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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.