7 dog walks near Edinburgh: best trails, parks and woodland areas to walk your pet - from Harlaw Reservoir to Inverleith Park

Here are the best dog walks nearby for you and your canine companion to enjoy nature - from leisurely park strolls to challenging hikes

Tuesday, 24th November 2020, 2:06 pm

As the winter weather approaches and travel restrictions continue throughout the country, you may be bored of the same old neighborhood walk with your dog.

Why not get out and explore beautiful nature spots on your own doorstep? And who better to accompany you than man’s best friend?

Here are 7 walks in Edinburgh where you and your dog can blow off the cobwebs, stretch your legs and enjoy mother nature.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The view from Arthur's Seat

Inverleith Park

Edinburgh EH3 5PA

Located in the Stockbridge area of the city, this is the perfect spot for a leisurely dog walk for all breeds and weather permitting, you could settle down for a picnic too.

The park is picturesque, with open spaces and stunning seasonal flowers.

The 54 acre space also boasts a small boating pond and allotments.

Harlaw and Threipmuir Reservoir

Chasing a winter sunset, surrendering into the reflection of a scenic lake? Look no further than Harlaw, just 30 minutes’ drive from the city centre.

The reservoirs are accessed from a short woodland trail and parking is available. The trail leads to Harlaw, which neighbours Threipmuir.

Dog walkers of all fitness levels can enjoy the views and quiet nature - an escape from the busy capital.

The access point to the trail is on Harlaw Road.

Arthur’s Seat

Queen's Dr, Edinburgh EH8 8HG

This extinct volcano isn’t a walk in the park per say but the climb is worth the effort for the stunning panoramic views of Edinburgh.

Based on the doorstep of the Scottish Parliament, the hill is steep at points and underfoot, the terrain could prove difficult for small or older dogs.

The walk - including descent - can take between one-and-a-half hours to three, but there is no rush when the views are as beautiful as promised at Arthur’s seat.

You may want to take a bottle of water for the pooch as well as you.

Parking is available at Holyrood Park.

Holyrood Park

Queen's Dr, Edinburgh EH8 8HG

Not one for scaling volcanoes but still looking for an ideal location to enjoy views of the Scottish Parliament building, The Queen’s Gallery and Holyrood Abbey?

Holyrood Park is a large open space at the foot of Arthur’s Seat, in the heart of the city, popular with dog walkers and for outdoor sports.

Dogs can run freely but be careful as the main car route through the park is not restricted.

A car park is available for use of the park.

Blackford Hill

Accessed from Observatory Rd, Edinburgh EH9 3HJ

This 538-ft hill is surrounded by gardens and fields and boasts scenic views of Edinburgh and Arthur's Seat.

Although it may not be ideal for a short Sunday stroll, it is a popular and ideal location for a walk to get the heart racing and the path is well paved and easily accessible.

The hill has a pond at its foot and a car park designated for visitors.

A 17-minute drive from the city centre and walking distance to popular Morningside, this hill is definitely worth visiting at any time of the year.

Portobello Beach

1 Promenade, Portobello, Edinburgh EH15 2DX

This sandy stretch overlooks the Forth and can get quite busy when Scotland enjoys its three days of sunshine per year.

Aside from that, it is a great beach to let your dog stretch its legs and take a dip.

The promenade also plays host to a number of local cafes and chip shops where you can indulge in a fish supper or heat up on a winter's night with hot chocolate.

Just a 20 minute drive from the heart of Edinburgh, this location is ideal for any dog.

Water of Leith and Union Canal

Though not quite an escape from the city, this urban, sprawling walk takes in 6 miles of the waters of Leith and Union canal and is easily managed by all walkers and dogs - either in small portions or the entire length.

Taking approximately two and a half hours to complete, the walk starts at Haymarket Station and you can loop right around and back to the station - ideal if you are visiting the city for the day.

On your walk, you can enjoy saunters through beautiful local parks and grab a coffee or some lunch at Leith.

We enjoyed it so much we have a step-by-step route.

Scald Law

Penicuik EH26 9LN

If you frequent Edinburgh regularly then you will know the best way to escape the city is with a hill walk up the Pentlands.

Arguably the best - and toughest - of the peaks is Scald Law, 579 meters from the entrance at Flotterstone.

There are a number of walking routes which are well signposted, though this walk is not suitable for smaller or older dogs, given the incline and stoney terrain.

Weather permitting, the views are worth every second of the climb and a great way to prepare you and your pooch for more challenging hills.

The footpath can be accessed from Hopelands Rd, Edinburgh and is a 30 minutes drive from the city centre.