Walks and Tours
The only real way to appreciate Edinburgh is to take a gentle stroll around this wonderful city. This is one of its citizens' most popular pastimes and it's easy to understand why.
The city sometimes seems more like the stage-set for a Romantic opera, and large parts of it don't feel like a modern urban environment at all, with the countryside and sea so wonderfully close at hand; although if the wind is blowing in the right direction the air may instead be sweet with the distinctive smell of malt from the massive brewery in Fountainbridge.
For the visitor Edinburgh is also an excellent place to wander aimlessly, for it's almost impossible to lose your bearings. Everywhere you look there's a recognisable landmark, whether it's the crags of the castle rock, the soaring black spire of the Hub, the shaggy brown flanks of Arthur's Seat, or the steely grey of the Firth of Forth. Apart from being delightful in themselves, these views are your constant companions whichever way you turn by virtue of the fact that the city is built on so many hills.
The obvious place to start is with the Castle itself and the Royal Mile, including a ramble round Holyrood Park and the heights of Arthur's Seat. The Old Town walk begins two-thirds of the way down the Mile, where the old city gate once stood, and winds around, underneath and over the crangly town, taking in the green expanse of the Meadows and finishing up overlooking the New Town. The New Town Walk follows the different stages in the development of this Georgian quadrille set in stone, with its ultimate destination being the splendour of Charlotte Square and Princes Street Gardens. A favourite walk for visitors and residents alike is the walk down the banks of the Water of Leith, that hard-working little donkey of a river, past art galleries and gardens, and ending up overlooking the Forth at Newhaven.
When to Walk
Walk One: Any time, but you'll need to be at the castle when it opens in the morning if you want to have time to see many other sights on the Mile, visit the palace or climb Arthur's Seat, which requires good walking shoes.
Click for details on Walk 1
Walk Two: Like Walk I, this a good walk for a windy or rainy day because there are plenty of places to duck out of the weather and two excellent museums to explore.
Click for details on Walk 2
Walk Three: Not so good In the wet or the wind, being fairly exposed, although George Street and St Stephen Street offer fine refuges from the cold.
Click for details on Walk 3
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