Ten Beautiful Autumn Walks in Edinburgh You Can Enjoy For Free

30 September 2020

Autumn really is a beautiful time of year in Edinburgh, when the trees turn into fiery shades of orange, red and gold. It's the perfect time to get outdoors and enjoy this magical transformation, so Paula from the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh shares with us some of her favourite spots in Edinburgh to explore in Autumn... 

1. Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Visit the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh to walk among mature trees in all their autumn splendour. Collect conkers from underneath the horse chestnut trees located to the right of the East Gate entrance and in front of the Victorian Palm House. It's open every day 10am until 5pm in October, and 10am until 4pm in November. 

Autumn Children From Botanics


2. Cammo Estate

Discover the beautiful 85-acre Cammo Estate, located in the Barnton area of North West Edinburgh, where you can walk through meadows and woodlands of mature trees as well as discover the ruins of Cammo House.

Accessible every day, the visitor centre opens on Tuesday and Sunday 2-4pm, and on Thursday 10am - 4pm.

3. Colinton Dell

The Water of Leith is a highlight of the Edinburgh landscape and Colinton Dell, a tree-clad section of the walkway, is particularly beautiful in autumn. There you will find a host of long-established trees including oak, sweet chestnut and beech.

Autumn Leaves From Botanics 2


4. Red Moss Nature Reserve

For something completely different, visit the Red Moss Nature Reserve near Balerno, the only raised bog in the City of Edinburgh.  In autumn, the peatland, which is thousands of years old, is covered by a blanket of heather and looks magnificent.  A circular boardwalk leads around the reserve.

5. The Hermitage of Braid

See some of the tallest trees in Edinburgh at the Hermitage of Braid, designated ancient woodland.  Most of the large, mature trees are said to date back to the early 19th century and there are many very old and large specimens to enjoy.  

6. Lauriston Castle Grounds

The grounds of the 16th century Lauriston Castle offer views across the Firth of Forth in a wood and parkland setting.  As well as manicured lawns, there are woodland walks and a range of trees including beech, sycamore and conifer.

The Castle garden is free to enter and open from 8am to 5pm October to March. 

7. Pentland Hills

Get away from it all with a bracing walk in the Pentland Hills, where you can be completely surrounded by wild nature and the elements.  A great autumn adventure awaits you in fabulous scenery, just 10 miles from the City Centre.

See the website for visitor centre openings and information on a variety of walk routes.

Autumn Berries From Botanics


8. River Almond Walkway

This fairytale walkway meanders from Cramond Brig to Cramond village following the River Almond as it weaves through a host of trees including oak, beech and sycamore, other plants such as creeping ivy and a range of fungi.

9. Corstorphine Hill

Walk to the top of Corstorphine Hill and you will be rewarded by fine views across Edinburgh. A footpath leads you up through the tree-covered hill side to a viewing point at 531 feet. A much treasured local nature reserve. It’s hard to believe you are in the City.

10. Dalmeny Estate Shore Walk

Enjoy the peace and tranquillity of an autumn walk through the Dalmeny Estate, starting from South Queensferry. The well-trodden path takes you through woodland and farmland to the sandy beach beyond which offers great views over the Firth of Forth.

Fancy going further afield? Visit Discover Scottish Gardens website for details of Gardens across Scotland which are a pleasure to visit in autumn.

Explore our blog for even more Edinburgh autumn walk inspiration >