Things to do

Carberry Tower Mansion House and Estate is the perfect base to launch your dream Scottish holiday from. So whether you like activity breaks, golfing breaks, historic and cultural delights, or the excitement of being so close to Edinburgh - one of Europe's oldest and most beautiful capital cities, there is an abundance of things to do nearby. And because our Household has such a rich Royal history and also because we like to treat our guests like Royalty, we felt it would be most appropriate to specifically recommend places to go and things to see that are top-rated attractions and destinations - all of which are conveniently located within a 15-30 minute journey from the Estate.

Things to do - Fort Kinnaird Retail Park

Fort Kinnaird Retail Park

If you’re desperate for some retail therapy or want to watch the latest blockbuster movie, Fort Kinnaird retail park is just 5 miles from the Estate. With a multi-screen Odeon cinema and over 30 shops including famous brands such as Pandora, TK Maxx, Hotel Chocolat, Next, H&M, Primark, M&S and The Perfume Shop, you can while away an enjoyable afternoon and come back to Carberry laden with treats and ready for a cocktail or two before enjoying a glorious dinner in the Bistro!

Things to do - The Royal Yacht Britannia

The Royal Yacht Britannia
  0131 555 5566

Home whilst at sea to the Queen and her family for over 40 years and covering over 1,000,000 nautical miles before being permanently berthed in Edinburgh, the Royal Yacht Britannia is a globally recognizable and iconic floating Royal residence. Come aboard and view the Queen's bedroom and Staterooms, gaze out from the Captain's Bridge, walk through the bunk-rooms of the Royal Yachtsmen who faithfully attended to all duties onboard as well as discreetly serving the Queen and round off your visit with a delicious lunch on the original Royal Deck where the Royal family often gathered together to drink, dine and relax. A tour of Britannia is indeed a truly splendid experience.

Things to do - Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle
  0131 225 9846

Established on what is known as Castle Rock and dominating the Edinburgh skyline, Edinburgh Castle is a 5 star tourist destination and designated World Heritage Site. Home to Scottish Royalty from as early as the 12th Century, it is steeped in tales of great drama, courage and romance. From the Wars of Independence, to Mary Queen of Scots, through to the time of the Covenanters, the siege of Oliver Cromwell's forces and even as a home for French Prisoners of War during the Napoleonic Wars, it has borne witness to countless tumultuous events in Scotland's history.

So whether you want to marvel at the majestic Great Hall where noble gatherings and lavish feasting used to take place, walk the corridors of the Royal Palace where Mary Queen of Scots gave birth to her son King James VI of Scotland, gaze upon the Stone of Destiny where for centuries Scottish Kings were traditionally enthroned, or simply stand in awe at the profound beauty of the Crown Jewels of Scotland, a visit to Edinburgh Castle is an amazing and unforgettable day out for all the family.

Things to do - The Scotch Whisky Experience

The Scotch Whisky Experience
  0131 220 0441

At the top of the Royal Mile in the heart of Edinburgh's Old Town, lies the Scotch Whisky Experience. Offering visitor's a sensational journey through a replica distillery explaining the mysteries and the myths about our National drink and also showcasing the world's largest Whisky collection of over 3500 individual bottles, with an excellent restaurant and shop as well, your senses are sure to be stirred and your inner Clansman awakened!

Things to do - The National Museum Of Scotland

The National Museum Of Scotland
  0300 123 6789

One of the UK’s top 10 visitor attractions and in the top 20 most visited museums and galleries in the world, the National Museum Of Scotland has recently undergone a £47Million redevelopment and houses a stunning collection of over 20,000 fascinating artefacts and objects.

From the age of dinosaurs to the technology of the future, the magnificently diverse collections will take you on an inspirational journey through the history of Scotland, the wonders of nature and world cultures, the ancient world and archaeology and the excitement of science and discovery all under one gigantic roof.

Entry is free but donations are welcome and with so much to see and do, it’s a perfect day out for all. The fantastic restaurants, café and shops also provide plenty of places to relax in and buy souvenirs from and as a designated 5 star tourist attraction, a grand day out is absolutely guaranteed.

Things to do - Dynamic Earth

Dynamic Earth
  0131 550 7800

Situated at the foot of the Royal Mile next to Holyrood Park, Dynamic Earth is a 5 star tourist attraction which takes visitors on an incredible journey through time to witness the story of planet Earth. Through a series of interactive exhibits, state-of-the-art technology and even a 4D encounter, visitors will feel the earth shake beneath their feet, the heat of bubbling volcanoes, the chill of polar ice, and then fly across the globe in a 4D experience before crash landing in a tropical rainforest. Following all that exploration, the Food Chain café is perfect for hungry adventurers and the gift shop is packed full of earth shattering mementos to take home from your trip.

Things to do - Edinburgh Zoo

Edinburgh Zoo
  0131 334 9171

Opened in 1913 and covering an 80 acre site just 10 minutes from the City Centre, Edinburgh Zoo is recognised as one of the world’s leading Zoo’s and is one of Scotland’s wildest tourist attractions! Home to over 1000 rare and beautiful animals from around the globe, it was also the first Zoo in the world to house and breed penguins and is the only Zoo in Britain to house giant pandas and koalas.

So whether you visit Meerkat Plaza, the new state-of-the-art Chimpanzee Enclosure, explore the Budongo Trail or waddle with the penguins through the famous daily Penguin Parade, there is so much to see and do at the Zoo. You can even choose to enjoy a hilltop safari tour around the park which not only gives visitors great views of the animals, but also outstanding views of the City. And with numerous play areas for children, animal-handling sessions and restaurants, eateries and gift shops, a fabulous family day out awaits you!

Things to do - The Palace of Holyroodhouse

The Palace of Holyroodhouse
  0131 556 5100

Located within Holyrood Park at the bottom of the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, Holyrood Palace is the official residence of the Queen in Scotland and has served as the main Royal residence for Kings and Queens of Scotland since the 16th century. Still used for State occasions and Official entertaining, the magnificent historic apartments and State apartments are open to visitors throughout the year.

Within the walled grounds of the Palace are also the ruins of a 12th century Augustinian Abbey and from Nobles meeting there to discuss a ransom to release the captive William the Lion in 1189, to Robert the Bruce holding a Parliament at the Abbey in 1326, a huge arc of human history has spanned its hallowed walls. Every year, the Queen spends a week in residence at Holyrood Palace during which time Investitures are held in the Gallery, audiences are held in the morning room and the Royal Garden Party is hosted. Observant visitors to the Palace may even catch a glimpse of members of the Company of Royal Archers. Formed in 1676 and now Her Majesty’s ceremonial bodyguard when in Scotland, they remain in attendance during Official visits and aside from all their pomp and plume, are fairly handy with a longbow and arrows too!

Things to do - The Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh

The Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh
  0131 248 2909

Capturing the imagination of everyone who visits, the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh was first established in 1670. Covering an area of over 70 acres of beautifully established grounds, it is world renowned for its horticultural excellence and provides a welcome and tranquil haven just one mile from the bustling City centre.

Boasting a rich, living collection of plants and trees, visitors can wander throughout the garden and marvel at the vast collections. Among the highlights of the garden are ten splendid Glasshouses, each with a different climatic zone from steamy tropics to arid desert and home to over 3000 exotic plants from around the world.

Visitors can also enjoy the serenity of the Chinese Hillside, explore the world-famous Rock Garden, wander through the Queen Mother’s memorial garden or just stroll among the awe-inspiring Giant Redwoods in the Woodland Garden. Open all year and with free entry, the Garden also hosts a popular programme of events, exhibitions and guided tours. And of course, delicious food, souvenirs and gifts are all available in the Visitors centre too.

Things to do - The Edinburgh International Festival

The Edinburgh International Festival
  0131 473 2000 (Ticket Office)

Recognised globally as the most renowned international Arts festival in the world, the Edinburgh International Festival was established in 1947 to create a 'platform for the flowering of the human spirit'. Showcasing some of the World's best performers in Music, Opera, Theatre and Dance, it runs continually for three weeks every August with events taking place in all the major Concert Halls, Theatre’s and Venues right across the City.

Things to do - The Edinburgh Fringe

The Edinburgh Fringe
  0131 226 0000 (Ticket Office)

Also established in the same year and taking place every August alongside the Edinburgh International Festival, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival is now recognised as the largest Arts festival in the world with around 50,000 performances of over 3000 shows taking place in over 300 venues across the Capital. From comedy to circus, cabaret to musicals, physical theatre to exhibitions and so much more, there is an abundance of performances to enjoy every day in a huge variety of venues and each year, visitors come from all over the Globe, adding considerably to the enjoyment and flavour of a truly international occasion.

Things to do - The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo
  0131 225 1188 (Ticket Office)

Taking place throughout August as part of the Edinburgh Festival, the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is a spectacular event held every evening on the esplanade of Edinburgh Castle. Set against the stunning backdrop of the Castle, it features performances from British and Commonwealth Armed Forces, International Military bands, precision display teams from around the world and of course, great swathes of colourful Highland dancers too! A huge visual and musical feast for all the senses, each evening traditionally concludes with the massed pipes and drums marching on to join the massed Military bands, followed by the whole audience linking arms together to sing Auld Lang Syne, before sitting back to savour the poignant sight of a lone, floodlit piper playing the Lament from high up in the Castle ramparts. It is a breathtaking and unforgettable experience and well worth booking in advance.

Things to do - Scottish adventure with Outlander

Embark on a Scottish adventure with Outlander

Scotland’s breathtaking landscapes, ancient and mysterious standing stones, dramatic castles and magnificent stately homes inspired the mystical and spell-binding Outlander saga. It’s no wonder fans have since been inspired to visit these historic locations as the series, which stars Sam Heughan as Jamie and Caitriona Balfe as Claire, explores Scotland’s long and lustrous history and provides the experience to come face-to-face with real-life Jacobite connections.

The Outlander phenomenon isn’t only an adaptation of Diana Gabaldon’s beloved novels, but is also the perfect inspiration for a Scottish road trip. Travel back in time as you drive through historic towns and villages, with plenty of sights to see in between.

Many of these locations are within easy reach of Carberry Tower Mansion House and Estate and to help you on your journey, VisitScotland has created an interactive Outlander map for inspiration.