Are you looking for somewhere to walk, somewhere tranquil to get away from the bustling city? In Edinburgh, there’s plenty of places to walk and relax and we’ve chosen our favourites below. So, if you’re looking for things to do that involve walking and you’re in need of a little contemplation, then take a look at our list of parks and walks below.
Take a stroll in the Old Town & Royal Mile
Here you’ll be able to walk through a complicated maze of cobbled streets, alleyways and hidden courtyards. In the centre is the Royal Mile, a beautiful street with tenement buildings from the Reformation which will lead you on to the castle itself and the Palace of Holyrood House.
St Giles’ Cathedral has a vaulted ceiling with ornate tombs and you’ll find the National Museum of Scotland. If you go down into the vaults, you’ll find a fascinating history of Edinburgh’s poor. There’s also the Georgian House, the Scottish National Portrait Gallery and when you’ve had enough there’s George Street for some serious shopping.
The easily accessed Calton Hill is home to breath-taking views of the city and also an Athenian acropolis, an unfinished monument which was made to look exactly like the Parthenon of Athens. It was built as a memorial to those who died in the Napoleonic Wars. There are some amazing views from here and the walk to it is fun and energising, with some giant steps to climb.
Princes Street Gardens
The beautiful Princes Street Gardens is a World Heritage Site and with good reason. It’s houses old and new conservation areas and is to be found in the Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscape in Scotland. There are some beautiful plants and flowers to be found here with thousands of different types of foliage and flower. If you’re looking for some peace and quiet then you’ve found it and if you’ve brought the children, there’s a play area, café, kiosk and toilets.
This is a beautiful park with plenty to see and do with geology, archaeology and history at its centre. In fact, there’s a free exhibition for you to enjoy on all these subjects so you can learn all about Holyrood Park’s history. You climb Arthur’s Seat, find Iron and Bronze Age forts and terraces and visit a medieval ruin in the form of St Anthony’s Chapel and when you’re ready to relax, go and watch geese at Duddingston Loch.
A beautifully quiet oasis where you can sit and relax and spend time looking over the Water of Leith. It’s not far from Princes Street, so you don’t have to go far for this tranquil setting. There’s evidence here of water mills and you’ll see all sorts of clues, such as stone plaques and mills stones. There’s Dean Bridge too, designed by the renowned Thomas Telford. Well Court has been recently restored and is the jewel in the crown of this gorgeous little village.