Most Exciting and Fun Things to Do in Edinburgh!

Talking about a country like Scotland, I have no doubt in saying that nature has played its best here! The beautiful castles dotting the lush landscape, greenery all around accentuating its royal vibes, Scotland, particularly its capital Edinburgh, is one of the places to go outdoors. It does not matter if you are with family or solo, there are some things that one is ought to try if they are in this land royalty.

If you are wondering what are that, here are few outdoor things to do in and around Edinburgh that will not only keep you busy but will provide you escape from the hubbub of the city life. Check them out!

1) Hiking up to the Arthur's Seat

Image Source: Horia Varlan/flickr.com

One of the most popular activities, hiking must definitely be on your list if you are looking for some outdoor fun in Edinburgh. Among all the destinations, Arthur King holds a special place among hikers. Located in the Holyrood Park of Edinburgh, it is the highest peak in the country (251 m above sea level) and a great place to get the panoramic views of the city. Go for kite flying when the weather is good and you will find that even a simple activity can be so much fun. There is also a large fort up there that you can explore. The large spread of greens is rich in flora and makes a great place for picnicking and such. Families can come here for bird watching and relax!

2) A Historical Detour in Holyrood Park

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Holyrood Park is not only home to Arthur’s seat, but there is a range of other attractions that makes it a popular destination for outdoors, especially in summers. It is particularly famous for its historical affluence. Maintained by Historic Scotland, Holyrood Park is home to many historical monuments be speaking of country’s rich and royal legacy (apparently thousands of years old!). Lots of archaeologist and historians have shown great interest in it but even if you are not a history buff, the quiet ambience and rich history beckon you for a visit. Opt for a guided tour as it will help you to understand its stories well. It education centre, designed by famous Malcolm Fraser is an admirable piece that is a must visit for travellers. The dramatic hills and lovely skyline view only add up to it!

3) A shopping rendezvous in Victoria Street

Image Source: Raphaël Chekroun/flickr.com

If there is one thing that you can be assured of in Edinburgh is an exciting shopping experience. While the West End of the city is full of bustle with boutiques and gift shops lining the streets, places like George and Princes Streets are great to go for a cheap and quick shopping spree. Among all, Victoria Street is one I would like to point out. This old town’s gem is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a photographer’s delight owning to its quintessential picturesque buildings and vivid shopfronts. Built in 18th century, today it is a fine place for dining, shopping and picture clicking. The royal vibes around the area makes one feel like they have literally gone back in the time, the good ol’ days! 

4) Picnic at Cramond Seaside Village

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Those who love roller skates, the place is for you! Cramond Seaside Village is a small island land which is a little away from River Forth. The village is home to a sleek promenade linked with the landmark causeway  which are perfect for rollerblading and even picnicking, walking and such. Come with family to enjoy a sumptuous time and feed the seabirds while you are at it. Ensure to check the tide timings as the place get closed during those hours. There are some important landmarks too like the 15th-century Cramond Kirk which is a must to explore too. Walk along the passage to get the beautiful views of the Firth of Forth or just lie around relax, you are surely going to have lots of fun.

5) A Skiing Adventure in Midlothian Snowsports Centre

Image Source: John Mason/flickr.com

There are no mountains Edinburgh but you will still find many paths perfect for an adventure skiing tryst. More than 100 kms of path paths, all well marked, offers mind boggling views of the city. You can find many cyclists and local groups enjoying various activities here. Come here during snow seasons and the rangers will welcome you with various opportunities to learn and practice skiing. It is easily accessible by the city centre and is located on the  Pentland hills. Open all year round, the centre offers a thrilling experience of Europe’s largest artificial ski slope. 

6) Learn About the Plant Life in Royal Botanic Gardens

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

A day or afternoon out at the Royal Botanic Gardens is a must for gardening enthusiasts.  Walk through the beautiful landscaped gardens and admire the water features, rock gardens and stunning floral displays which change throughout the season.  A constantly changing calendar of events and exhibitions provides the perfect excuse to visit all year round not to mention the excellent café and restaurant facilities.

7) Bird Watching at Corstorphine Hill

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Corstorphine Hill is a popular nature reserve in the North West of the city.  Enjoyed by dog walkers and ramblers, here you can listen out for a woodpecker or see if you can spot a kestrel.  Night time visitors include badgers and tawny owls. The most westerly of Edinburgh's Seven Hills, Corstorphine Hill also provides an enjoyable woodland walk with superb views looking out over the city and across the Forth. Because of its accessible rocks and its interesting landforms, Corstorphine Hill has been designated as a Regionally Important Geological Site (RIGS).

8) Do Some Skating at Saughton Park

Image Source: geograph.org.uk

As well as a 400m running track, grass and artificial football pitches plus adventure playground, this council-run sport complex now has a new skatepark. Its 2,100 sq metres of concrete bowls and street features are proving so popular that the Focus skateboard shop left its city centre location to set up in new premises here, in the west of the city.

9) Seaside Fun at Portobello beach

Image Source: Rob Schulze/flickr.com

Seek out a past-time of yesteryear on this mile of sandy beach, popular with kite-flyers and bucket and spade wielding toddlers. There are plenty of decent cafes and pubs along the promenade. Visitors keen to hit the waves should head to the boat park at the foot of Bath Street where they'll find the RowPorty project: two community skiffs available for everyone to use. Porty, as it's known, is also home to an organic market held in Brighton Park on the first Saturday of the month.

10) Play a Sport of Your Choice at Inverleith Park

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

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.  

11) Sailing on the Union Canal

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Union Canal is popular for its scenic views and serene vibes, which rightly establishes it among the most frequented destinations in the city. A sail on its waters is a great way to unwind and you can literally feel the tension flowing out of you as you start your journey from the Lochrin Basin. The canal covers the Fountain bridge area which extends along the Polwarth- an area known for its residential stunning houses. The boats are available in different sizes from which one can choose as per their convenience. Places like Union Canal Boats and the Canal Society’s own boathouse provide nice boats at convenient prices. Make sure the weather is okay before visiting, or else you will have to come back without a boat ride. If you are here with a partner, a Union Canal ride will gift with a great experience and a memory you will never forget!

12) Go Karting in Raceland

Image Source: Pixabay.com

Are you a fan of Go Karting? Head to the Raceland and live your passion in there! It is the largest and only Karting place in the entire country that boasts of both- an indoor and outdoor track! The place also has a paintball arena in case you wish to go wild here. Coming with the family will be full of fun with an aftermath dinner in their lavish diner. Depending on your choice of packages, you can avail various facilities. It doesn’t matter if you have never done it before, the place has specific karting instructors that will instruct you with the necessary basics of the game. It is also open seven days a week and decked with all the necessary equipments, so you can come anytime and have fun. Best for group outings, but can be visited solo too!

13) Off-street cycling on the Edinburgh Innertube

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Cycling is pretty common when it comes to popular and easy outdoor activities, but don’t take off-street cycling in Edinburgh as one! Not many people think of it when they are in the city, but paddling across those defunct city railway lines can be far more enjoyable and a great way to make friends. But, be ready before visiting. Download a free Inner Tube Map which will help in distinguishing the best tracks. It was designed by a local charity and is run by a group of volunteers who work hard to make it as seamless of an experience for people as it can. There are various renting places around that are very affordable as well. You can rent a bike for a day and explore this old and off riding area!

14) Capture memories at Water of Leith Walkway

Image Source: Wikipedia.org

The main river in Edinburgh is quite an intrigue for nature lovers and so is the walkway associated with it. Particularly known for its scenic beauty, thanks to the various attractions adorning the area including Colinton Village and Dell, Saughton Winter Gardens,  the Scottish Gallery of Modern Art and more. Recluse and introverts can also enjoy this place well. The calm serenity accentuates its beauty well making it an ideal place for leisurely strolls. You can also enjoy other activities like cycling, horse riding and such. It is lush in flora and fauna, hence don’t be surprised to catch a glimpse of animals like deer and foxes here. Shutterbugs! Come with your camera and capture moments that will stay with you forever!

15) A leisurely stroll amidst the city's meadows!

Image Source: Pixabay.com

Talking about the Scottish capital and not including its lovely meadows in it is so not happening! The lush green space dotting a large expanse of the city is undoubtedly a melting hot pot of bustling outdoor options. People like to play golf on these a lot, hence make sure not to get hit by one during your detour. It is also a great place to fend off that hangover or have a sunbath. A walk across this path can lead you to varied clubs playing their games like cricket, football and tennis. If you love cycling, there are well-paved roads for that too! Those who are visiting Edinburgh in spring must definitely check out its Meadows Marathon held here every year. The place literally comes to life with more than 1000 runners participating and cheers that echoes through the crowd! 

Whether you are an active sports enthusiast or a laid back nature admirer, Edinburgh caters to all. All you need to do is- pick a place and explore!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
NIKITA DAS NIKITA DAS

A nomadic soul in the quest of self-realization, Nikita lives on the mantra - 'As you sow, so shall you reap'. Adorable for few, downright crazy for others, she has many layers that she is yet to embrace. To her, life is a beautiful gift which is meant to be lived fully. Ever adventurous, her bold self has inspired her to crave the impossible and venture into the unknown, which when mixed with a dash of luck and lots of resilience makes the journey worthwhile. Her writing in its entirety is a true reflection of her budding self.

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