Naturally Edinburgh: 5 gorgeous green spots in the Scottish capital


Hiking up to Arthur’s Seat with glorious views of Edinburgh and the coastline

Edinburgh isn’t just cobblestoned streets and whisky-pouring pubs. The Scottish capital is greener than most and offers some excellent spots where you can disconnect from busy streets and enjoy a walk with a view or surrounded by green. Here are five spots you shouldn’t miss in the city nicknamed “Athens of the North”.


Arthur’s Seat as seen from the top of Calton Hill

Arhur’s Seat

A high point of any first visit to Edinburgh, literally, should be the hike up to Arthur’s Seat in Holyrood Park, near the heart of the city. The main peak at 250 meter, in a group of hills that overlooks Edinburgh downtown as well as the nearby coastline. It’s a relatively easy walk up the first part from the Palace of Holyroodhouse, and the views are very rewarding from up there. Comfortable walking boots are recommended and don’t forget to bring a bottle of water on sunny days.

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The view from “the back” of Calton Hill is as impressive as towards downtown

Calton Hill

The easier solution for a view of Edinburgh’s historic city is the short walk up to Calton Hill, which is found not far from the Waverly train station. A hill of nice walks, nice views and several monuments, with the most iconic being the Parthenon-like National Monument of Scotland. A great spot for locals to hang out at sunny weekends, and for visitors to enjoy the sunset and get their skyline-shots.

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The entrance to the Water of Leith Walkway in Edinburgh

Water of Leith Walkway

If you want to escape the big city life for a while there is no better way than to take a stroll along the Water of Leith Walkway. A route that follows the river named Water of Leith, and surrounds you by green to the sounds of the flowing river. The path also takes you past the idyllic Dean Village, and is uncrowded by tourists as its entrance is found a bit west of the city center.

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Enjoying the surrounds in the Royal Botanic Garden of Edinburgh

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

At must-visit for any garden enthusiast or if you just want to enjoy a walk in beautiful and peaceful surroundings. The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh was established in 1670 and is used as a scientific centre for studying plants and their conservation. Therefore you’ll find a wide range of plants and flowers, as well as nice options to take a coffee break. Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is found north of the city center, and also connected to other locations around Scotland. It’s free to enter.

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Locals hanging out in Princess Street Gardens in the heart of Edinburgh

Princess Street Gardens

This is Edinburgh’s own “Central Park” and beautifully set beneath the skyline-icon of Edinburgh Castle. A place for locals to meet and attend events – and the perfect place to catch a break in the grass between sightseeing. The gardens are split up by The Royal Scottish Academy and the National Gallery of Scotland, and attractions connected to the gardens include the towering Scott Monument and the colourful Floral Clock.

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By Brian Schæfer Dreyer