What to do if you’re staying in Edinburgh for Innovative Learning Week

Because skiing just isn’t for everyone

If taking part in the ‘Festival of Creative Skiing Learning Week’ isn’t your thing, have no fear. We’ve come up with a list of other things you can do from 20th to 24th Feb to ensure you’re not stuck in your flat bored out of your brains with nothing insta-worthy to show for it.

The obvious choice for the week would be to hop onto Skyscanner and find cheap flights to somewhere in Europe for a few days but if you’re saving your money for your exotic summer travels you might want to consider some of the even cheaper alternatives we’ve come up with.

Oslo, we’ll be back

Explore Scotland

Scotland  is an amazing place and if you haven’t already explored some places outside of Edinburgh then this week is the perfect opportunity.

If you have access to a car it’d be well worth booking an Airbnb and driving further north to the Highlands, Aviemore or get the ferry to Skye or Arran. You’ll be able to get out into the idyllic countryside and forget about the inevitable deadlines and essays that will welcome you back to week six of uni (just make sure you wrap up so you don’t freeze to death).

Photo credit: Erin Parsons

Take a day trip

For those who don’t have a car there are plenty of places you can go via train or bus for the day. The megabus to St. Andrews or Glasgow can be as cheap as a fiver return and there’s lots of things to do when you’re there. The change of scenery from Edinburgh is always nice and there’s nothing better than ice cream from Jannetta’s in St. Andrews (even when it’s raining).

Deep Sea World

Another option is to get the train to North Queensferry and give Deep Sea World a visit. If the idea of seeing the seals, going on the underwater safari, and being up close and personal with snapping turtles floats your boat, you can book online to save 40% and just hop over the Fourth.

Photo Credit: Erin Parsons

Edinburgh Zoo

Although it’s a little bit pricier, Edinburgh Zoo is only a bus ride away and would be perfect for a day out. If the Giant Panda exhibit isn’t enough to entice you into a trip to the zoo, there’s also a Bundongo Trail where you can see the Chimpanzees in their huge outdoor enclosure. There’s also koalas, tigers and penguins (to name a few) to ensure you have a great day because who doesn’t love animals, right?

Free things to do in Edinburgh

If you’d rather stay closer to home (and do something that’s free) there’s plenty of stuff to do in the city too. Arthur’s Seat and Calton Hill are close to campus and the perfect way to take advantage of the great views the Burgh has to offer. You could also just pop on a bus and head over to Dean VillagePortobello or the Pentlands to get some nice pics of the beaut city we live in.

St. Giles Cathedral and the Royal Botanic Gardens are also ideal places to snap an insta-worthy masterpiece and the hidden gem of Dunbar’s Close Garden just off the Mile is definitely worth a look!


If you haven’t been before, the National Museum of Scotland is the perfect place to go to educate yourself and feel like a child again with the natural world galleries having interactive activities and life-sized stuffed animals. The archaeological galleries even include a real mummy. And if museums aren’t for you, the rooftop terrace is still worth a visit for the uninterrupted view of Edinburgh’s skyline.

The Scottish National Gallery is also worth a visit and there’s a gallery bus (recommended donation of £1) that takes you to the Modern and Portrait Galleries too. The relatively unknown Museum of Edinburgh in Canongate is also a must if you’re wanting to learn more about the origin of the city – this week did used to be called Innovative Learning Week you know.

Do all the touristy stuff you’ve been saying you’d do since first year

Although you have to pay for them, there are lots of tourist attractions in Edinburgh too. Camera Obscura, the Edinburgh Dungeons, Edinburgh Castle (if you’re not bothered by the superstition that it’s bad luck to go before you graduate) and The Real Mary King’s Close are also great fun if you’ve got an afternoon free.

Alternatively, If you fancy yourself as an ice princess, get yourself over to Murrayfield Ice Rink for a cheeky ice skating session with your mates. Go on a Friday or Saturday evening if you like the idea of disco lights and cheesy music as an accompaniment to gliding around the ice or go in the week for a quieter session (just don’t blame us if you go and maim or seriously injure yourself).