Summer is almost officially over but there are still plenty of outdoor activities for you to enjoy this Autumn. Here are some suggestions which are all within easy reach of Edinburgh’s city centre:
Located only a short bus journey from Edinburgh’s city centre, the Pentland Hills offer 100km of signposted paths for walkers and cyclists alike. There are no mountains here but breath-taking scenery is still in plentiful supply. When it snows in Edinburgh, this is the perfect place to enjoy the view and go sledging!
The beach-side paths surrounding this old fishing village offer beautiful views of the Firth of Forth and can be enjoyed by walking, cycling or even roller-blading! If you come at the right time, you can walk over a causeway to Cramond Island but be sure to check the signs displaying tide times as it’s possible to get stranded at high tide. You can reach Cramond by bus in around 20 minutes from the city centre.
The Union Canal joins Edinburgh’s city centre to the Falkirk Wheel and runs for around 50km. You can explore the canal by walking or cycling alongside it or you can hire a boat or even a canoe if you’re feeling more adventurous!
In Edinburgh you don’t need snow to enjoy snow sports! The artificial ski slopes at Hillend are open almost all year round and offer equipment hire as well as skiing and snowboarding lessons for all levels. From the top of the slopes you can enjoy stunning views of the Pentland Hills and enjoy a hot drink at their café after your session.
5. Sports at the Meadows
Get fit outdoors and take part in a sports match or exercise class at the Meadows. It’s a great place to get a team together for football, cricket or one of Edinburgh’s favourite sports, Ultimate Frisbee! There are also outdoor tennis courts and a short hole golf course on Bruntsfield Links, just next to the Meadows.
This is the only natural freshwater loch in Edinburgh and is home to a wide range of bird species. You can also occasionally spot otters swimming along the shore in the winter months. The northern shore of the loch is accessible by foot all year round and access to the southern shore can be pre-arranged with the Scottish Wildlife Trust.
A great way to explore the hidden depths of the city is through the old inner-city railway network which is now an off-street route for cycling and walking. To guide you around the routes, you can download or order a free Innertube Map which is designed in the style of the London Underground map by a local charity.
Here you can simply enjoy the huge variety of domestic and exotic plant species by walking around the gardens yourself, or take part in one of the regular workshops, walks, talks or exhibitions. There are also special events throughout the year such as outdoor cinemas and a Botanic Lights show in the Autumn months. Head to the top of the Chinese rock garden for a breathtaking panoramic view of Edinburgh.
Get some fresh air and explore the sights of the city with a self-guided walking tour. You can find a selection on the app GPSMyCity. It’s a great way to get to know the area if you’re new in Edinburgh and an even better way to find some hidden gems if you’ve been here for a while!
10. Climb up Arthur’s Seat
The climb up Arthur’s Seat is steep but the rocky summit offers the best panoramic view of Edinburgh. There are also some excellent paths around Salisbury Crags which offer a less challenging ascent with some great views. Take care to check the weather before you climb and wear comfortable walking shoes.