FEATURE – 10 things you should have probably done in Edinburgh…..

10 things you should have probably done in Edinburgh if you’re a resident

Over the last few months, we’ve learnt that some of our friends who have lived in Edinburgh all their lives haven’t been to some amazing places in Edinburgh.

We understand that not everyone can climb to the summit of Arthur’s Seat but we think if you’ve lived here all your life (or for a number of years) you should experience everything that Edinburgh has to offer.

It’s a privilege to live in such a beautiful city and we appreciate it all year round (even the dreich days and when the haar takes over the city).

Here’s a list of ten things you should definitely do in Edinburgh if you live here and every one of them is free!

1. Take a walk on the Water of Leith and through Dean Village The Water of Leith is a beautiful 12 3/4 mile walk through the heart of Edinburgh. You can look at our photos of walks from Roseburn to Dean Village and Balerno to Slateford.

This is our article on Dean Village.

Dean Village

2. Take a stroll along Portobello Beach Edinburgh’s seaside isn’t as far away as you think it is. Portobello is easily accessible by bus and makes for an excellent day out. Should the weather take a turn for the worse, there are fabulous cafes and pubs in which to take shelter.

There is more information on this beautiful area of Edinburgh on the Portobello Community Website



3. Visit the National Museum of Scotland and soak in the views from the roof garden The goldfish ponds may have gone from this excellent museum on Chambers Street, but you should take time to visit the wonderful exhibits. Don’t miss the amazing views of Edinburgh from the 7th floor roof garden.

View from the National Museum Roof Garden

View from the National Museum Roof Garden

4. Climb to the summit of Arthur’s Seat for 360 degree views of Edinburgh If you’re not able to climb to the summit of this extinct volcano, you can walk, drive or cycle on the road that takes you around it and through Holyrood Park. More information on this park on the Historic Scotland website.

Views from Arthur’s Seat

5. Explore the Union Canal You can join the path alongside the canal at several places, but it’s perhaps easiest to start out at Edinburgh Quay. Walk along the path through the gorgeous scenery and admire the local wildlife. Boats trundle past and you may even see canoeists training. You’re also allowed to cycle on the Union Canal path and if you continue out of town, you eventually come to the Falkirk Wheel (32 miles from Edinburgh).

Union Canal

Union Canal

6. Princes Street Gardens This was perhaps the biggest shock of them all, that an Edinburgh friend had never set foot in Princes Street Gardens! With stunning views of the Edinburgh skyline, both East and West Princes Street Gardens are a ‘must do’. Take a stroll through this green space in the city centre and admire the Ross Fountain, the Floral Clock and the beautiful trees. You get clear views of Edinburgh Castle from both gardens. You can also head up the Scott Monument for wonderful views of Edinburgh.

East Princes Street Gardens in the summer

7. Use the old Edinburgh railway network Edinburgh has miles and miles of paved railway lines (originally used in the 19th century). You can walk, run or cycle on this extensive network of traffic-free paths.

There is an excellent free map of the the paths (and beyond) called the Innertube map

Cycle paths across the city. pic credit Anthony Robson.

Cycle paths across the city. pic credit Anthony Robson.

8. The Botanics The Royal Botanical Gardens in Edinburgh are a peaceful place to visit. Stroll through the gardens and enjoy the serenity of this beautiful green space. There are excellent cafe facilities and a year-round programme of events and exhibitions.

Yoshino cherry blossom at the Botanics.

Yoshino cherry blossom at the Botanics.

9. Duddingston and its secret gardens Hidden in Duddingston and in the shadow of Arthur’s Seat is Dr Neil’s Garden. This hidden oasis is a perfect place to read a book, or watch the wildlife on Duddingston Loch. Our previous article on Dr Neil’s Garden.

In Duddingston village itself, there is a community garden called The Field.

There is also another beautiful garden in the grounds of Lauriston Castle.

Explore Dr Neil's Garden

Explore Dr Neil’s Garden

10. Calton Hill One of our favourite places to visit in Edinburgh is Calton Hill. You can take in the outstanding views of Edinburgh from several locations. You get clear views over to Arthur’s Seat and Salisbury Crags from here and also over to Fife.

You’re even allowed to climb on the National Monument, nicknamed ‘Scotland’s disgrace’ as it was never finished.

Calton Hill is perfect for a walk at any time of the day and if you like photographing sunrises and sunsets, head up here and to take in the wonderful views.

Classic Edinburgh view from Calton Hill

Classic Edinburgh view from Calton Hill

Everything we’ve mentioned here is free to do.

Have you done all ten mentioned here? If not, what are you waiting for? Get out and explore the best city in the world that you are lucky enough to live in!

Foggylicious from Salisbury Crags

Foggylicious from Salisbury Crags

Classic view from Calton Hill in the snow


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