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Top things to do on a spa break in Edinburgh

Explore this beautiful city and stay in some of the most inspiring hotels

Edinburgh is one of the most beautiful cities in the UK, brimming with impressive architecture, culture and entertainment. It's been the capital of Scotland since 1437, and is famous for a variety of things, ranging from its whisky walks to festivals. While it's a joy to visit at all times of the year, its cobbled streets and individual charm make it a particular joy in the chilly winter months - especially over the festive season. Here are a few of our top recommended places to stay and things to do on a spa break in Edinburgh.

Top attractions in Edinburgh

Visit Edinburgh Castle

One of the must-see locations in this enchanting city is Edinburgh Castle. Perched on top of Castle Rock overlooking the city, it's a magnificent site. Home to the Honours of Scotland - the oldest crown jewels in the UK - and The Stone of Destiny, an ancient symbol of the Scottish monarchy, you can explore the vast grounds and learn about its heritage. In particular, listen for the daily firing of the One O'Clock Gun from the castle ground.

Stroll in Holyrood Park and climb Arthur’s Seat

Arthur's Seat in Holyrood Park is one of the most iconic parts of Edinburgh. An ancient volcano, it sits 251m above sea level and offers 360-degree views of Edinburgh and the Lothians. There are multiple trails and paths to follow, depending on your energy levels, but it's definitely worth the effort.

Ascend Calton Hill to the National Monument

If that wasn't enough climbing for you, head to the top of Calton Hill to enjoy the sunrise over the city. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to a number of monuments, including the National Monument, inspired by the Parthenon in Athens. It's a particular favourite on New Year's Eve/Hogmanay, for enjoying the annual firework display above the castle. Other festivals held there during the year include the annual Celtic Beltane Fire Festival.

Shop on Prince's Street

From high-end boutiques to department stores and eight floors of whisky at Johnnie Walker, Prince's Street is about one mile from Lothian Road to Leith Street, and is known for being the top shopping location in the city. From last-minute presents to spoiling yourself - this is the place for retail therapy.

See a show at Festival Theatre

One of the largest stages in the UK, Festival Theatre hosts opera, ballet and musical events all year round. The greats have performed here, from Charlie Chaplin to David Bowie, and legend has it that it's even haunted by the famous illusionist 'The Great Lafayette' who died in a fire at the theatre in 1911.

Enjoy a wee dram

You can't really visit Scotland without sampling the whisky, and the Scotch Whisky Experience on the Royal Mile is the place to do it. Take a tour of the virtual distillery, learn about the process and then sample the fare in a guided presentation.

Top spas to visit in Edinburgh

The spas and spa hotels in and around Edinburgh embody all the beauty of the location itself. Reflecting history alongside modern hospitality, superb food and abundant character, here are a few of our top recommended spa hotels in Edinburgh.

Macdonald Hotel

Edinburgh Holyrood Hotel

A modern hotel in Edinburgh city centre, Edinburgh Holyrood Hotel enjoys views of the Salisbury Crags and Arthur’s Seat – the highest point in Edinburgh - and close proximity to Holyrood Park. Perfectly placed for exploring this enchanted city, it is also home to a spa that offers modern wellbeing and space to unwind. There's a 14-metre pool, sauna, and steam room, as well as treatments using the Decléor and Jessica product lines. Then dress up and head to the bar for a mojito or Scotch on the rocks.

Book a spa break at Holyrood Hotel

Apex Hotel Waterloo Place

Apex Hotel Waterloo Place is a beautiful place to stay. A four-star hotel in the East End of Edinburgh, it juxtaposes Regency architecture with modern hospitality. The Yu Spa is a favourite feature, complete with an Ozone pool surrounded by natural light, sauna and steam room, as well as Elemis treatments.

Book a spa break at Apex Hotel Waterloo Place

Marine Hotel - North Berwick

For an out of town option, Marine Hotel - North Berwick is in a fantastic location. A refurbished Victorian property on the East coast of Scotland, it enjoys views of both coast and country. The hotel envelopes you in heritage style, from the rooms to the restaurant, where award-winning chef, Chris Niven, serves British and Scottish cuisine. The spa takes you on a thermal journey including a salt water hydro-pool before you enjoy therapies from French skincare brand Caudalie, famous for using active ingredients from Bordeaux vineyards.

Book a spa break at Marine Hotel - North Berwick
Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian

Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian

This historic hotel is one of the most enchanting places to stay in Edinburgh. Once a grand Victorian railway, it dates to 1903, and sits on Edinburgh’s famous Princes Street. Known locally as the ‘Caley’, you can see Edinburgh Castle from some of the bedroom windows and it has an award-winning Scottish restaurant. It's also home to a unique Guerlain Spa, which brings a little Parisian elegance to Scotland, complete with a personalised fragrance journey.

Book a spa break at Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian

Spa at Charlotte Square

Overlooking one of Edinburgh’s prettiest private garden squares, Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel is a luxury hotel and spa that's perfect for romantic weekends. It is formed of seven interconnecting Georgian townhouses in the heart of the New Town, a UNESCO world heritage site, and the design is inspired by the golden age of travel. The spa however, is a contemporary urban retreat, fusing modern facilities with holistic spa treatments.

Book a spa break at the Spa at Charlotte Square
Discover more spa hotels in Edinburgh

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