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. Read on to discover our top 10 recommendations...
Tip 1 Wrap up warm as it can be cold this time of year in Edinburgh
Tip 2 Wear sensible shoes as paths can be muddy and slippery
Tip 3 Don’t leave your walk to late as the sun starts to set early 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 huge horse chestnut trees or admire the renowned rhododendron collection and Scottish Native Plants Collection in the Heath Garden.
Free to visit (excluding special events), the gardens are open daily, 10am until 6pm March to September, 10am to 5pm October and February, and 10am to 4pm November to January.
From guided walks to health and wellbeing events, find a list of all up-coming events on their What’s On page
2. Craigmillar Castle Park
This 62-hectare site features parkland, woodland and plenty of open space to run around.
A natural heritage park with areas of mature and young woodland, grassland and old quarries, in 1997 over 40,000 trees were planted as part of the millennium Forest for Scotland project.
The park is set against the backdrop of Craigmillar Castle, an enormous baronial structure which was built in the 15th century.
3. Colinton Dell
The Water of Leith Walkway is a highlight of the Edinburgh landscape and Colinton Dell, a tree-clad section of the walkway, which is particularly beautiful in autumn. Here you will find a host of long-established trees including oak, sweet chestnut and beech.
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. Silverknowes Prom
With its wide prom and picturesque views across to Fife, Silverknowes Prom is a popular haunt for dog walkers, cyclists, skateboarders, as well as those taking in the bracing air. You can choose to walk along to Cramond, Edinburgh’s oldest village, or if the weather is suitable, walk out to Cramond Island at low tide. Please take care care when visiting the island and pay attention to tide times.
Discover more about Cramond’s history, stories and legendary tales with The Cramond Association
6. Lauriston Castle Grounds
The grounds of 16th century Lauriston Castle offer panoramic views across the Firth of Forth to Fife and beyond. As well as manicured lawns, there are woodland walks and a range of trees including beech, sycamore and conifer to explore and enjoy.
The gardens are free to enter and open daily from 8am to 7.30pm.
The house is available to view by guided tour only and should be booked in advance online. They also run a variety of events throughout the year – keep an eye on Museums and Galleries Edinburgh events page for more details.
After a walk round the grounds, why not treat yourself to a hot drink and delicious cake or scone at the on-site Mimi’s Bakehouse, open Monday to Friday 9am to 4.30pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 5pm.
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 Edinburgh city centre.
8. Calton Hill
Offering uninterrupted stunning views across the city, nothing beats Calton Hill for capturing the changing colours of the season.
A popular tourist attraction, the hill is also famous for its collection of historic monuments, including the National Monument, which was inspired by the Parthenon in Athens and the Nelson Monument, which commemorates the death of Admiral Lord Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.
9. Corstorphine Hill
Walk to the top of Corstorphine Hill and you’ll be rewarded with fine views across Edinburgh. A footpath leads up through the tree-covered hillside to a viewing point at 531 feet. A much treasured local nature reserve, it’s hard to believe you’re 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?
Discover Scottish Gardens for details of gardens across Scotland which are a pleasure to visit all year round.