10 Best Edinburgh Walks (And Where To Have Lunch After)

You have to admit - the Scottish capital is a bit of a beaut. Whether you're traipsing around the city, delighting in its glorious gardens and historical buildings, or lapping up the luscious landscapes on the outskirts, it's a real treat for the eyes. But if you're looking for the very best trails? We've rounded up the 10 best Edinburgh walks, plus where to have lunch after.


Water Of Leith Walkway

Winding through the capital, past some of its most iconic sites, the Water of Leith Walkway is ideal for those of you who fancy a peaceful escape from the city - without ever leaving. Start at Slateford, follow the path along the Union Canal, Dean Village and Scottish Gallery of Modern Art, then finish up at Innis & Gunn Leith. Here, you can tuck into chicken schnitzel and poutine.

Water Of Leith Walkway Edinburgh Trail | DesignMyNight

Feel at one with nature on this pretty trail.

Inverleith Park And The Royal Botanic Garden

Bringing a healthy dose of greenery to the city centre, Inverleith Park and the Royal Botanic Garden are simply perfect for family walks in Edinburgh. Expect luscious, foliage-lined paths, a glimmering pond with elegant flocks of swans and one of the largest plant collections on the planet. Need to refuel? Pop by Hector's in Stockbridge for British classics done just right.

Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh Walk | DesignMyNight

Meander through the lavish gardens before filling up on dishes like bangers and mash.

Princes Street Gardens

When it comes to the best walks in Edinburgh city centre, a stroll around Princes Street Gardens certainly wouldn’t go amiss. The urban oasis was originally created by draining Nor Loch, and now? It separates the Old Town from the New, boasting blooming flower beds and the famed Ross Fountain. After working up an appetite, visit Veeno for enticing Italian eats.

Princes Street Gardens Circular Walk Edinburgh | DesignMyNight

If you fancy circular walks in Edinburgh, you can go from Princes Street Gardens to Calton Hill.

Portobello Beach

Nestled on the coast of Edinburgh, Portobello Beach is the place to go for a tranquil jaunt down the seafront revelling in that oh-so-fresh air. When you’re done plodding along the two miles of golden sands, head back into the vibrant town, where you’ll find idyllic Georgian architecture. Reward your efforts at Porty Vault, which serves up banging BBQ bites and ciders.

Portobello Beach Coastal Walks Edinburgh | DesignMyNight

This is simply one of the best coastal walks near Edinburgh, especially when you have your dog with you.

Calton Hill

For sweeping views of the city’s skyline, whack on your most sensible shoes and ascend Calton Hill. To really get your steps in, and have the chance to soak up the capital's sites along the way, we recommend starting at Waverly Rail Station. Once you’ve reached the peak, you’ll be treated to some seriously killer vistas, stretching from Edinburgh Castle and Arthur’s Seat all the way to the Firth of Forth. And then? Get stuck into brunch dishes, like chicken and waffles, over at Laila New Town.

Calton Hill Famous Walks Edinburgh | DesignMyNight

Head up Calton Hill for a close-up of the National Monument of Scotland.

The Royal Mile

While pounding the pavement might not be your first idea of a relaxing stroll, The Royal Mile is more than just a busy succession of streets; the notable thoroughfare guides you past some of the city's most remarkable buildings. Think the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh Castle, Scottish Parliament and St Giles' Cathedral. Stop at Luckenbooths' midway for contemporary Scottish fare.

The Royal Mile Walks Edinburgh | DesignMyNight

Even locals will admit that this is one of the best walks in Edinburgh Old Town.

Arthur’s Seat

Whether you’re a tourist visiting the city or a long-time local, Arthur’s Seat is legendary. Not only is this fabled to be the location of King Arthur’s Camelot, but the ancient volcano also showcases unbeatable panoramas of the surrounding landscapes. Once you've descended back to earth, chow down on loaded fries or Buffalo wings at trendy boozer DogHouse.

Arthur's Seat Walking Edinburgh | DesignMyNight

Make sure to bring your camera to Arthur's Seat so you can take lots of snaps.

Roslin Glen Country Park

Roslin Glen Country Park sits on the outskirts of the capital, offering one of the best woodland walks going. Embark on an atmospheric pootle and discover scenic meadows, ruins reclaimed by nature and an abundance of wildlife, from badgers to buzzards. Then, if you're craving stone-baked pizzas or tapas, Tron back in the city centre should be your final stop.

Roslin Glen Country Park Edinburgh | DesignMyNight

When it comes to hidden walks in Edinburgh, this wooded area is right up there.

Craigmillar Castle Park

Make your way to the south east of the city where Craigmillar Castle Park awaits. Escape the hustle and bustle at this natural heritage site, rambling through the woodland and old quarries. Bit of a history buff? Explore the well-preserved, medieval castle, which happens to have links to Mary, Queen of Scots. Then, devour a Sunday lunch fit for royalty at New Town’s The Bon Vivant.

Craigmillar Castle Park Pretty Walk Edinburgh | DesignMyNight

Honestly - doesn't this look magical?

Hermitage Of Braid And Blackford Hill

Make the most of the great outdoors by roaming around Hermitage of Baird and Black Hill. Flaunting a gorgeous local nature reserve, including a picturesque river valley, a serene forest and a pretty peak with lofty views, it's a total stunner. If you forgot to bring a picnic, satiate your hunger with a trip to Hanover Tap, which is renowned for its small plates and tasty tipples.

Hermitage Of Braid Edinburgh Woodland Walk | DesignMyNight

From hill walks near Edinburgh to cosy digs, we've got your day out sorted.

Looking for more walks around Edinburgh? Discover the prettiest streets in the city here and sign up to our newsletter for the latest guides straight to your inbox.