Enjoy outdoors in Edinburgh this Christmas

17 December 2020

Winter Postcard Snow

The Christmas Dinner has been eaten; there’s not a mince pie left in the house; you’ve had your fill of TV Christmas Specials, and the new board games have all been played (who knew that Granny had such a competitive side!) – what now? Whether you want to walk off post-Christmas excesses, show-off your new boots / jacket / hat or fill your lungs with crispy winter air, now is the perfect time to head into the great outdoors and explore Edinburgh.

From stargazing to walks along the coast, read on to discover a selection of the best outdoor activities to enjoy in Edinburgh this Christmas Day.

A winter walk in some of Edinburgh’s scenic spots

Holyrood Park

Get some fresh air on a festival stroll this Christmas. Climb Arthur’s Seat (251m) for 360-degree views of Edinburgh and the Lothians; if it’s a clear night why not try stargazing on Blackford Hill, or breathe in the fresh sea air and take in the stunning beach views of Portobello or Cramond beach . There's no better time to enjoy the peace of the city without the crowds. So, wrap up, pull on your boots and head out for a stroll. 

Discover more about Edinburgh’s walking routes > 

Admire Edinburgh’s Christmas lights while the town is quiet

Mound With Xmas Tree And NHS Rainbow In Lights Jpg

The shops may have closed but the Christmas Decorations are still up. Take advantage of being able to roam free in Edinburgh's city centre without the crowds. It’s a great chance to take in the Christmas lights that you’ve never really noticed before and get that perfect Instagram photo.

Go to South Queensferry for a fab view of the Forth Bridges

Forth Rail Bridge

Another great photo opportunity - if you're within walking distance of South Queensferry, why not grab your camera and take in the views of the three Bridges at a quieter time of year.

Go on a festive bike ride

 Bikes Dynamic Earth

If the season leaves you feeling sluggish, then embrace the day with a morning cycle, through Edinburgh. Starting at the Meadows, you can ride at your leisure through Holyrood Park and do a loop of Arthur Seat, taking in the stunning Nor Loch.

If you don't own a bike, don't worry. You can take advantage of Edinburgh's cycle hire scheme - Just Eat Cycles provides residents and visitors a unique and wonderful way of exploring the city on wheels without the upfront cost of buying a new bike. A single one-hour journey is £1.50, multi-purpose trip is £3, and an annual membership is £90. Plus, it's easy to use - buy a pass, find a bike, unlock it, ride it, return it, and secure it. For further details of Edinburgh Cycle Hire> 

Explore other cycle routes in Edinburgh>

Dig out your trainers and go for a run

 Run The Sights Offer Internal

While others are tucking into another tin of quality street or slice of Christmas cake, knock the dust off your running shoes and clock up some miles this holiday period. With a range of running routes easily navigated throughout the city, you can take in the delights of Edinburgh’s Old and New Towns or explore the expansive meadows while burning off the excess Christmas calories.  

Take a look at our blog on 5 of the best runs in Edinburgh>