- All Year Round | Except Christmas Day.
- Digital Audio: English, Gaelic, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Russian, Japanese and Chinese.
Times & Frequency:
- See Map Download.
- Various, see itinerary list below.
- 1 Hour.
Majestic Tour | Route Details:
This open-top bus tour to Leith gives travellers a wider sightseeing experience that encompasses the City of Edinburgh's outlying districts. The tour begins at Waverley Bridge just west of the Scott Monument. From here the tour begins north towards York Place, site of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery (Stop 2). Most of the gallery's main displays and exhibitions are free to access, so you might want to have a short exploration before moving onto Leith. See original highlights ranging from a 17th-century portrait of Mary, Queen of Scots; Alexander Nasmyth's iconic depiction of poet Robert Burns, and Sir Henry Raeburn's 1822 portrait of Sir Walter Scott.
Majestic tour buses from Edinburgh to Leith arrive at their stops every 15-20 minutes, so when you're done in the galleries make for stops 3 and 4. Both stops are fairly close together and offer easy access to the Royal Botanic Gardens of Edinburgh and Water of Leith (Stops 3/4). If you'd like to take a brilliant spring or summertime stroll then these two landmarks are absolutely ideal. In case you're unaware the Water of Leith is a river that runs south of the city centre towards the Firth of Forth. It features a well signposted walkway that extends all the way down to Leith.
If you decide to stay on the buses continue your open-top journey by travelling down Ferry Road (Stop 5) towards Newhaven Harbour, Leith Cruise Terminal and Ocean Terminal (Stops 6/7/8). Stop 8 is easily the pinnacle point on the first half of the Majestic Tour. Hop-off the bus and head over to Royal Yacht Britannia. This stately cruise vessel once served as the official royal yacht of Queen Elizabeth II. After being decommissioned in 1997 it was listed in the National Historic Fleet and permanently berthed at the Port of Leith as a five-star visitor attraction. Climb aboard and learn about the ship's 600+ foreign journeys, its secondary purpose as a floating nuclear bunker, and its one-off role as a refugee ship.
Before returning to Edinburgh city centre you might like to have lunch and retail browse around Ocean Terminal Shopping Centre. During the return journey choose whether you'd like to stop off at Leith Mills (Stop 10). With the Clan Tartan Centre and Scottish knitwear it's a must-visit spot for nifty and meaningful souvenirs.
Stops 11 & 12 will take you close to the Playhouse Theatre, past the Royal Terrace Gardens, around Calton Hill and next to the Palace of Holyroodhouse and the Scottish Parliament. Other attractions around stop 12 include 'Our Dynamic Earth' science centre and Holyrood Park, so it's a highly recommended hop-off point for any visitor.
The last four stops take you right through the heart of Old Town Edinburgh. Along the way you'll meet with a chance to disembark at the Museum of Edinburgh, John Knox House and the National Museum of Scotland. The Majestic Open-Top Bus Tour finishes up where it started, Waverley Bridge.