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The Best Walks in Edinburgh


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Whether it’s blowing away the cobwebs after a slow winter, or enjoying a bit of sun on your face in the summer, Edinburgh offers a variety of wonderful walks for walkers of all abilities. It’s a great way to clear the mind, burn calories and explore the city too! Discover five of the best scenic walks around in and around Edinburgh…

Hermitage of Braid and Blackford Hill

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This local nature reserve, just 30 minutes walk or a short bus ride from our Merchiston Residence property, offers a slice of the great outdoors close the centre of the city. There are a number of walks and trails visitors can follow depending on time and accessibility requirements, and many beautiful features including a wildflower meadow, a traditional Scottish Doocot, Blackford Pond which is home to many birds and animals, and Blackford Hill summit itself. The Hill was formed from the oldest rock in Edinburgh and offers impressive panoramic views of the city, the Pentland Hills and Firth of Forth. This reserve is a great day out for all the family.

Water of Leith: Balerno to Slateford /Slateford to Leith

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The walk along the water of Leith is a great route taking you right through the heart of the city. You can dip in and out of this route easily and do as little or as much as you want in a day. The first and slightly more rural section of the route, follows the line of the old railway beside the river from the lovely village of Balerno, through the edges of Currie, Juniper Green and Colinton, before taking the waterside paths through the Colinton Dell. The second half of the route crosses the city offering a variety of city sights including views of Murrayfield stadium, and the picturesque Dean Village and bustling Stockbridge. We would highly recommend taking a quick detour at Dean Village and checking out the Scottish Galleries of Modern art just off the route!

 

Crammond Island and Crammond Brig
 

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A perfect Sunday walk for many visitors and locals alike, is along the tidal causeway to Crammond Island on the Forth. The island is connected to the shoreline of Edinburgh but only at low tide and so a trip requires careful planning to fit in with tide times.  This walk is very popular at weekends and although there is a free car park, many people walk back along the riverside section back into the city centre. We would caution keen walkers, the island can be muddy and the route across is a surfaced promenade, but on a sunny day this one is winner!

Arthur’s Seat and Holyrood Park
 

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So this one might be pretty obvious but it couldn’t not be included. Climbing Arthur’s Seat is a proper hill walk right in the heart of the city, quite an uncommon activity for most cities. When you reach the summit you will be rewarded with cracking views in all directions, perfect for those Instagram feeds! Local experts will tell you that the golden hours (dawn and dusk) are the best times to get up the hill, purely for the magical light.  If the rough ground and narrow path up Arthur’s Seat is too much the Salisbury Crags still offer a hill walk and panoramic views and the surrounding parkland is a tranquil oasis perfect for exploring. We also love that our Old Town Chambers property is just 15 minutes’ walk from Holyrood Park!

 

The John Muir Way
 

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This walk was named after the Dunbar-born conservationist, John Muir, who emigrated to America when he was young, before becoming the founder of the American National Parks. The route was opened in 2014 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Muir’s death. The scenic route runs from Helensburgh, the western coastal town from which Muir set sail for America, all the way across the central belt of the country, back to his birthplace in Dunbar, East Lothian. Although the full route is quite an undertaking, you can sample a small part of the route easily from Edinburgh, as it is split into stages. Both the walk between South Queensferry and Edinburgh (or the other way) and then route between Edinburgh and Prestonpans can be completed in a day and offer beautiful scenery of the Forth coastline.

 

 

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