Being Scotland’s capital and home to over 480,00 people, you may expect Edinburgh to be an urban sprawl. However, Edinburgh is pretty unique in its abundance of outdoor spaces, beaches and natural landscapes interspersed throughout the city. All of these outdoor spaces are easy to get to and mostly within walking distance of Edinburgh. Discover some of the best places to visit in Edinburgh to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
Related Reading: Top short trips from Edinburgh
The first on our list, and a Haystack team favorite, is Arthur’s Seat and Holyrood Park. Arthur’s Seat is a group of volcanic hills, reminiscent of the landscape in the Highlands, that overlooks the city. At 251m, it isn’t the largest hill to climb in Scotland, but instead provides an easy climb that should take around 45 minutes. Once at the top, you will get an incredible panoramic view of the city and the surrounding area.
To get to Arthur’s Seat, simply find your way to the Royal Mile before walking right to the bottom. You will past the Scottish Parliament and Holyrood Palace, where you will find the start of the route.
One of the larger outdoor spaces in Edinburgh, the meadows is located in the south side of the city, near to the university campus. This is especially evident in the summer, when the students come out in crowds to sit and enjoy the sun. With such a laid back atmosphere, it is the perfect place to come with friends for a barbecue or a few beers, or alone, just to relax. It is also a great place to play sports like 5-a-side football or touch rugby, while joggers love to come here too. To get there, simply walk to the Edinburgh University student union, the park is just to the south of it.
One of the most incredible places in the city is Cramond island. This small island can be accessed by foot when the tide is down. It was a fortification during the first and second world war and as archaeological site you can find Roman remains. Be sure to check out the tide times before making your way to the island.
The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is one of the most famous attraction in the New Town, located one mile from the city centre it covers 70 acres and has more than 30.000 different plants and 10 glasshouses, you can enjoy a nice view of the skyline of Edinburgh and walk around the gardens almost the whole day.
Portobello beach is the perfect spot for the sea lovers, you can enjoy a walk through the promenade and have a sunbath even if you are brave enough you can swing into the ocean.
If you are interested in any of these excursions the Haystack Hostels team will be happy to advice you and give you all the info that you need to enjoy any of these natural environments.