Top 5 Outdoor Activities in Edinburgh

03 May 2021

When the sun is shining in Edinburgh take advantage of the warm weather and spend some time enjoying the city’s great outdoors. Read our list of the top 5 things to do outdoors in Edinburgh for some inspiration on a sunny day - then get outside and make the most of it!

Be Active in the Meadows

The go-to place for a soaking up the sun is surely the Meadows. Located in the heart of Edinburgh, the Meadows is a great spot for taking part in a range of sporting activities. While strolling along its criss-cross paths, you may spot the Morton Cricket Club having a game. Stop to watch, or if you’re feeling energetic there’s plenty of space to set up your own game or have a five-a-side match if football is more your thing. If you fancy practicing your serve then head over to the east end of the Meadows on Melville Drive for a game on one of the 16 pay & play outdoor tennis courts. The courts often fill up fast during Wimbledon season but the court also offers coaching sessions year-round which you can book in advance. Cyclists will be pleased to find dedicated cycle paths throughout the Meadows - so you can ride through at your leisure.

Learn something new at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

RBGE IMG 5018 736 (1)

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is a green oasis in the city - a place to relax and to enjoy the botanical diversity with friends and family. During the spring and summer months it is hard to believe you’re in Edinburgh as the garden blooms with a stunning variety of exotic flowers. We particularly recommend heading to the top of the Chinese rock garden for one of Edinburgh's most incredible panoramic views.

The Garden also offers a year round programme of workshops, cultural performances, walks, talks and exhibitions. The John Hope Gateway building hosts a brilliant range of participation initiatives, allowing kids to study plants through top-spec microscopes while the grown-ups can learn new pruning techniques from the Botanics' professionals. 

Take a Stroll along the Water of Leith 

Inspiring Water Of Leith 736

The Water of Leith Walkway passes through many scenic areas, including Colinton Village and Dell, the Union Canal, Saughton Winter Gardens, the Scottish Gallery of Modern Art, Dean Village, Stockbridge and Leith. Ideal for a family walk, the walkway is a delightful afternoon’s stroll, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The route is also suitable for cycling and is accessible, in part, by wheelchairs and even by horseback!

Make a stop at the Water of Leith visitor centre on Lanark Road to learn more about the local wildlife then when you continue your journey keep a look out for roe deer, badgers and foxes. Make sure you have your camera at the ready as you never know what you might discover…

Organise a picnic in Inverleith Park
Inverleith SM 736

Across the road from Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic Gardens is Inverleith Park. With some of the best views of the city of Edinburgh, bring a picnic and take it all in. If you’re feeling a little more active after your lunch then the park covers a large amount of space offering football goals, rugby posts, tennis courts and cricket greens. Or for a more relaxing pursuit take some bird food to feed the ducks and swans at the park’s lovely pond.  

Fly a Kite at Holyrood Park

Holyrood Park CE 736

Let’s go fly a kite! When the conditions are right, if you're after a fun family activity outdoors in Edinburgh, take your kite to Holyrood Park. The large area of flat green ground at the back of the Palace of Holyroodhouse is the ideal spot, and it has the added bonus of a lovely view of Arthur’s Seat.  Stop by the ice cream van in the park for a rewarding treat after your run around.