Edinburgh and the Lothians: Explore local and be a tourist in your own city
There’s no two ways about it: the Covid-19 pandemic has been an extremely challenging time for the hospitality, tourism and leisure industry, with restaurants, bars, hotels and visitor attractions some of the worst affected by changing restrictions and rules.
Tourist numbers are down, meaning many of the country’s leading tourist attractions are remarkably quiet right now. That’s a problem for many local businesses.
But it also means that – with the right Covid safety precautions – we as residents can enjoy more of what our great city and its surrounding area has to offer without the endless queues and crowds we would normally encounter.
Playing the “tourist” in your city can be an absolute hoot, and you'd be surprised at what you can learn about the place where you live when you explore it as if you've never been there before.
The advantages are many. For starters, you don't need to pack a fortnight's worth of pants and socks, and there's no queuing at airport security or long delays to contend with.
You can have just as much fun as going on a holiday – and also support local business at the same time.
Over the next few weeks, in partnership with the Edinburgh Capital Group (ECG), the Evening News will be bringing you a series of features highlighting some of the amazing days out locals can have in the Capital and the surrounding area.
Euan McGrory, Editor of the Evening News, said: “There is nothing more important than keeping everyone safe right now, but if we follow the Covid guidelines then there are many great opportunities to enjoy days out with our families in the weeks and months ahead.
“There are so many places both within the city and across the Lothians that many of us would never think of visiting because, sub-consciously, we think of them as being ‘for the tourists’ – and usually far too busy.
“Right now, you can not only enjoy great, crowd-free days, you can also support local businesses and jobs. Have fun, and feel good about doing ‘the right thing’ at the same time, what’s not to like.”
Edinburgh Capital Group is a membership group for everyone working in local visitor attractions, tours, theatres and events in Edinburgh and the Lothians. The group meet regularly to share great ideas and help support each other to deliver fantastic visitor experiences.
Elaine Green, chair of the group, explains: “Visitor numbers plummeted for many due to Covid closures, especially in the city centre, as potential visitors bypassed Edinburgh to head to the countryside. Yet Edinburgh and the Lothians have it all.
“We are all 'good to go’ and keeping up-to-date with current guidelines to ensure that your visit is safe and enjoyable.
“Edinburgh and the surrounding area has such a rich and varied offering for fabulous days out – and we’d love to welcome you and show you what’s waiting on your doorstep.
“There really is something for everyone to enjoy and the options are endless.”
Edinburgh Capital Group Members: Camera Obscura, Capital Theatres, City of Edinburgh Council, Dalkeith Country Park, Dalmeny House, Deep Sea World, Dovecot Studios, Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh Bus Tours, Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh Dungeon, Edinburgh International Festival, Edinburgh International Science Festival, Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh Zoo, Gilmerton Cove, Haggis Adventures, Highland Explorer Tours, Landmark Press, Mercat Tours, Museum on the Mound, Musselburgh Racecourse, National Galleries of Scotland, National Library of Scotland, National Mining Museum Scotland, National Museums Scotland, National Trust for Scotland, Palace of Holyroodhouse, Rabbies Small Group, Rosslyn Chapel, Royal Botanic Garden, Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, Royal Highland Show, Royal Lyceum Theatre, Sandemans Tours, Scotch Whisky Experience,Scottish Parliament Visitor Centre, Scottish Seabird Centre, St Cecilia's Hall, Strawberry Barn, The Real Mary King's Close, The Royal Yacht, Visit Scotland.