Walking the Hills of Edinburgh

Is a trip to Scotland on your travel list? Join the club. It’s on my list, too. Although I can’t tell you about hiking in Scotland from personal experience, Andy Hayes, Managing Editor of Sharing Travel Experiences, is an expert. Why? Because he lives there.

In today’s guest post, Andy shares his knowledge on walking the hills of Edinburgh. Thanks, Andy!


Photo courtesy Andy Hayes

Despite impressions, Scotland is an outdoor-lovers paradise for travellers of any age or fitness level. It may often be grey and wet, but if you pack wisely with proper equipment, you’ll enjoy some of Europe’s best unspoilt backdrops.

You don’t have to drive for miles into the countryside; Scotland’s capital city of Edinburgh offers easy access to loads of nature and outdoors. Did you know Edinburgh is one of Europe’s many “cities of 7 hills,” although there are probably far more than seven in the general area. Anyway, here are some of my can’t-miss favourites.

Blackford Hill:  Many people skip this one as it’s a good half hour walk to the south, but on the walk you can see the city’s most expensive houses. Then enjoy the long, wandering paths before getting a fantastic bird’s eye view of Edinburgh.

Calton Hill:  Between the old cemeteries and the iconic architecture, you could spend a whole afternoon up here checking out all the secrets. Don’t miss the Old High School, which gives Edinburgh its nickname, “Athens of the North.”

The Pentland Hills:  You’ll recognise these gorgeous rolling hills because they’re all you see on the ride into town from the airport. Almost all of the city bus routes that head towards the Pentlands offer access to the numerous trails, though the most popular starting point is Flotterstone.

Arthur’s Seat and the Salisbury Crags:  As the highest point in Edinburgh, Arthur’s Seat and the striking crags define the city skyline almost as much as the castle does. There are many options for enjoyable walks (and you can’t get lost), so just walk and see where your itchy feet take you.

Note: Edinburgh weather means trails can be slippery underfoot even in sunny weather. Proper footwear is always a must!

Have you visited Edinburgh? Post a comment to share your tips for touring the area. This is a trip that’s high on our to travel list.


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