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Weird things to do in Edinburgh

Weird things to do in Edinburgh

So you’ve done Edinburgh Castle and explored The Royal Mile and are looking for more unusual things to do in Edinburgh? Here are my favourite things to do in Edinburgh that you might not know about.

Weird and unusual things to do in Edinburgh

Solve the mystery of Gilmerton Cove

Visit this series of hand-carved caves and help solve the mystery of their existence! Gilmerton Cove has been used by everyone from the Covenanters to the Templars, but who actually dug them? Gilmerton Cove is at 16 Drum Street, Edinburgh. To get there take either the no.3 or 29 Lothian Bus. Tickets are £7.50 for adults, concessions and child tickets available. Tours are by appointment, book here. No entry for children under 5.

Find out more: Gilmerton Cove.

Love From Scotland - Things to do in Edinburgh

Photo credit – Gilmerton Cove


Find The Arthur’s Seat coffins

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. You can find the coffins in the ‘Daith Comes In’ exhibition on Level 4. The National Museum of Scotland is on Chambers Street and is open every day. Free entry.

Find out more: National Museum of Scotland


Photo credit – The National Museum of Scotland

Climb Arthur’s Seat – Edinburgh’s Volcano

Did you know that Arthur’s Seat in the middle of the city is actually a volcano? Don’t worry it is dormant (it last erupted 340 million years ago) and now makes for a great short hill walk with great views back over the city. Arthur’s Seat sits in Holyrood Park which is accessed from the bottom of the Royal Mile. The park is free entry.

Find out more about visiting Holyrood Park

Arthur's Seat


Look on life and death in a mask

Marvel over 40 death masks of famous scientists and politicians to notorious murderers. Can you tell a murderer from a politician even in death? The Anatomy Museum is at the University of Edinburgh, on Teviot Place and 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.

Visit Edinburgh’s thatched village

The tiny conservation village of Swanston is a hidden gem. These beautifully kept thatched cottages (which were once Council houses!) sit is on the edge of the Pentland Hills Regional Park where there are loads of paths to follow around the hills. Please leave your car at home, the no.4 Lothian Bus will take you there.

Read more: Swanston & Pentland Hills walk

Find Edinburgh’s Poltergeist (if you dare)

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? Greyfriar’s Kirkyard is on George IV Bridge, look out for the Bobby statue. The Kirk is open April to October, free entry. Find out more: visit the Greyfriars Kirk website. Unexplained Mysteries has Bluidy Mackenzies’ tale.

Explore the world of Camera Obscura

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. Camera Obscura is right next to the Castle on the Royal Mile and is £16.00 for adults, £14.00 for seniors and students, and £12.00 for children (aged 5-15).

Find out more: Camera Obscura

Love From Scotland - Things to do in Edinburgh


Marvel at the Surgeons Hall Museum

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! The Surgeon’s Hall Museum is on Nicolson Street and is open 7 days a week and is free.

Find out more: Surgeons Hall

Get down on Gorgie City Farm

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. Gorgie City Farm is on Gorgie Road, Take either the no. 25, 3, 33 and 2 Lothian Bus to Gorgie.  The farm is open 7 days a week, free entry.

Find out more: Gorgie City Farm

Love From Scotland - Things to do in Edinburgh

Enjoy tea & cake with a Cat

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. Maison de Moggy is at 17-19 West Port. Entrance to the cafe is £7. Appointments are for 1 hour, you need to book in advance.

Find out more: Maison de Moggy

Watch the penguins parade at Edinburgh Zoo

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. To get to Edinburgh Zoo catch the 100 Airport Bus or Lothian Bus no. 12, 26 or 31. 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

Love From Scotland - Things to do in Edinburgh

More things to do in Edinburgh

Love from, Scotland x

More unusual things to do in Edinburgh

Follow the Harry Potter Trail

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Love From Scotland - Things to do in Edinburgh


Wednesday 14th of September 2016

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!

Rosie Hill (@EcoGitesLenault)

Friday 9th of September 2016

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.


Tuesday 6th of September 2016

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.


Tuesday 6th of September 2016

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 :)

Anna Shirley

Monday 5th of September 2016

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


Wednesday 7th of September 2016

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