City Breaks to Edinburgh from Dublin, Cheap Weekend Breaks to Edinburgh from Ireland, Last Minute City Breaks & Short Break Deals to Edinburgh - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to Edinburgh


City Breaks to Edinburgh

Castles, world-class attractions, stunning scenery and fascinating history, city breaks to Edinburgh from Dublin offer all this and more. The Scottish capital is steeped in culture and history but there is also a lively nightlife scene, with Cowgate and Grassmarket being popular destinations for bar hopping. Shopping is also well catered for from the usual chain stores on Prince’s Street, more upmarket shops on George Street, to the tartan scarf, kilt and whiskey shops on the Rpyal Mile.


Information & Facts


Dominating the city skyline, Edinburgh Castle looms large as it is one of the city’s most famous attractions, home to the Crown Jewels and the Stone of Destiny, which are not to be missed. Stroll along the cobbled streets of Edinburgh’s atmospheric Old Town, enjoy live music in charming New Town, pay a visit to Arthur’s Seat, an extinct volcano which offers unparalleled views of the city below.

For outdoor relaxing, savour a trip to Holyrood Park located at the foot of the Royal Mile or explore the incredible Royal Botanic Gardens. Cheap weekend breaks to Edinburgh from Ireland are available all year long and the perfect way to explore this wonderful city.

Edinburgh is a very popular destination for ringing in the New Year as it hosts the legendary Edinburgh Hogmanay – the largest New Year event in the world.

Come and experience Edinburgh today. An unforgettable Scottish city break awaits. For great last minute city breaks & short break deals to Edinburgh, get in touch with Abbey Travel.


Edinburgh has very unpredictable weather, sunny summer days sometimes rapidly changing into damp, showery conditions or vice versa. Summers are generally fine though, with mild temperatures and bright sunshine, although days might start out misty. Winters are long and damp with many frosty days. December, January and February are the rainiest months, but snow in winter is infrequent. The best time to travel to Edinburgh is during spring when parks are a riot of colour and the weather pleasant.



English is the official language, though visitors will be astonished by the variety of regional accents.


The currency is the pound (GBP), which is divided into 100 pence. ATMs are available in all towns and Visa, MasterCard and American Express are widely accepted; visitors with other cards should check with their credit card companies in advance. Foreign currency can be exchanged at bureaux de change and large hotels, however better exchange rates are likely to be found at banks. Travellers cheques are accepted in all areas frequented by tourists; they are best taken in Pounds Sterling to avoid additional charges.


Local time in the United Kingdom is GMT (GMT +1 from last Sunday in March to Saturday before last Sunday in October).

The tallest of the seven hills that form Holyrood Park at 822 feet (250m), Arthur's Seat is actually an extinct volcano that overlooks the city of Edinburgh. There are the remains of an Iron Age hillfort, with several grassy plateaus that make for pleasant stopping points on the way up. Arthur's Seat is popular for hikes, and the view from the top, of Edinburgh and the surrounding countryside, is worth the climb. There are many ideas of how the hill got its name, among them the famous legend of King Arthur and his half-sister Morgan Le Fay.

Located just 20 minutes from Edinburgh, Scotland's national aquarium Deep Sea World is the perfect place for a fun-filled family outing on a rainy day. Children can view marine life such as sharks, eels and rays from one of the world's longest underwater tunnels, watch seal pups play, and even get to watch a shark-feeding session. There is a series of shallow touch pools for younger tots to touch and handle some of the sea life, such as starfish and sea urchins.

The imposing castle that stands on the craggy mound of an extinct volcano in the heart of Edinburgh is the city's top attraction, a proud symbol of the Scots nation. The castle rock has been inhabited since 800 BC, but today most of the remaining structures date from around the 16th century (except for St Margaret's chapel, Edinburgh's oldest building, dating from the early 12th century). Of all the things to see and experience at the castle (including the spectacular view of the city) the favourite for visitors is the Crown Room, which contains the Scottish crown jewels and regalia of state. Also on view here is the legendary 'Stone of Scone' upon which all the monarchs of Scotland have been crowned. The castle also still functions as a military headquarters, and is the site of the spectacular military tattoo, which is world-renowned and held each August. At 1pm each day, except Sunday, the one o'clock gun is fired, traditionally to allow ships in the Firth of Forth to check their chronometers. The gun is also fired at New Year to mark midnight during the Hogmanay celebrations. Tickets should be pre-bought online to avoid queuing on arrival.

Like the London and York Dungeons, the Edinburgh Dungeon gives a graphic yet spine-chilling look into Edinburgh's history. The dungeon relies on every trick to scare the life out of its visitors, and it does a pretty good job. But behind the scary masks and gruesome make up, it offers an educational and interesting look at history - a fun way for children of all ages to learn.

The Edinburgh Festival Theatre is used primarily for musical events and touring groups and it is one of the main venues for the annual summer Edinburgh International Festival, as well as being the year-round venue for the Scottish Opera and the Scottish Ballet. This historic location is Edinburgh's oldest continuous theatre site; there has been a theatre there as far back as 1830. For nearly thirty years after 1963 the theatre became a bingo hall, but was still occasionally serving as a festival venue. It re-opened in June 1994 with a glass-fronted structure as the new entrance and a dramatic mix of art nouveau, beaux-arts and neo-classicism and now has adequate acoustics, serving all the artistic requirements of the community.

Featuring a wonderful variety of cute and exotic animals, children will be absolutely thrilled with a visit to the Edinburgh Zoo. It also offers younger visitors a Kids Zone where they can do puzzles, meet new additions to the zoo, find out about wildlife in their own back garden and more. A must-see if the penguin parade, held each day at 2:15pm.

Get to grips with the mystery and magic of the ancient city of Edinburgh at the museum dedicated to its history, from prehistoric times to the present day. The Museum of Edinburgh contains important collections all relevant to the city's history, from pottery to documents, shop signs to silverware. The building in which the museum is housed is also of interest, dating from the 16th century with a chequered history of ownership and tenancy by a variety of people from aristocrats to common workers. There is a gift shop on the ground floor, and although there is no food or drink allowed, there are a number of pubs and restaurants nearby.

The National Gallery of Scotland is situated in the heart of Edinburgh and is home to Scotland's greatest collection of European paintings and sculpture from the Renaissance to Post-Impressionism. The museum opened to the public in 1859 and includes works by Botticelli, Cézanne, Van Dyck, Pisarro, Monet, Raphael, Rembrandt, and Titian. The Gallery also boasts the most comprehensive collection of Scottish painting in the world. The Scottish Portrait Gallery can be found nearby at 1 Queen Street and includes great paintings of Scots rather than by Scots. The National Portrait Gallery is closed for renovations however, and will re-open in late 2011.

This science centre is a fabulous attraction for children of all ages and even adults alike and aims to educate and inspire visitors to think about our planet and its evolution. Featuring a number of changing exhibitions, there's always guaranteed to be something new to discover upon each visit to Our Dynamic Earth. Take a spin in the G-Force space ball, and explore the many wonders of the world in which we live.

The Palace of Holyrood was originally an abbey, built in the 12th century, and later the home of Mary, Queen of Scots, notorious for her turbulent reign and dramatic life. Today the palace is the official Scottish residence of Queen Elizabeth II, and is used by the Royal family for state ceremonies and entertaining, but much of the imposing baroque building is open to visitors. An audio guide steers visitors around the grand royal apartments, which reflect the changing tastes of a line of monarchs, as well as the Throne Room and the Great Gallery, culminating in the apartments of Mary Queen of Scots and her husband Lord Darnley, their bed-chambers linked by a secret staircase. A plaque on the floor marks the spot where Mary's Italian secretary David Rizzio was murdered in 1566. The rooms feature splendid plasterwork ceilings and magnificent furnishings and tapestries.

Made famous by the conclusion of the exciting novel (later turned movie) 'The Da Vinci Code' by Dan Brown, this 15th-century Gothic church has become a touristic place of pilgrimage, just six miles (10km) south of Edinburgh's city centre. Known among the clergy as the 'Collegiate Chapel of St Matthew', the church was founded in 1446 and features the famous apprentice pillar, and remains a working church with regular services on Sundays.

Not just any garden, the Edinburgh Botanic Garden is acknowledged as one of the finest in the world, featuring six percent of all the world's known plants, the most tender being cosseted in glasshouses. Visitors can admire vegetation from 10 climate zones from tropical palms to arctic tundra, and see some of the world's oldest plants in the orchid and cycad house. There are also several restaurants and cafes, and a gift shop. The garden was established in 1670 as a physic garden in Holyrood, was later moved to Leith and was firmly planted in Inverleith in 1820, where it has remained a top attraction ever since.

A 'must see' in Edinburgh is the Royal Mile, a succession of streets forming the main thoroughfare of Edinburgh's Old Town. Fittingly, the Royal Mile is approximately one Scottish mile long, running between two historic attractions; Edinburgh Castle at the top of the Castle Rock and Holyrood Abbey. This is Edinburgh Old Town's busiest tourist strip, rivalled only by Princes Street in the New Town. The streets that make up the Royal Mile include Castle Esplanade, Castlehill, Lawnmarket, High Street, Canongate and Abbey Strand. The Hub, at the top end of the mile, plays host to the Edinburgh International Festival, and holds integral information on all the Edinburgh festivals. Its gothic spire, which is the highest point in central Edinburgh, towers over the adjacent castle and surrounding buildings. During the Festival the Royal Mile coems alive with entertainers and visitors.

Pride of the Ocean Terminal in the port of Leith, Edinburgh's recently developed waterfront shopping and leisure area, is moored the famed Royal yacht, Britannia. Numerous illustrious passengers, including Sir Winston Churchill and Nelson Mandela, have trod her decks, not to mention the British Royal family themselves. Now visitors can board this vessel on a self-guided audio tour, cruising through the fabulous state apartments to the crew's quarters, and even the gleaming, polished engine room. Most of the accoutrements on board are original, and there are some surprises too: like the Queen's bedroom and one of her shiny Rolls Royces. At the Visitor Centre learn about celebrity life on this luxury ship, and browse in the souvenir shop. The Brittania will be closed in January 2012 for maintenance.

Alongside Edinburgh Castle visitors can enjoy a 'wee dram' and uncover the secrets of brewing Scotland's famed malt, grain and blended whiskies, known to the locals as 'the water of life'. The whisky tour includes a barrel ride through the history of whisky, a tutored tasting, and a chance to meet a resident ghost. The bar offers the chance to choose from 270 different whiskies, and a restaurant serves up traditional Scots cuisine. The interactive tour promises fun for all the family, although of course only adults are permitted to sample the wares.

The historic town of St Andrews is home to the most famous golf club in the world, The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews. Often referred to as 'the home of golf', St Andrews and the British Golf Museum are must-visits for any enthusiasts of the sport. With 500 years of golfing history, and the home of the British Open, the museum will take visitors on an exciting journey through the sport's heritage and an introduction to the world's golfing legends.

One of the most impressive Scottish castles in the region, Stirling Castle has a famous history of clashes between British troops and Scottish revolutionaries. Its bridge is the site of one of William Wallace's major victories, and the field of Bannockburn was the venue for the triumph of Robert the Bruce. Stirling Castle was also the home of Mary Queen of Scots. The castle offers tours, and views of the surrounding countryside, including the famous Wallace Monument, are spectacular.

When travelling in Edinburgh with children, a trip to the Museum of Childhood is an absolute must and a favourite with adults and children alike. It contains wonderful displays featuring toys from the past and present, from all parts of the world, as well as displays about other aspects of childhood, including school and sports, health and holidays. While children enjoy playing with the toys, adults will enjoy the feelings of nostalgia at seeing their favourite playthings of yesteryear.

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