Weird (and wonderful) things to do in Edinburgh

Weird (and wonderful) things to do in Edinburgh

So you’ve climbed our volcano (it’s dormant!) and explored the old city beneath the city and are looking for more weird things to do in Edinburgh? Here are my favourite weird (and wonderful) attractions that you might not know about.

Weird things to do in Edinburgh

1) Visit Edinburgh’s thatched village

Love From Scotland - Things to do in Edinburgh

Why? The tiny conservation village of Swanston is a hidden gem. Its thatched houses (which were once Council houses!) are beautifully kept, with gorgeous gardens. It’s lovely place for a wander.
Where? Swanston is on the edge of the Pentland Hills Regional Park. Please leave your car at home, the no.4 Lothian Bus will take you there.
When & Cost? Free
Find out more: Swanston & Pentland Hills walk

2) Solve the mystery of Gilmerton Cove

Love From Scotland - Things to do in Edinburgh

Why? Visit this series of hand carved caves and help solve the mystery of their existence. They have been used by everyone from the covenanters to the Templars, but who actually dug them?
Where? Gilmerton Cove, 16 Drum Street, Edinburgh. To get there take either the no.3 or 29 Lothian Bus.
When & Cost? Tours are by appointment, book here. Tickets are £7.50 for adults, concessions and child tickets available. No entry for children under 5.
Find out more: Gilmerton Cove

3) Find The Arthur’s Seat coffins


Why? No one knows who made these tiny little coffins found on the slopes of Arthur’s Seat in June 1836. Ideas range from a tribute to Burke and Hare to protection against witchcraft – but they are very spooky all the same.
Where?  Find the ‘Daith Comes In’ exhibition on Level 4. The National Museum of Scotland is on Chambers Street.
When & Cost? The NMS is open every day. Free entry.
Find out more:

4) Look on life and death in a mask

Why? Marvel over 40 death masks of famous scientists and politicians to notorious murderers. Can you tell a murderer from a politician even in death?
Where? The Anatomy Museum at the University of Edinburgh, Doorway 3, Medical School, Teviot Place. 
When & Cost? The Anatomy Museum is open the last Saturday of each month. Free entry. If the Anatomy Museum is closed when you are here, death masks are also on display at The National Portrait Gallery.
Find out more: The Anatomy Museum

5) Find Edinburgh’s Poltergeist (If you dare)

Why? Visit the home of the most well-documented paranormal phenomenon in the world. A homeless man running screaming into the night, a woman being blasted off the steps by a dark force, and a near strangulation… do you dare visit the grave of Bluidy MacKenzie?
Where? Greyfriar’s Kirkyard, George IV Bridge, look out for the Bobby statue.
When & Cost? the Kirk is open April to October, free entry
Find out more: visit the Greyfriars Kirk website. Unexplained Mysteries has Bluidy Mackenzies’ tale.

You might also like...  A botanical wonderland

6) Explore the world of Camera Obscura

Love From Scotland - Things to do in Edinburgh

Why? From mirrors to mazes, to optical illusions, Camera Obscura is five floors of photography & light related fun. It’s not just for the kids! Just don’t ask me to go into the vortex maze… the views from the roof are something else. 
Where? Right next to the Castle on the Royal Mile. 
Cost? £14.50 for adults (it is worth it!)
Find out more: Camera Obscura

7) Enjoy tea & cake with a Cat

Why? Feline fan? Well, Edinburgh has the just the cafe for you. Maison de Moggy offers up tea & cake and access to its 12 therapeutic and characterful cats.  
Where? 17-19 West Port
When & Cost? Entrance to the cafe is £7. Appointments are for 1 hour, you need to book in advance.
Find out more: Maison de Moggy

8) Marvel at the Surgeons Hall Museum

Why? Edinburgh’s pathology museum is home to one of the world’s largest collection of all things medical – including many preserved grotesque and unusual specimens. Be warned!
Where? Nicolson Street.
When & Cost? 7 days a week, free.
Find out more: Surgeons Hall

9) Get down on Gorgie City Farm

Love From Scotland - Things to do in Edinburgh

Why? With chickens and tiny (smelly) pigs, sheep, goats and a horse to ride, plus a great little cafe, Gorgie City Farm is a great place to spend a couple of hours getting down on the farm.
Where? Gorgie Road, Take either the no. 25, 3, 33 and 2 Lothian Bus to Gorgie. 
When & Cost? Open 7 days a week, free entry
Find out more: Gorgie City Farm

10) Watch the penguins parade

Love From Scotland - Things to do in Edinburgh

Why? Every day at  2.15pm the gates of Edinburgh Zoo’s penguin enclosure are opened… here comes the penguin parade. Look out for Brigadier Sir Nils Olav.
Where? West Edinburgh, to get there catch the 100 Airport Bus or Lothian Bus no. 12, 26 or 31.
When & Cost? Edinburgh Zoo is open every day of the year, including Christmas Day / £17 for adults  (in advance) and £12.50 for kids
Find out more: Edinburgh Zoo

What are your favourite weird and wonderful things to do in Edinburgh?

What are you waiting for? Get booking your hotel!

(affiliate link, every booking helps support this site)

Love from, Scotland x

Pin for later

Love From Scotland - Things to do in Edinburgh

Travel blogger? Linking up with City Tripping



  1. 27/08/2016 / 9:31 am

    This is fantastic! I love finding quirky things to do and see when I travel 🙂 I’ll definitely be checking out Maison de Moggy when I finally get around to returning to Edinburgh!

  2. 27/08/2016 / 9:32 am

    Very interesting article. I liked a lot the Penguins parade and the Arthur’s Seat coffins. When I come in Edinburgh I will try all this things ^^

  3. 27/08/2016 / 11:48 am

    Oh lovely Scotland! We wish to go there in the near future, it’s definitely part of our top list of go-to’s!

  4. 27/08/2016 / 1:00 pm

    I’ve lived in Edinburgh for almost a year and I’ve only done three of these! Really good advice in here, and my mind is actually blown that I didn’t know about Swanston. I think I’ll pencil that one in for like, tomorrow. 🙂

  5. mondiea
    27/08/2016 / 4:32 pm

    Super cool list! Saving for later 🙂

  6. The Roaming
    27/08/2016 / 4:45 pm

    We loved Edinburgh so much and have only done a few things on this list, definitely need to go back again because there are some interesting things left to do!

  7. 27/08/2016 / 9:14 pm

    #1….There is something magical about thatched roofs. #5….absolutely not…nope, no way. #7…absolutely yes! Great article, nice to see a unique spin.

  8. lisa440440
    27/08/2016 / 10:40 pm

    I would definitely do a lot of these adventures when visiting. I love off the beaten path and quirky fun stuff, #2 looks very cool. Who doesn’t love penguins?

  9. 28/08/2016 / 2:20 am

    They are sure weird places and several are really spooky…but I would not mind going to Camera Obscura and also see the Penguin Parade – those will be a good photo destinations for me 🙂

  10. 28/08/2016 / 12:53 pm

    Thanks for the tips ! interesting but cool things. Am not a cat lover so would skip that one.

  11. 28/08/2016 / 2:34 pm

    Love these strange thing to do see articles. Thank you for all the info

  12. Rachel G
    29/08/2016 / 10:49 am

    The conservation village and the caves sound fascinating!

  13. 29/08/2016 / 2:15 pm

    Love the off the beaten track options here! Thanks for sharing – super fun! Cheers from Copenhagen, Erin #MondayEscapes

  14. 29/08/2016 / 2:48 pm

    We’ve just come back from Edinburgh a couple of weeks ago. Camera obscura is SO good!! Arthur’s seats coffins looks properly creepy 🙂 #mondayescapes

  15. 30/08/2016 / 7:34 pm

    Living in Aberdeen I often visit Edinburgh and kinda thought I knew it. Delighted to see there’s still so much more to do. #citytripping

  16. 31/08/2016 / 4:37 am

    I love this list! I always like finding off-the-beaten-track kind of stuff to do. The thatched village looks like my kind of place. And I think my family would enjoy a visit to Camera Obscura. #CityTripping

  17. 31/08/2016 / 7:36 pm

    Great list, I love quirky attractions. I’ve only been to Greyfriar’s Kirk so I’ve pinned your list for a future trip. #citytripping

  18. 01/09/2016 / 10:33 pm

    I love these! I have seen the penguin parade but that’s the only one off the list – it’s far too long since I was last in Edinburgh, lots of good reasons to go back. Thanks for linking up with #citytripping

  19. 02/09/2016 / 12:29 pm

    Swanston looks lovely and a place I would love to visit. Thanks for sharing #CityTripping

  20. 05/09/2016 / 2:18 pm

    Great tips. The conservation village of Swanston looks charming. I hope to visit Edinburgh sometimes. I’ll be glad, if you will have time to join TRAVEL INSPIRATION link up.

    Anna xoxo

    • lovefrom
      07/09/2016 / 11:03 am

      Hi Anna, can you send me a link to the link up? I’d love to join!

  21. 06/09/2016 / 3:40 pm

    Amazing list! I pride myself on having done loads and visited a lot in Scotland since I arrived four years ago, but these are some cool things, many of which I’d never heard of! Will have to add them to my list 🙂

  22. 06/09/2016 / 4:24 pm

    I love how you compiled a list of really quirky off-the-beaten path ideas for Edinburgh. Some of them sounded so interesting! And the best part was that you included a varying list of price ranges. Thanks! This is inspirational.

  23. 09/09/2016 / 5:37 pm

    We almost went to Camera Obscura when we went to Edinburgh many years ago but were too short of time – looks like we missed a goodie.

  24. 14/09/2016 / 7:45 am

    What a wonderful read that is about the coffins and Arthur’s Seat! When I glanced at it I was already off and striding up Arthur’s Seat in hot pursuit in my head, but then I realised it’s at the National Museum! Now that hadn’t really been on my radar but it just happens that Jude’s wanting to see the wildlife photography exhibition that opens there on Friday. Serendipity? (if you’re puzzling, see my comment on I heart North Berwick 🙂 ) And I may just be drawn to Camera Obscura. I did it may years ago as a youngster and don’t remember much other than gloom! 🙂 Thanks a lot!

Leave a Reply