They say that when you plan a visit to Scotland, you should pack for all the seasons. And, although we definitely think it adds to our city’s charm, we want to make sure that the occasional shower doesn’t get in the way of our guest’s plans. Pack your umbrella and make a note of these useful indoor activities in Edinburgh … just in case!
Conveniently located on Edinburgh Castle’s doorstep, Camera Obscura is a 5-floor tourist attraction with over 100 interactive optical illusions, photo opportunities, and puzzles, built around the History of Edinburgh. It’s a quirky alternative to a lot of the classic activities in the Old Town and a great way to spend a good couple of hours indoors.
Throwback to big boxes of sweet popcorn and a real picture house experience in one of only two family-run cinemas in Scotland. The wonderful Art Deco building has been refurbished with luxury sofas and offers an inviting mix of new releases, classic films and alternative movies.
Whisky Tour & Tasting at the Scotch Whisky Experience
We can’t think of anywhere better in Edinburgh to enjoy a Scotch whisky than our very own Bonham Bar. However, we appreciate that visitors to our capital city may want to get out and sample the other venues it has to offer. Directly across from Camera Obscura, The Scotch Whisky Experience boasts the World’s Largest Collection of Scotch Whisky and takes visitors on a journey through a replica distillery, complete with interactive tasting maps.
Spa Treatment at Chamomile Sanctuary
Don’t like the idea of straying too far away from the hotel during rainy days? Our elegant beauty partners, Chamomile Sanctuary, are just a short 5-minute walk away. The relaxing West End sanctuary offers everything from quick beauty top-ups to indulgent body treatments. We love their Relaxation Room, where guests can settle down, sip natural juices, and unwind before (and after) their appointments.
The Underground Vault Tours
Lurking beneath the bustling streets of Edinburgh’s modern roads, bridges and shops lies a mind-blowing historical secret, a labyrinth of underground streets and rooms that are accessible to the public via several tours. The most famous of these hidden attractions is Mary King’s Close, where you’ll learn about Edinburgh’s spookiest hauntings, terrifying murders, and incredible architecture. The ancient passageways draw significant crowds (one of the main appeals is the two-storey underground alleyway), so be sure to book in advance.
Scottish National Galleries of Modern Art from the National Galleries of Scotland
The National Galleries of Scotland have 4 different galleries across Edinburgh, and the Modern Gallery One and Two are just a ten-minute walk from The Bonham hotel. What’s more, the two spaces sit adjacent to one another, nestled peacefully amongst striking green gardens and close to popular Dean Village. Art lovers can while away a day exploring some of the world’s finest modern and contemporary pieces, with appearances by well-known names such as Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons and Tracey Emin.
St Giles’ Catherdral
Whilst you’re exploring the other attractions situated on the Royal Mile, be sure to duck into the old church of St Giles’. Open to the public from 10am-2pm, this historical place of worship dates back to the 14th century and pre-dates a lot of the Old Town. Despite its name, the building is actually a Church, not a cathedral, and its title nods more towards the magnificent scale and grand stained-glass adornment.
If you’ve already ticked off one of the Edinburgh underground vault tours, you might think that you needn’t worry about taking a tour of the Dungeons as well. However, they’re two very different experiences. Whilst the vaults take you into the real core of Edinburgh’s underground worlds, the Dungeons put a much more theatrical spin on things. As you move between rooms, their actors entertain you with a fully interactive experience, with the finale room always chilling us to the bone. For that extra bit of excitement, the Dungeons also include a mini boat ride and short, theme park-style vertical drop at the very end.
Royal Yacht Britannia
A floating palace fit for a queen – quite literally! Launched in 1953, this grand ship served the Royal Family for years before settling in Edinburgh to become one of the city’s top visitor attractions (it currently sits at #4 of #482 things to do in Edinburgh on TripAdvisor!). As one of the most famous ships in the world, it gives guests a self-guided, behind-the-scenes look at Royal life.
Afternoon Tea at The Bonham Hotel
What better way to spend a drizzly day than enjoying classic sandwiches, cakes and freshly baked scones, splendidly served with a selection of Brodies tea from around the world? Cool urban styling, teamed with our boutique Georgian architecture, makes for a luxury 5-star dining experience.
What can you do in Edinburgh in bad weather with kids?
Knowledgeable and friendly staff make 3D trips to the rainforest and volcano dome shows all the more special at Edinburgh’s Dynamic Earth. The second largest visitor attraction in Edinburgh, the space was built to encourage play, learning and work, taking an in-depth look at our planet, its changes, and its threats. This is a great place to encourage education, whilst making sure they’re having so much fun that they don’t even realise they’re learning.
National Museum of Scotland
One of the best rainy-day activities in Scotland for kids, this spectacular museum captures imaginations from the moment they step through the doors. What could be more exciting than enormous dinosaur skeletons, wild animals (including Dolly the sheep!), and plenty of interactive games? The sheer enormity of the building means that you can easily spend a day getting get lost amongst the exhibits, collections, and events.
Conveniently located Edinburgh accommodation
When the Edinburgh skies open, it’s reassuring to know you don’t have far to dash back to your room for a change of clothes. The Bonham Hotel is conveniently located just a 10-15 min to Edinburgh’s central strip, Princes Street. Additionally, our luxury concierge team can arrange taxis to any of your desired attractions, meaning guests needn’t worry about forgetting their umbrella.