7 Christmas walks near Edinburgh 2020: best winter wonderland trails for Xmas Day and New Year

From river walks and bracing beach strolls, to hill climbs and park jaunts Edinburgh walkers are spoilt for choice
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Christmas has been scaled back for many, with the government advising to avoid indoor gatherings where possible.

Outdoor walks with family and friends have been recommended as an alternative to Christmas dinner, and for citizens of Edinburgh that’s no bad thing with a plethora of gorgeous walks dotted all over the city.

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Here are seven of our favourite walks to enjoy during the festive period.

The ruins of Cammo House which are said to have inspired Robert Louis Stevenson (Shutterstock)The ruins of Cammo House which are said to have inspired Robert Louis Stevenson (Shutterstock)
The ruins of Cammo House which are said to have inspired Robert Louis Stevenson (Shutterstock)

Cammo Estate

Cammo House, now in ruins, is said to have served as inspiration for the House of Shaws in Robert Louis Stevenson novel Kidnapped.

Now at the centre of a country park, the ruins have been reclaimed by the wild, making for a fantastical scene on the western outskirts of Edinburgh.

Join Stevenson in marvelling at the ruins with a mile and a half circular route of the Estate’s boundary

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Difficulty: EasyDistance: 1.5 miles Start point: Cramond Brig

Blackford Hill

Edinburgh is set over seven hills – Blackford Hill arguably boasts the best view of the city.

Strewn with dog walkers 365 days of the year, the peak serves as a marvellous vantage point to view Arthur’s Seat, Castle Rock an the Firth of Forth.

Once the hill has been summitted descend to the woodland-lined Braid Burn, tracing it from Braid Ice House to Aggasiz Rock before returning to the start point.

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Difficulty: Easy to medium Distance: 2.5 milesStart point: Blackford Hill Car Park

Inverleith Park

There’s plenty to catch the eye at Inverleith Park, with Fettes College situated to its west, the Botanic Gardens to the East and a panoramic of the city to the south.

Don’t come here for a bracing walk, this is a park to be strolled through at a leisurely pace with a mug of coffee or mulled wine, Start and finish your walk on Portgower Place in close proximity to Inverleith Pond.

Difficulty: EasyDistance: 1 mileStart point: Portgower Place

River Almond

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Flowing into the Forth at Cramond life moves slowly at the River Almond with with boats bobbing at their moorings, small waterfalls trickling and weirs bubbling with life.

You can extend this walk by strolling along Cramond Beach on your return.

Difficulty: EasyDistance: 4 milesStart point: Free car park off Cramond Glebe Road

Saint Anthony's Chapel Ruins

Many families will make a beeline for the top of Arthur’s Seat during the festive season, but the Ruins of St Anthony’s Chapel offer a more atmospheric and peaceful vantage point.

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Located above St Margaret’s Loch at the north end of Holyrood Park, the origins of the site is obscure, though it is believed to have stood since at least the 15th century when the Pope allocated money for it’s repair.

Conclude your walk with a circuit of the loch

Difficulty: Easy Distance: 1 mileStart point: St Margaret’s Loch car park

Water of Leith

Linking the Pentland hills to Leith, via Roseburn, Dean Village and Stockbridge, the Water of Leith is a marvellous ribbon of water, punctuated with obscure follies from Edinburgh’s history.

We recommend a back and forth route from Stockbridge to Dean Village and back again, taking time to gawk at St Bernard’s Well and the Dean Bridge.

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Difficulty: EasyDistance: 1.5 milesStart point: Saunders Street

Roslin Glen

Situated south of Edinburgh this walk explores the extraordinary ruins of Rosslyn Castle and its picturesque surrounding area.

Start at Rosslyn Chapel, the site of the final scenes of Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code before descending to Roslin Glen - this is well signposted.

From here follow the River North Esk and explore an ancient gunpowder mill, before heading to the 16th century Rosslyn Castle.

Difficulty: Easy to mediumDistance: 3 milesStart point: Rosslyn Chapel car park