Top 5 walking routes of Edinburgh

Whether you’re a tourist visiting the capital for the weekend or you’re lucky enough to be a permanent resident, Edinburgh is home to some pretty amazing walking routes for you to enjoy.

There are so many places in Edinburgh to explore, and doing so by foot is definitely the most enjoyable!

From conquering extinct volcanoes to strolling along scenic waterways, there’s an adventure out there for everyone.

So, before you decide to pack your camera and put on your walking boots, sit down and have a look at our top 5 walking routes of Edinburgh…

Holyrood Park and Arthur’s Seat

Arguably one of Edinburgh’s most popular (and tallest!) landmarks is Arthur’s Seat. And with that makes for a great walk too.

The 800 ft extinct volcano is a short but challenging enough climb to get the adrenaline pumping.

But it’s worth it as you are rewarded with some breath-taking panoramic views of the city; the summit of Arthur’s Seat is hard to beat, anywhere in the U.K.

After you’ve completed Arthur’s Seat you can stroll through Holyrood Park, there you can explore St Margaret’s Loch, Dunsapie Loch, and Duddingston Loch – there might even be some wildlife there too!

Water of Leith

For a peaceful and tranquil walk, you would be hard pressed to fair better than the Water of Leith walking route.

The 12-mile walk spans through the city from Balerno to Leith, but don’t feel that you have to complete it in one sitting. Many locals and keen walkers alike drop in and off as they please at places such as Haymarket and Juniper Green.

Arguably one of the most charming sections of the Water of Leith walk is the Stockbridge to Dean Village section. This route twists and turns through the New Town. On your journey you will be able to gaze at such noticeable landmarks, such as St Bernards Well and the mighty Dean Bridge.


For those seeking the more countryside-feeling walks just outside of Edinburgh you can always visit the Pentlands. Here there are a variety of different walks for you to enjoy, based on your difficulty preferences.

For a more challenging hike you could try Scald Law – the highest peak in the Pentlands. This walk begins at the Flotterstone and is an eight-mile hike, which takes around 5 hours to complete. At the end you are rewarded with stunning panoramic views of the Pentlands.

There are other walks in the Pentlands you can enjoy, such as Allermuir Hill, the closest major Pentlands summit to Edinburgh, and the Harlaw and Threipmuir Reservoirs, one of the easier and shorter routes in the Pentlands.

Calton Hill

Calton Hill

Another common walking route of Edinburgh to enjoy is Calton Hill.

After a short but steep climb up the Calton Hill Steps, you will be greeted with beautiful views of Edinburgh city centre and towards Leith to Portobello.

This is an ideal route for inexperienced walkers.

Allow yourself an hour up here to take in the sights, explore the hill itself, and take photos of the National Monument and Nelson Monument.

John Muir Way

If you fancy a little something outside of Edinburgh and towards the east coast, then the 134-mile walk of the John Muir Way could be the ideal walking route for you.

This long-distance route stretches from Helensburgh in the west to Dunbar in the east. But don’t worry if you don’t fancy completing the full walk, there are a variety of shorter sections to explore within it as alternatives.

This historic route is accessible for all levels of walkers, so nobody misses out on the bracing views over the Firth of Forth.

There are so many amazing walking routes in Edinburgh and the surrounding areas to enjoy. Planning on moving to Scotland’s capital? Have a look on our listings page here and start planning your next adventure today.