Ten Beautiful Autumn Walks in Edinburgh
30 September 2021
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 recommedations....
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 or admire the renowned rhododendron collection and Scottish Native Plants Collection in the Heath Garden.
Free to visit, the gardens are open daily, 10am until 5pm in October, and 10am until 4pm in November.
Taking place until Sunday 31st October, discover the breath-taking details of the world of carpology, the study of seeds and fruits at the fascinating exhibition, The Hidden Beauty of Seeds & Fruits: The Botanical Photography of Levon Biss.
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 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.
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.
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 gardens are free to enter and open from 8am to 5pm, October to March.
After a walk round the grounds, why treat yourself to a hot drink and delicious cake or scone at the on-site Mimi’s Bakehouse, open daily 9.30am - 4pm.
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.
8. Calton Hill
Offering uninterrupted panoramic 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
(Image Credit: Callum Mcroberts)
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'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? Visit Discover Scottish Gardens website for details of Gardens across Scotland which are a pleasure to visit in autumn.