Explore Edinburgh’s Great Outdoors.
17 June 2021
- things to do
With more than 130 public parks and more trees per person than any other city in the UK, Edinburgh is a home to a glorious selection of green spaces. Whether you want to pant your way up the Pentlands or amble through Arthur’s Seat, there’s natural beauty to be found all over the city.
So, what are the best ways to take advantage of all this gorgeous green space? Here are our top ideas to make the most of Edinburgh's great outdoors...
1. Science Connects Us at The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
In conjunction with Edinburgh Science Festival, this summer the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh are taking visitors on a journey of discovery as they explore the connection between science and technology.
From a photography exhibition capturing the breath-taking details of carpology (the study of seeds and fruits) to online talks and workshops exploring our relationship with nature, future food sustainability, it provides a rare insight into the world of botanical science and how we relate to the ever-changing natural world.
The Edinburgh Science Festival runs from 26 June to 11 July 2021. Discover more >
2. Curious about Edinburgh?
Explore Edinburgh's outdoors like you've never done before with Curious About...Edinburgh. A fun and social activity for all the family, learn about the diverse culture, significant people and extraordinary events which have shaped Edinburgh into the city we know today.
Choose between two self-guided tours around Edinburgh that take in a few of the city's beautiful gardens along the way. Fancy a challenge? Take the guide's optional treasure hunt.
3. Edinburgh BuggyBootcamp
Taking place in various parks across the city, Edinburgh BuggyBootcamp run 60 minute outdoor fitness classes, which are available for new mums (and dads) and their kids (and buggies) and cater to all ages and fitness levels. Get a blast of fresh air, improve your fitness and have fun at these socialable sessions.
4. Arthur's Secrets
[Image: Historic Environment Scotland]
Join one of Holyrood Park's Rangers on a guided walk around Edinburgh's most iconic green space. Learn more about Arthur's Seat's turbulent past, uncover 7,000 years of history and learn more about the rare wildlife that makes Holyrood Park such a unique place.
5. Edinburgh Runners
[Image: Edinburgh Runners]
If you want to meet with likeminded runners, then this is the group for you. Edinburgh Runners welcomes all regardless of ability, whether you're looking for an extra session in your marathon training schedule or just a nice social jog. Explore the likes of The Meadows, Inverleith Park, Holyrood Park or even the Pentlands.
6. Step back in time at Lauriston Castle
Step back to Edwardian times at Lauriston Castle. These beautiful gardens have been maintained as they were in 1926, when it was left to the nation by the last private owner. Featuring a woodland walk and an award-winning Japanese garden, as well as panoramic views across the Firth of Forth, Lauriston is the perfect place to escape from the bustle of the city centre.
The gardens are free to visit and are open daily 8am – 5pm.
And as reward for all that fresh air and exercise, why not treat yourself to something nice at Mimi's Café, located on site!
2 Cramond Road South, Edinburgh EH4 6AD
7. Explore Gorgie City Farm
Learn about farming, care for the animals and explore beautiful gardens at LOVE Gorgie Farm. This working smallholding in the heart of the city has lots to see and do for the whole family. Learn how to look after chickens, cows, pigs and more, or discover the wide range of fruits and vegetables growing on the farm. A real slice of country life in the city!
Free, donations welcome
51 Gorgie Road, Edinburgh, EH11 2LA
8. Krav Maga Circuit Classes
Get fit fast with Krav Maga Circuit Classes. This outdoor circuit and fitness class uses functional exercises for the greatest results. Functional exercises are based on everyday movements, such as squatting, lifting, running and throwing. No experience is needed and the expert trainers will guide you through all the moves, so everyone can have a go at this fun and effective workout.
9. Rugby training
Many of the parks in Edinburgh are home to grassroots rugby clubs. Get fit and make new friends with regular rugby training in the city. Get involved with Scottish Rugby >
10. Edinburgh Bike Tours
Edinburgh has an extensive cycle network that weaves around the city's parks and coastline, making it the perfect place to explore on two wheels.
Want to uncover the best of what the city has to offer? Go riding with an expert from Edinburgh Bike Tours and explore Holyrood Park, Portobello, Lauriston Castle and more.
11. Foraging Walks
Forage for edible wild foods in the abundant natural habitat around East Lothian. Join Monica Wilde to increase your knowledge of local plants and experiment with wild food and medicines. This course is perfect for those who really want to make the most of Edinburgh's vibrant natural spaces.
12. Edinburgh Walking Group.
If you prefer to take things at a more leisurely pace, the Edinburgh Walking Group offer a great way to explore Edinburgh on foot, meet new people and build up fitness levels.
The group meet regularly, with walks ranging from a gentle seaside strolls of 2 or 3 miles to a hardy 10 mile walk in the Pentland Hills, with everything in between. Most walks finish in a pub or café so you can have a well-deserved pint/cup of tea afterwards!
13. Go on a Trail in the Pentland Hills
With 100km network of marked paths that are regularly maintained, The Pentland Hills Regional Park offers many routes for people to enjoy.
To make the most of your walk, download the Pentland Hills Visitor Guide & Map, which highlights trails and routes, wildlife to spot and key information.
14. Edinburgh Southern Orienteering Club
Brush up on your orienteering skills with the Edinburgh Southern Orienteering Club. Formed in 1965, and one of the first open orienteering clubs in Scotland, this large and active club attracts members of all ages and offers something for everyone regardless of fitness or orienteering level.
They host a regular programme of local orienteering events, as well as junior coaching sessions, weekly club training for members and monthly club socials.
15. The Edinburgh Old Town Treasure Hunt
[Image: Treasure Trails]
Get the whole family together for the Edinburgh Old Town Treasure Hunt Trail, a fun self-guided treasure hunt. Perfect for both visitors and locals, the trail will make you uncover little-known secrets of Edinburgh's Royal Mile and beyond. (There’s also a handy text message service with clues if you get stuck!)
Looking for even more ways to explore Edinburgh's great outdoors? Take a look at our Outdoors Guide to Edinburgh >