place for great views, photos and artisan shops and cafes. The three bridges are unique, each one of them spanning well over a mile to connect Edinburgh on the shortest route north. All traffic used to go through the small town in order to access the ferry across the Firth until 1964. The Unesco World Heritage Forth Rail Bridge had opened in 1890 and is still the only rail connection on the east side across the Firth.

    The Hawes Inn ( where Robert Louis Stevenson stayed ) – it played its own part in Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Kidnapped”.

    South Queensferry has long been a harbour and now has a marina and a small traditional harbour. The town itself is charming with some very old buildings and an interesting lay-out of its High Street.

    This walk is for all those who just like a lovely walk combining seaside and harbours, narrow wynds and lovely artisan shops. 

    Make it a day trip and enjoy a peaceful walk along the beach and rocky coastline or enjoy strolling the street dotting in and out the numerous shops, cafes, restaurants and pubs.


    • Take a moment to enjoy the beautiful view that The Port Edgar Marina has to offer
    • Learn about the history of the old harbour and its importance to South Queensferry
    • A charming town with wonderful artisan shops and great cafes, restaurants and very traditional pubs.
    • There will more than likely be some unexpected turns when uncovering the history of South Queensferry.

    • Take in the beautiful 15th-century Priory Church.
    How do I get there?

    From Edinburgh Centre get the bus no 43 to south Queensferry and get off at the Police Station. Alternatively, you can park your car at the public car park in Rose Lane, at the Port Edgar Marina or along Newhalls Road Promenade  and walk back to the bus stop.

    How long is the walk?

    The walk takes 2.5  hours

    Where will we go?

    After walking past the Port Edgar Marina and looping back, we make our way to the old harbour and carry on through the town – not without some detours. We end up at the pier where the Maid of the Forth leaves for its tour to the Inchcolm Abbey. It is right below the Forth Rail Bridge.

    The unusually structured High Street (elevated pavements on the inland side of the street) adds to the unusual atmosphere of the place. Following the walk you may have some refreshments and then walk some more along the beach and rocky coastline or do a discovery stroll of all the artisan shops and cafes.

    You may even want to come back for a pre-booked tour on the Maid of the Forth to Inchcolm Island to visit the old abbey there. 

    This walk is for those who are happy to just hop on a bus / take the car a few miles north of Edinburgh to enjoy seaside life. 

    If yachts, harbours, the sea air and an attractive small town with an array of shops, cafes and restaurants are your thing – you will feel at home here. It does offer an interesting collection of buildings to admire.

    Where do we meet?

    We meet at the bus stop outside the police station on Hopetoun Road

    Get In Touch!

    Interested in taking a tour? Get in touch today using the contact form below and select which tour location(s) you’d like to do. I’ll be in touch as soon as possible!

    Walking Tours - Edinburgh's Surroundings

    Tour Options

    Find out more about other tour options I have available below!

    Walking Tours In Edinburgh

    The only way to really get to know Edinburgh and its people is a guided walk tour in a small group. Get in touch if you are interested in a private tour or check out the set tour suggestions.

    Walking Tours Near Edinburgh

    You need not travel far to feel totally removed from the big city – Dunfermline and South Queensferry are only a bus ride away from the centre of town. Combine a walk tour in a small group with time to
    yourselves and make it a day trip. Find out more about the attraction of both to all ages by clicking below.


    Day Trips From Edinburgh

    There are some great day trips from Edinburgh in all directions. I have selected five suggestions for you to contemplate. They each contain more than can be done in a day – so select your favourite bits, add a distillery if you wish. I will adapt to your ideas and make it a great day out for all.

    Private Tours In Scotland

    Planning for a tour of Scotland? This is my favourite page. It shows you a snapshot of places I have guided in the past. Including a few things to do in Scotland. Be inspired !


    With Covid still around us, I follow the guidelines for walking tours of the Scottish Tourist Guides Association. You find the link to the guidelines here