Green Edinburgh

The speed and excitement of living in a city can for some erode the gentle beauty and spiritual character that the human soul yearns as food to grow and develop its love for all creation.
This page is an attempt to balance the fast pace of the city with places you can walk slowly around with friends, reflect and link into your deep inner needs.

All the places have links to maps, which you can zoom in and out of (using the + and - at the bottom) and move about in (using the eight green arrows on the edges and corners).

Botanic Gardens

Botanic Gardens

The Botanic Gardens has East and West Gate entrances, large expansive grounds where you can roam all day amongst trees and beautiful gardens and a great diversity of glass houses filled with exotic and tropical plants and climates.

A short walk from the City Centre, or you can travel there by Buses 27,8,17,23 or drive with friends and park your car there. Map
Arthur's Seat
Arthur's Seat

Arthur's Seat, Salisbury Craggs and Duddingston Loch

Arthur's Seat is an old volcano about 250 metres high, situated within the very centre of the city and with a spectacular view of the city and the surrounding hills and tidal estuary. A good few hours of climbing and exploration, it's well worth visiting the adjacent loch, and also the disused railway tunnel running beside it, which takes a brisk five minutes to walk through. It can be very windy at the top of Arthur's seat on a blustery day.

A short walk from the City Centre, or you can travel to Meadowbank by Buses 4,5,15,26,44,45 or park your car somewhere around the encircling clockwise perimeter road. Map
Pentland Hills
Pentland Hills


If you find the idea of walking for hours amongst the tranquility of rolling hills and reservoirs, the Pentlands is definitely the place for you. With a wide variety of walks and paths, it is suitable for both the gentle and vigorous walker, and also rough cyclists. One of the best starting points is at Balerno, where you will find a Ranger Centre with information, maps, toilets and a model of the hills.

If you get the 44 bus to Balerno, let the bus circle all the way round before getting off at the start of Harlaw Road and walk up to the car park there. Once you have been to the place you will want to go back again, and you will find there are also other points onto the Pentlands near Penicuik and at Torphin. Overview

Dalmeny Woods and Beaches

There are lovely walks for about two hours through the area of Dalmeny Woods, stepping into a quiet world of trees and the solitude of beaches you can clamber down to.

The best place to start your walk, is from the picturesque old village of South Queensferry where the Forth Bridge leaves the shore. The Waverley 63 minibus may well take you there. Map
Waters of Leith

Water of Leith

The 'Waters of Leith' is a small river that courses its way from the North of the city in Leith, through the Centre, and out to the East via Wester Hailes, to Balerno and beyond. Walking the whole path takes a good number of hours and a few diversions; however there are two very accessible and particularly beautiful wooded spots. The first is at the old Dean Village just ten minutes' walk from Princes Street or Buses 19,37,41 (Map), and the second is just a little walk from Wester Hailes, which you can reach by Bus 44 at the back of the car park where the waters pass just under the canal (Map).
Union Canal

Union Canal

The Union Canal is a lovely canalside walk wherever you begin, stretching 26 miles from Fountainbridge to Falkirk; you can watch water birds, go rowing in the boats, and enjoy the plants and summer weather. Map
Braid Burn

Braid Burn, Hermitage, Hill and Observatory

Braid Burn is small stream running through a wooded area in Morningside, brushed by hills on either side. As a half-hour walk, it can be a welcome release into nature. At the end of the walk you will find the Observatory up the adjacent hill, and a good view of the city. Map

Almondell Country Park

Almondell is a good day out to wander amongst the trees and the great River Almond. There is a Visitor's Centre there, where you can stop by for some tea and coffee.

A little way out, there is a car park, or you may need to get there by bus, in which case choose a First Bus marked for Livingston, Mid Calder or Bathgate. Map
Saughton Park

Saughton Park Gardens

This is a surprising area of rose gardens, flowerbeds and glass houses which can be found right near the city centre, off Gorgie Road, and particularly attractive when the roses are in bloom. Map Layout
River Almond
Cramond Island

Cramond, Island, Beaches and River Almond

How would you like to stroll across a causeway that stretches magically for a kilometer through the watery surges of the estuary, and step out onto a small island of trees and plants... Explore the shoreline, wide promenade, and wander for half an hour up the tree-shaded path beside River Almond.

You'll want to check the tides as the waters cover the causeway twice a day. Map Tides
Roslin Glen
Roslin Glen

Roslin Glen, Chapel and Castle

Probably the most stunning place to steep yourself amongst trees and the beauty of natural scenery, you can amble in an atmosphere of serenity for hours.

Lothian Bus 15 goes right to the Roslin Hotel, as shown here in the Outline and Map
Corstorphone Hill

Corstorphine Hill and Wood

A nice ramble up hill paths amongst the trees for about one and a half hours, and you can also clamber up rocks and look for the ancient pictograms.

Any bus going along Corstorphine Road should pass by here (close to the Zoo), and then a short walk up Kaimes Road. (Overview and Roads.)
If you come by bike, you should lock your bikes to a metal barrier, without cycling around the hill.
Calton Hill

Calton Hill

If you want a good view out of the city from within, Calton Hill is excellent. Right up on the grassy top is a huge folly like the front of a great greek Temple, and a view all across the city. At night the experience of the coloured lights amidst the darkness has a truly dazzling and hypnotic beauty.

You can access the hill via the steps at the east end of Princes Street, or drive all the way up by car. Map
Gorgie Farm

Gorgie City Farm

Gorgie Farm can be found right in the city centre. Map
Gorgie Farm

Craigie Hill and Wood

Craigie Wood is a rough-topped hill with paths through gorse and huge disused quarries now covered with trees, which you can explore for about two hours and probably go tenting in over night.

You can enter easily from the main road, best to arrive by bike or car. Map
Edinburgh Zoo


The place to come and meet all your relatives.

Very accessible - any bus going along Corstorphine Road should pass by here. There is an entrance fee. Map