Last year, Edinburgh beat places like Prague, Madrid and New York to be named the most beautiful city in the world in the annual Time Out index. And 95 per cent of the Capital’s citizens were said to agree.
But Edinburgh’s appeal should not be allowed to overshadow the many attractive villages within easy reach of the city. Across the Lothians, over in Fife and down in the Borders there are many beautiful places to visit. Here are a few you might want to explore.
Over the Forth in Fife, Culross is a historic village which has seen the National Trust help restore many of its crumbling buildings back to their original condition in recent years. Culross has also recently found fame from featuring in the popular television series 'Outlander'. It takes about 50 minutes to travel by car to Culross from Edinburgh. Photo: JPIMedia
Limekilns is an attractive little village in Fife, slightly to the west of the Forth Road Bridge and on the north shore of the River Forth. In the 1300s, Limekilns acted as the main port for Fife's Dunfermline just a few miles to the north. In the past the village has been home to many industries including shipbuilding and brewing. From Edinburgh, Limekilns is about a half an hour drive. Photo: JPIMedia
Winchburgh in West Lothian is known for its spectacular countryside. Like many West Lothian towns, Winchburgh had a thriving shale oil industry in the 19th century, remnants of the mines can be seen in the form of distinctive red hill formations across the landscape. The brick rows of miners' cottages can also still be found in Winchburgh, although now converted into modern homes. From Edinburgh it takes just under an hour to reach Winchburgh. Photo: JPIMedia
Elie in Fife - about 1 hour 15 minutes' drive from Edinburgh - is a popular seaside spot, with a harbour, watersports, a golf club - and cricket on the beach. The village's Ship Inn cricket team is the only one in the UK to play their matches on a beach. Over the course of a season they hold regular fixtures against Scottish clubs as well as touring teams from across the world. Photo: Jeff J Mitchell