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Walking Routes in Edinburgh You Won’t Find Anywhere Else

Walking Routes in Edinburgh You Won't Find Anywhere Else

If you’re looking for unique walking routes in Edinburgh, you’re in the right place. We’ve curated a list of hidden gems that transform ordinary walking routes in Edinburgh into extraordinary adventures. Get ready to lace up your boots and discover the city’s secret routes that only the locals know about. Let’s start exploring!

Excellent Routes for Walking in Edinburgh

1.6km Royal Edinburgh Walk

Walking Routes in Edinburgh You Won't Find Anywhere Else

Walking in Edinburgh is a delightful experience, and the 1.6km Royal Edinburgh Walk is one of the best routes for exploring the city’s tremendous history. This route, also known as the Royal Mile, stretches from the majestic Edinburgh Castle to the historic Holyrood Palace.

The walk starts at Edinburgh Castle, one of Europe’s oldest fortified castles. Here, you can marvel at the Honours of Scotland, the oldest Crown jewels in Britain. The castle is also home to St Margaret’s Chapel, the city’s oldest building, adding a touch of antiquity to your walking in Edinburgh. As you continue your walk, you’ll pass through the bustling Royal Mile, lined with numerous shops and restaurants. Once a processional route for monarchs, the Royal Mile is now a vibrant hub for tourists and locals alike.

Your next stop is St Giles Cathedral, a working church for almost 900 years. Here, you can witness the unique sight of cherubs playing bagpipes, a feature exclusive to this Scottish church. Further along the route, you’ll encounter the Heart of Midlothian, a mosaic on the floor outside St Giles. This marks the spot of the former Old Tolbooth, adding a quirky element to your walk.

The route ends at Holyrood Palace, the King’s official residence in Edinburgh. The palace is steeped in history, with each room narrating a different tale. The uneven staircase leading to Mary, Queen of Scot’s chambers, and the Great Gallery, with its portraits of past kings and queens, are highlights of the palace. All in all, the 1.6km Royal Edinburgh Walk offers a unique blend of history, culture, and urban life, making it a must-do when walking in Edinburgh.

View Detailed Route on Walk Run Cycle

5.7km Edinburgh Leafy Garden Walk

Walking Routes in Edinburgh You Won't Find Anywhere Else

Go on a journey of discovery through the heart of Edinburgh’s natural wonders with the 5.7km Edinburgh Leafy Garden Walk. Starting at the renowned Royal Botanic Gardens, this walking route offers a captivating blend of greenery, historical landmarks, and serene waterways, making it a standout choice for walking in Edinburgh.

The Royal Botanic Gardens, affectionately known as Botanics, is the perfect launchpad for this enchanting trail. As you journey across 70 acres adorned with rainbow-coloured flowers, the iconic Research Glasshouses beckon, housing an impressive range of plant species. Beyond the botanical marvels, the gardens foster community initiatives like community gardens, inviting you to contribute to their flourishing ecosystem.

Exiting the Botanic Gardens, the journey leads you down Arboretum Place, setting the stage for the next sections of the walk. The route meanders through St Bernard’s Row, revealing Edinburgh’s historical tapestry. Moreover, St Bernard’s Well along the Waters of Leith Walkway provides a peaceful pause, with the statue of Hygieia symbolising the healing waters that once captivated the locals.

Walking Routes in Edinburgh You Won't Find Anywhere Else

The Waters of Leith, a silent witness to centuries of Edinburgh’s development, guides you through Dean Village and showcases Edinburgh’s amazing history. Strolling under the Dean Bridge and through the charming streets, including Randolph Crescent and Ainslie Place, the route seamlessly connects you with Queen Street Gardens East.

Princes Street Gardens, a horticultural gem tucked between Old Town and New Town, is captivating with its timeless beauty. From the iconic Ross Fountain to the historical Gardener’s Cottage, the gardens tell a story at every turn. Exiting at The Mound, the trail leads you to the Meadows, a vast open space where cherry blossoms bloom in spring and misty mornings create a serene ambience in winter.

As you can see, this 5.7km Edinburgh Leafy Garden Walk is more than just a stroll. It’s a specially curated experience weaving together nature, history, and community spirit. So, if you are looking for the ultimate walking experience in Edinburgh, this route promises an unforgettable odyssey through the city’s green heart.

View Detailed Route on Walk Run Cycle

4km UNESCO City of Literature Edinburgh Walk

Walking Routes in Edinburgh You Won't Find Anywhere Else

As the world’s first UNESCO City of Literature, Edinburgh is a haven for book lovers. And what better way to immerse yourself in its literary charm than by walking through its historic streets? The 4km UNESCO City of Literature Edinburgh Walk offers precisely that – an enchanting journey through the literary heart of Edinburgh, where world-renowned writers once walked to find inspiration. As you embark on this literary pilgrimage, you’ll find yourself walking in Edinburgh’s footsteps, tracing the legacy of literary giants like Sir Walter Scott, Arthur Conan Doyle, and J.K. Rowling.

The route starts at the iconic Scott Monument, a towering tribute to Sir Walter Scott, whose influence on European and American literature is undeniable. Fun fact: climbing the monument’s 287 steps rewards the adventurous with breathtaking views of the city! As you walk down North Bridge and Canongate, you’ll encounter Crichton’s Close, home to the Scottish Poetry Library—an oasis for poetry enthusiasts. The library, established by a poet for poets, not only houses an extensive collection but also hosts free events that foster the tradition of spoken word.

Walking Routes in Edinburgh You Won't Find Anywhere Else

Continuing the journey, you’ll stroll past St Giles’ Cathedral to reach the National Library of Scotland and Edinburgh Central Library. These institutions, with collections dating back to the 1400s, offer a treasure trove for literary explorers. A temporary membership opens the door to a wealth of online resources, including ebooks and audiobooks. The Writer’s Museum, located in Lady Stair’s Close, celebrates the lives of Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott, and Robert Louis Stevenson. The free-entry museum also provides a glimpse into the personal artefacts of these literary luminaries.

As the walk concludes, you’ll encounter Waterstones on Princes Street—a multi-floor haven for bookworms. The cafe on the second floor, boasting an unobstructed view of Edinburgh Castle, is another literary dream come true. While this UNESCO City of Literature Edinburgh Walk showcases major literary landmarks, don’t forget to explore hidden gems like Till’s Bookshop, Rare Birds Bookshop, and Ginger and Pickles Children’s Bookshop. Each contributes to the city’s rich literary culture, making walking in Edinburgh an unforgettable journey into the world of words.

View Detailed Route on Walk Run Cycle

Explore Scotland’s Capital by Walking in Edinburgh

As you can see, Edinburgh’s charm extends beyond the popular routes, offering unique walking routes that showcase the city’s diverse landscapes and history. Whether relishing historic tales along the 1.6km Royal Edinburgh Walk or exploring Scotland’s literary legacy on the 4km UNESCO City of Literature Edinburgh Walk, each route is a narrative waiting to be explored. So step off the beaten track, lace up your boots, and let these walking routes in Edinburgh guide you to memorable adventures in this enchanting city. Be sure to visit Walk Run Cycle for more walking, running and cycling routes in the UK. Also check out these 5 astonishing ski resorts near Edinburgh for some winter wellness in Scotland. Have a wonderful time!

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Greetings! My name is Rashidi Mbecke, the Tony Stark of the Writing Avengers. Yep, writing is my superpower! I don’t only write to inform but to uplift and inspire you to take that leap of faith. Being an avid traveller and wellness enthusiast, I know that it can be challenging to follow your heart into new horizons. That is why I am here to help you take those first steps that will lead to breathtaking journeys filled with unforgettable memories. I’ve dreamt of becoming a writer since I was a teenager and now that I am at PureLife, that dream has become a reality. And a super-fun one to say the least. Our world is filled with beauty beyond belief, let’s explore it together.