Bus route: 26 towards Port Seton.
This beautiful 17th century manager’s house in the fishing village of Cockenzie and Port Seton is home to the Secret Garden Café operated by Scottish- German baking company Falko Konditormeister. The historic listed gardens are open to the public.
Bus route: 63 towards South Queensferry, plus a £13/12 boat ticket and £5.50 landing pass.
Inchcolm is a fortified island in the Firth of Forth; home to a beautiful Augustine Abbey run by Historic Scotland. Visitors can reach Inchcolm by boat from South Queensferry, though you’ll need to book in advance.
Bus route: 20 towards Ratho.
This village to the west of Edinburgh is a great place to explore the Union Canal. Visitors can either hire a canoe or take a catered cruise courtesy of local pub the Bridge Inn, who operate a restaurant barge. It’s also home to an international climbing arena.
Bus route: 40 or 37 towards Penicuik.
Anyone who has read – or seen – The Da Vinci Code will have already heard of Rosslyn Chapel (one of many alleged homes of the Holy Grail) but you might not have heard of the surrounding Roslin Glen: The perfect place for a lush, scenic woodland walk.
Bus route: 10 towards Bonaly/ Torphin or the 16 towards Colinton.
Bonaly is part of the wider Pentlands Regional Park, and is easily accessible by bus. Well signposted walking routes guide visitors around the scenic Torduff and Clubbiedean reservoirs. The park also offers great views of the Edinburgh skyline.
Bus route: 44 or 44a towards Balerno, plus £3.50 entrance fee.
This walled garden near Balerno is a real hidden treasure. The garden is maintained by the National Trust and is attached to Malleny House, which was built in 1637. The house isn’t open to the public, but the pretty exterior makes a great backdrop.
9. Penicuik House
Bus route: 3 towards Mayfield or 29 towards Gorebridge (plus £7.50 entrance fee).
This mysterious series of hand-carved passageways was the home of a blacksmith called George Paterson between 1725 and 1735. It’s thought that it would have been impossible for him to create the cove himself, so its origins are still a mystery.
Bus route: 44 towards Wallyford, or 4 towards The Jewel.
This hidden garden beside the 12th century Duddingston Kirk was reclaimed from an area of wilderness by Drs Nancy and Andrew Neil in the 1960s, as they wanted to create a serene place for contemplation. It’s currently run by a charitable trust.
12. Lauriston Castle
Bus route: 41 towards Cramond.
This 16th century tower house is home to a beautiful Japanese Friendship Garden, a gift from the Japanese city of Kyoto. The interior of the house is preserved exactly as it was left by its last owner Mrs Reid in 1926, who gifted it to the city of Edinburgh when she died.
Bus route: 47 or 19 towards Granton (get off on Dean Bridge).
This historic district on the Water of Leith was built in 1880 as model housing for local workers. Although it’s only five minutes walk from busy Princes Street it’s as peaceful and pretty as a rural village, and a great place for a stroll.
Bus route: 41 towards Cramond.
Cramond is a village and suburb of Edinburgh overlooking the Firth of Forth with a long history dating back to the Mesolithic and Bronze ages. Visitors can cross over to Cramond island using a causeway, but make sure you check the tide times first.