08 Mar 2021

5 Scenic Walks In Edinburgh You Will Love!

You get to know a city by walking its streets. Yes, walking is something we tend to do more of when we are first discovering a place or out and about on our summer holidays, right? Because, it really is one of the best ways to capture the heart of a city, its people, its architecture and its sights and sounds. Edinburgh with its beautiful combination of rugged landscape and cityscape is a great place for walking! So, whether you are just wanting to boost your step count, fit in a walk or wanting to get more acquainted with the city, here are 5 scenic walks in Edinburgh we think you will love!

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1. Arthur’s Seat

Arthur's Seat walk in Edinburgh: a photograph of a woman climbing down Arthur's Seat.
Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh

A classic and must-be-done walk in Edinburgh. Arthur’s Seat is an extinct volcano and one of the most prominent features of the city. This is why the epic landmark made it on our 10 Must-See Places in Edinburgh list.

There are plenty of ways to walk it too! With different trails to make it to the top or to walk around it, there are lots of paths to choose from.

Places Nearby

As well as the great hill itself, there are some other worthwhile things to see close by, but bear in mind this depends on which access point you are coming in from!

Closer to central Edinburgh

Arthur’s Seat is right by the Palace of Holyroodhouse which is at the foot of The Royal Mile and across the way from the Scottish Parliament building. It is worth noting that the science attraction Dynamic Earth would be within a reasonable walking distance from here too.

Venturing away from central Edinburgh

Why not check out the Duddingston Kirk area? This is a lovely and quaint place to stop and visit. Take a look at Duddingston Kirk and then wander on into Dr Neil’s Garden (check opening times here), a more hidden beauty spot that overlooks Duddingston Loch.

After your scenic walk, go and grab a bite to eat at a historic pub, The Sheep Heid Inn. Not only do they serve delicious pub grub, but they have an old-school skittle alley! You’ll need to book first though! Find out how to book The Sheep Heid Inn Skittle Alley here.

2. Calton Hill

Calton Hill Walk in Edinburgh: a photograph of a woman looking out at the misty view from Calton Hill.
Calton Hill, Edinburgh

Located at the top of Princes Street, Calton Hill makes for a lovely inner-city walk. It is a short jaunt, but there are a decent number of steps to climb!

So, have a wee nosy around, take in the scenic hillside views of Princes Street down below and you might even fancy having a little look at The City Observatory too.

Places Nearby

Calton Hill is a handy place to go if you want to stick closer to the city centre. It also has quite a few interesting sites nearby, so if you are trying to connect your sight-seeing to-do list or just want a little inspiration of where you could go next, here is a wee list:

  • Wonder across the road and enjoy the Art Deco style architecture of the Government Building.
  • Need to catch a train? Then why not head down to Jacob’s Ladder? This historic staircase which is built into volcanic rock provides an interesting shortcut to Waverley Rail Station.
  • Looking for an attraction to go to? The Palace of Holyroodhouse is around a 15-minute walk from here. To find out more about the tickets and tours we have available at the Palace of Holyroodhouse you can click here.
  • Want to try some seasonal Scottish cuisine? Then just head on down the road to Howie’s restaurant.  
  • If you continue down Waterloo Place you will soon reach Princes Street, a great place to go to do a bit of shopping.

3. Portobello Beach

Portobello Beach Walk in Edinburgh: a landscape photograph of Portobello Beach with a lovely blue sky.
Portobello Beach, Edinburgh

Craving to see the sea? Then make a break for Portobello Beach and enjoy a lovely scenic stroll on the promenade.

Places Nearby:

Did someone say ice cream? If you fancy a seaside treat after all that walking, how’s about bobbing into The Beach House for a scoop or two before finding a wee spot to sit and watch the waves.

Portobello is not only a fantastic spot for scenic walks in Edinburgh and ice cream but also for charity shop fans. Yes, if you love treasure hunting in charity shops Portobello provides the opportunity to find a good bargain.

Here there are also a variety of cafes and restaurants to grab a snack or some lunch. You could even bag a bagel at Bross Bagels or even simply do a make-your-own picnic-style lunch from a local supermarket.

4. Through the City

Through the city walk in Edinburgh: a photograph of Princes Street Garden's seen by the framed trees below and above a cityscape of Edinburgh buildings.
Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh

A simple way to appreciate a scenic walk in Edinburgh is by exploring the city. A good place to start might be Canongate by the Palace of Holyroodhouse and then gradually make your way on up through The Royal Mile towards Edinburgh Castle. By Edinburgh Castle, there is a path that takes you down to Princes Street Gardens and then further onto Princes Street.

Alternatively, if you are wanting to find out more about the city and the history behind what you are looking at, you can join a walking tour. It is a great way to learn about the city, meet other people and go for a walk at the same time!

Why not join us on one of our tours: Secrets of the Royal Mile with Edinburgh Castle or Treasures of the Old Town with the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

5. Water of Leith

Water of Leith Walk in Edinburgh: A photograph of Dean Village, one of the places the walk passes through. In the image there is a gothic looking building overseeing a running river.
Dean Village, Edinburgh

Want a long walk? How’s about Water of Leith? Out of the scenic walks in Edinburgh, this is a pretty well-known one and is 12 miles long in total. Enjoy a riverside walk starting in Balerno making its way through places such as Dean Village, Stockbridge and ending in Leith.

Walking Route

This walk is great for cyclists too! If you would like to find more details about this walking route you can find a helpful resource by clicking here. Alternatively, you will be able to find walking routes like these in Edinburgh Walking guides, by visiting the Water of Leith Visitor Centre or via Google Maps.

So go and put on your walking boots, set out and enjoy these 5 Scenic Walks in Edinburgh! And hey, if you want to combine walking and discovering the history of Edinburgh, come along to our Treasures of the Old Town with The Palace of Holyroodhouse tour.

Thank You From easyGuide

We hope you found our guide to 5 Scenic Walks In Edinburgh You Will Love! useful. Don’t forget you can find tickets to the top attractions, activities, experiences and tours in Edinburgh here.

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