15 Best Walks in Edinburgh (Hikes & Nice Walks)

15 Best Walks in Edinburgh (Hikes & Nice Walks)

By will

Do you feel the call of nature? The urge to explore the world around you and to experience something new?

If so, Edinburgh is the perfect destination for you! Located in Scotland, UK, this beautiful town offers 15 amazing walks that will take your breath away.

From hikes up steep hills to leisurely strolls along the river, there’s something here for everyone.

Come and explore these incredible trails and take in the beauty of nature.

1. Gullane To North Berwick

View of the Forth, North Berwick
Photo by Ian Dodds

Gullane to North Berwick is an exhilarating walk that takes in some of Scotland’s most stunning scenery.

From the bustling seaside town of Gullane, you’ll take in miles of rolling hills and sweeping valleys as you make your way toward the North Berwick coast.

Along the way, you’ll spot wildlife, including the red kite, peregrine falcon, and golden eagle.

There are plenty of opportunities for picnicking, fishing, and swimming along this route too.

With its wealth of historical sites, coastal views, and wildlife encounters, this walk offers something for everyone.

The route can be easily tailored to meet individual needs or preferences – whether it’s a leisurely stroll or an invigorating hike – making it a great choice for those seeking adventure and relaxation alike.

It’s a wonderful opportunity to explore Scotland at its best – so lace up those boots and get ready for an unforgettable experience!

2. The Bridge Inn, Ratho

Bridge Inn, Ratho
Photo by Rude Health

The Bridge Inn, Ratho is a great destination for hikers and nature lovers alike.

Located in the heart of Edinburgh, it’s the perfect starting point for a beautiful walk.

The views from the top of the hill are breathtaking, with rolling hills and lush green fields as far as the eye can see.

There’s also plenty of wildlife to be seen – deer, badgers, and birds of prey are all regularly spotted here.

If you’re looking for something more challenging, there are plenty of challenging trails nearby too.

From steep climbs to rocky scrambles, there’s an adventure for everyone in this area.

Once you’ve reached the summit, take some time to enjoy the stunning view from the top before making your way back down to The Bridge Inn where you can refuel with a tasty bite to eat or a cold beverage.

A visit here is sure to leave you feeling refreshed and inspired by nature’s beauty.

3. Cross The Forth Road Bridge

Forth Road Bridge
Photo by Colin Smith

Leaving the Bridge Inn, Ratho behind, it’s time to cross the iconic Forth Road Bridge. Spanning two-and-a-half miles of the Firth of Forth estuary, this bridge is a sight to behold.

Connecting Edinburgh and Fife, it’s an awe-inspiring experience to drive over this suspension bridge and take in the breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside.

As you cross the bridge – which was opened by Her Majesty The Queen in 1964 – you can appreciate why it is considered one of Scotland’s most famous landmarks.

Its curved shape gives it a graceful appearance that stands out against its industrial surroundings.

Watching as boats and ships make their way under the bridge makes for a captivating journey across the river.

At such dizzying heights, it’s hard not to feel liberated from everyday life as you take in panoramic views of both sides of the estuary.

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With so much beauty on display, it’s easy to see why crossing the Forth Road Bridge is one of Edinburgh’s best walks.

4. Arthurs Seat

Arthurs Seat is one of the most popular walks in Edinburgh and rightly so.

It offers a stunning view of the surrounding countryside, with its rolling hills and riverbank vistas.

The walk takes around two hours and is of moderate difficulty, making it suitable for all levels of fitness.

The path begins at the Arthurs Seat car park where you can take in the views before setting off on your journey.

The first part of the walk takes you up through woodland before reaching a plateau with breathtaking views across Wharfedale and beyond.

Further along, you’ll come to a steep incline that leads to the summit – offering spectacular views from every angle.

Once at the top, take time to enjoy the panoramas while taking in some fresh air!

5. Water Of Leith Walkway

The Water of Leith Walkway is a stunning trail, perfect for hikers and those wanting to enjoy a leisurely stroll.

The path follows the river through tranquil woodlands and meadows, providing spectacular views along the way.

It passes through several villages and towns, including Balerno, Murrayfield, and Colinton.

Along the route, you will find plenty of places to stop for refreshments or takeaway food.

The Water of Leith Walkway is an ideal place to escape from it all and reconnect with nature.

Whether you’re seeking a peaceful getaway or an invigorating hike, this path is sure to satisfy your craving for freedom.

As you walk along the riverbanks, you’ll be surrounded by lush greenery and wildlife – a great opportunity to observe birds, plants, insects, and more in their natural habitat.

You can even take a few moments to appreciate the serenity before continuing on your journey.

6. Blackford Hill

Next on the list of best walks in Edinburgh is Blackford Hill. This area of idyllic beauty offers stunning views and serenity, making it one of the most popular walking spots in the area.

The walk begins at the base of Blackford Hill, where you can take in the rolling green landscape and breathe in the fresh country air.

As you meander up towards the summit, experience an abundance of wildlife and rare bird species.

You will also be rewarded with panoramic views across Edinburgh Castle and Arthur’s Seat as you make your way to the top.

At Blackford Hill, revel in a moment of tranquillity before continuing your journey around this beautiful site.

It’s a great spot for picnicking or just taking some time out to appreciate nature’s beauty.

With its easygoing terrain, this walk is perfect for all ages and abilities, so don’t miss out!

7. The Royal Mile

The Royal Mile is one of the most popular walks in Edinburgh and for good reason.

This scenic route, which spans from the top of West Hill to the bottom of East Hill, offers spectacular views of rolling hills and lush green valleys.

It’s a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The path is well-marked with signposts and benches along the way, making this an ideal walk for all ages and abilities.

On your journey, you’ll come across quaint villages, traditional pubs, and plenty of wildlife – not to mention some incredible views!

Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or a challenging hike, The Royal Mile has something for everyone.

As you make your way up West Hill, take in the stunning vista that awaits at its summit before heading back down again.

With its breathtaking scenery and unbridled sense of freedom, it’s easy to see why The Royal Mile is one of Edinburgh’s most beloved walks.

8. Hermitage Of Braid

The Hermitage of Braid, located just outside Edinburgh, is a stunning walk for those seeking to break away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

This two-mile route climbs steadily up through woodland past cascading streams and ruins, eventually leading up to a spectacular view of Edinburgh Moor.

The winding path takes you through some of the most beautiful scenery in Yorkshire.

The peace and tranquility that you experience while walking this route are like nothing else.

You can take your time to enjoy the sights and sounds along the way; birdsong in the trees, babbling brooks, and wildflowers carpeting the ground in springtime.

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There’s something so liberating about being surrounded by nature, letting go of all worries and cares for a while.

As you reach the top of the hill, you’re rewarded with an incredible panorama – an unforgettable reminder that there’s still beauty in this world even in difficult times.

9. Queen’s Drive Around Holyrood Park

Take a peaceful stroll around Queen’s Drive in Holyrood Park and enjoy the calming beauty of the Scottish landscape.

This 2.2-mile circular walk is surprisingly flat and easy-going, making it ideal for visitors of all ages and abilities.

As you meander along the route, take a moment to admire the stunning scenery that surrounds you – from rolling hills, lush woodlands, and tranquil lochs to an abundance of wildlife.

Enjoy breathtaking views of Arthur’s Seat and Salisbury Crags as you pass by, before winding through ancient Calton Hill with its incredible array of historic monuments.

The journey doesn’t have to end here; why not extend your excursion beyond Queen’s Drive?

Head over to nearby St Anthony’s Chapel for a glimpse into Scotland’s past or follow one of the many other pathways through the park, offering more opportunities to explore this beautiful part of Edinburgh.

With so much to see and do within the grounds, you’ll never be short of things to do during your visit! So grab your walking boots and venture out into Holyrood Park – it won’t disappoint.

10. Calton Hill And Beltane Fire Festival

Calton Hill is one of the most popular hikes in Edinburgh, offering stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

From the top, you can see all the way to the Yorkshire Dales, making it a great spot to observe both local and distant landscapes.

The hill is also home to the annual Beltane Fire Festival, which takes place each May.

This vibrant celebration sees locals and visitors alike come together to take part in traditional dancing and bonfires.

As night falls, drums and music fill the air, creating a unique atmosphere that’s sure to captivate any traveler looking for an immersive experience.

Join this ancient ritual for a memorable evening of fun and culture!

11. Craiglockhart Hills

The next stop on our journey to explore the best walks in Edinburgh is the Craiglockhart Hills.

This stunning area, with its commanding views of Edinburgh and beyond, provides a dramatic backdrop for an unforgettable hike.

At the foot of this hill lies a network of paths that offer a variety of options for visitors – from easy strolls through woodland to more challenging ascents to the summit.

With its abundance of wildlife including deer, badgers, and buzzards, the area is ideal for nature lovers.

The panoramic views from the summit are breathtaking, offering views over Edinburgh and beyond as far as Stirling Castle in the East and Ben Lomond in the West.

As you take in these stunning vistas you’ll be able to appreciate why this is such a popular hiking spot.

Craiglockhart Hills provides hikers with plenty of opportunities to explore its rugged terrain while taking in some breathtaking scenery.

Whether you’re looking for an easy stroll or a strenuous hike there’s something here for everyone – so be sure to make this part of your Edinburgh walking adventure!

12. The Port Of Leith, Edinburgh

The Port of Leith, Edinburgh is a special place to explore. It’s full of hidden surprises and historical gems, making it a great destination for those who want to take in some culture while on their holiday.

From wandering around the galleries and pubs to admiring the views over the sea, there’s plenty to keep you entertained.

The area has a long history that dates back centuries, with many of its buildings still standing today.

You can explore the old dockyards and discover relics from shipbuilding days gone by.

The Crown Princess Margaret pier is an especially picturesque spot, with its many boats bobbing in the water and its stunning sunsets.

There are also plenty of seafood restaurants, such as The Fisherman’s Lodge, if you’re looking for something delicious to eat during your visit.

Heading to the Port of Leith is a great way to get away from it all and enjoy some fresh air.

Whether you’re taking in the sights or simply enjoying a leisurely stroll along the shoreline, this charming port town offers something for everyone – no matter what you’re looking for.

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13. Corstorphine Hill

If you’re looking for a great walk in Edinburgh, Corstorphine Hill is an absolute must-do.

This gorgeous peak offers breathtaking views of the surrounding Yorkshire countryside and its dramatic rock formations make it a stunning spot to explore.

The hike itself isn’t too strenuous and can be completed in around two hours.

As you climb, you’ll pass through lush fields and meadows, as well as several different streams which make for lovely photo opportunities.

When you reach the summit, the panoramic view will take your breath away – best of all, there’s no need to worry about crowds here; Corstorphine Hill is known for being one of the area’s less popular attractions.

So if you’re looking for some peace and quiet on your walk, this is definitely a great option.

With its stunning scenery and peaceful atmosphere, Corstorphine Hill offers a great getaway from everyday life – perfect for anyone who wants to enjoy nature at its finest.

14. Braid Hills

After the grandeur of Corstorphine Hill, you may be tempted to take a break and relax.

But don’t forget about the Braid Hills! Just a short walk from Edinburgh town center, these magnificent hills offer stunning views of the nearby countryside.

You can also catch glimpses of distant towns and cities as far away as Leeds and Bradford.

The highest point is called The Calf, measuring 454 meters above sea level. It’s a great place to take photos and watch the sunset over the valley.

On your way up you can make several stops along the way, taking time to explore some of the old stone ruins scattered around the hillside.

If you’re feeling brave, you can even take a dip in one of the crystal-clear streams that run through the area.

As you make your way down The Calf again, be sure to pause and savor every moment – after all, it’s what travel is all about!

So why not grab your camera, pack some snacks, and venture out into these wild hills?

Enjoy nature in all its glory while taking in some incredible views along with it.

15. Pentland Hills

The Pentland Hills offers an enriching experience for nature lovers, hikers, and anyone craving a breath of fresh air.

Located just outside Edinburgh, Scotland, the hills provide a great opportunity to explore the vast countryside.

From peaceful meadows to rugged terrain, these hills have something for everyone.

The moment you step into the Pentlands you will be surrounded by an array of wildlife and flora, with stunning views and sounds of nature all around.

The area features several trails with varying levels of difficulty, as well as plenty of spots to take some pretty pictures or catch your breath.

Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or a challenging hike, the Pentlands have it all!

Be sure to bring your camera and binoculars so you can make the most out of your time in this stunning landscape.

You’ll be swept away by the sweeping panoramas that reveal themselves with each step taken.

You’ll also find yourself captivated by the abundance of wildlife – from badgers to foxes and bird-watching opportunities galore – that call this area home.

With such mesmerizing beauty combined with plenty of history, it’s no wonder why the Pentland Hills are one of Scotland’s best walks!

Best Walks in Edinburgh – Final Thoughts

I’ve explored some of the best walks in Edinburgh, and I can tell you that the area is a beautiful place to explore.

From the picturesque Gullane to North Berwick walk, to the inspiring Bridge Inn at Ratho – each route offers a different perspective on this vibrant area.

The Forth Road Bridge and Arthur’s Seat are must-sees for any visitor to Edinburgh, while the Water of Leith Walkway and Port of Leith offers stunning views of Edinburgh’s cityscape.

Further afield, Corstorphine Hill, Braid Hills, and Pentland Hills provide more opportunities for discovering beautiful landscapes in this part of Scotland.

Overall, Edinburgh is an amazing place for walking with an abundance of paths that will inspire your next adventure.

Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or a challenging hike, there’s something here for everyone – so why not get out and explore today?

FAQs

What are some easy walks in Edinburgh?

Some easy walks in Edinburgh are Arthurs Seat, Water of Leith Walkway‍, and Blackford Hill.

What are the best circular walks in Edinburgh?

Some of the best circular walks in Edinburgh are Harlaw Reservoir, Holyrood Park Circular, and Hound Point.

What are some good family walks in Edinburgh?

Some good family walks in Edinburgh are Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh’s Castle to Holyrood Palace, and Harlaw Reservoir.

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About the author

Will is an avid hillwalker and traveler. You may find him surfing in Cornwall or hiking in the Yorkshire Dales.