Things to do in South Queensferry
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Things to do in South Queensferry: a Local Guide

Things to do in South Queensferry  

Although technically part of the bustling capital of Edinburgh, South Queensferry is a destination in itself – rich in history and surrounded by beauty, this quaint seaside town is a must-see. Home to the iconic Forth Bridge that crosses over into Fife, you won’t be short of things to do in South Queensferry and its surrounding areas. The Dakota Edinburgh Hotel stands proudly in the centre of this wee heritage town, and as one of the first locations we opened, we’ve become quite familiar with the local area.  

Our Dakota Edinburgh family, many of whom have lived here their whole lives, have compiled a list of the best things to do during a visit to South Queensferry – after all, there’s no one better to get sight-seeing advice from than the locals themselves.  

Take your time to embrace the local area and make your trip a little longer with an overnight stay at the best hotel in South Queensferry – the perfect serene end to a day of picturesque exploring. If you’re planning to visit just for the day and looking for the best restaurants in South Queensferry – stop by and join us in the Dakota Grill for an out of this world dining experience. Our expert chefs pride themselves on producing comfort home classics with a signature Dakota twist – book your reservation at the Dakota Grill and end your visit in style. 

Here are our top recommendations for getting the most out of your visit. 

The Three Bridges Cruise: 

Set sail aboard the three bridges cruise and take in the sights of South Queensferry and its iconic bridges from the waters – lasting 1.5 hours the mini cruise makes a perfect addition to a day out in the local area. Sailing all year round, there’s arguably no better way to get up close and personal with the Forth Bridge, The Forth Road Bridge, and South Queensferry crossing all in one day. Guests of the hotel can get access to discounted tickets for The Bridges Cruise as part of our local partnership, simply ask at reception for more details.  

Top tip from our experts: Look out for the popular Incholm Island on your journey – and as you’re passing try to spot ‘Inchgnome’ island adjacent to it, a small rocky island filled with gnomes… no one knows quite how they got there!  

Stopover on the way to St Andrews and the Highlands: 

If you’re making the journey to St. Andrews or traveling even further afield to the popular highlands of Scotland – South Queensferry is the perfect place for an overnight stay. Take the stress out of your onward travels with a night of luxury at Dakota Edinburgh – with crisp cotton linens and sumptuous rooms you’ll feel refreshed and rejuvenated. Make your stay extra special by enjoying a dining experience like no other at the Dakota Grill – serving comforting classics with a Dakota twist. Our Dakota Edinburgh specials are the perfect option for enjoying culinary excellence and a night of indulgence – book your experience today. 

The Loony Dook Tradition: 

The key is in the name with this one – every year on New Year’s Day hundreds of tourists and locals gather at the river Firth of Forth, often in the wildest fancy dress, to submerse themselves into the freezing cold waters. Thought to have been a tradition that started as a ‘miracle hangover cure’ by three locals in 1980 – the Loony Dook has grown massively in popularity over the years. 

Top tip from our local experts: Get the full Scottish New Year experience and book our Hogmanay sleepover special – complete with a fully cooked breakfast in the morning, to warm you up before you embrace the icy waters of the river Forth of Firth. 

Take a trip to South Queensferry High Street: 

A quaint, and historical high street packed with local independent shops and cafes adored by locals. Its colourful shop fronts and cobbled streets make for a picturesque shopping experience – worlds away from the hustle and bustle of city centre shopping. Dakota Edinburgh is the ideal base for a day spent exploring the local delicatesses and family-owned boutiques, situated just a short 5-minute walk from the high street. End your relaxing day of perusing the shops with an overnight stay in one of our luxurious rooms. Visiting on a Sunday? Take advantage of our Suite Sundays package and enjoy the epitome of relaxation in South Queensferry. 

Top tip from our local experts: Make sure you visit the House of Boë Shop – it’s the go-to place to get the best-infused gin and vodkas, each sold in beautiful bottles, they make great gifts!  

Queensferry Crossing & Forth Bridge: 

You can’t take a trip to South Queensferry without viewing the Queensferry Crossing and Forth Bridges – in fact, they’re hard to miss. The Queensferry Crossing structure spans 1.7 miles, making it the longest three-tower cable-stayed bridge in the world – a popular attraction for tourists. The Forth Rail Bridge is an architectural masterpiece in its own right – opening in 1890 and still operating to this date, the 54,000 tonnes of steel stands proudly as the world’s earliest great multi-span cantilever bridge.  

Top tip from our local experts: We offer a room upgrade at Dakota Edinburgh promising views of the bridges from the comfort of your room – book to stay the night and get the best views in South Queensferry. 

Hopetoun House Stately Home: 

Recognised as one of Scotland’s finest stately homes, Hopetoun House is an important part of architectural heritage in Europe dating back to the 17th century. Filled with stunning collections, nature trails and scenic walks the famous house and its grounds are simply breathtaking. The Hopetoun House experience is highly rated by visitors who commend the friendly team for providing exceptional customer service; something we here at Dakota truly value. The stately home is reopening its doors for tours in March 2024, get ahead of the long line of visitors waiting to soak up the heritage views and book early. Make it a full experience and end your day with some luxury indulgence of your very own and book an overnight stay at Dakota Edinburgh.  

Top tips from our local experts: A really popular location for filming, see if you can recognise the house and estate from scenes in any of your favourite movies (Hint: Outlander shot some scenes here!) 

Conifox Adventure Park:  

Conifox Adventure Park is the place to visit for all the outdoor activities you could dream of – suitable for all ages, the park has plenty to keep both adults and kids entertained for the whole day. Footgolf, golf karts, and off-road pedal tractors are just a few of the site’s most popular activities for you to enjoy. Just a short 8-minute drive from Dakota Edinburgh – we’re the perfect calming retreat after a fun-filled family day out of creating memories. Join us in the Dakota Grill for the evening; dine on our classic comfort food and sip on sumptuous cocktails while you reminisce on an action-packed day out. Reserve your space at the Dakota Grill. 

Top tips from our local experts: Great day out for families. 

Stewarton Polo Club: 

If you’re a fan of sport, but you’re looking for something a little different to try Stewarton Polo Club offers an experience like no other. Learn to play Polo in the great countryside of Scotland – suitable for experienced and non-experienced riders, with expert teams on hand to guide you the entire time. The competitive sport for animal lovers is a truly unique date idea for you and your partner to enjoy an out of the ordinary new experience together. Round off a day of fun and laughter with a relaxing trip to Dakota Edinburgh and enjoy our exclusive Date Night package – complete with a fine dining experience, an overnight stay, and a fully cooked breakfast the following morning, make your date night one to remember. 

Make Dakota Edinburgh your base for a visit to South Queensferry.

So, next time you’re planning a visit to Scotland – don’t miss South Queensferry off your list of places to visit. Packed with fun-filled activities to enjoy as a family, with your significant other, or as a solo traveler you’re sure to make lifelong memories. Situated just 5 minutes from South Queensferry High Street, Dakota Edinburgh is the ideal base for a day of exploring – book your overnight stay with us or get the full Dakota experience with our exclusive specials, only available when you book direct.