If you’re looking to stretch your legs over the Christmas break, here are 7 of the best winter walks in Edinburgh and the Lothians.
While it can be tempting to stay wrapped up warm at home during the Christmas holidays, venturing outside for a walk in the crisp air can be energising and enjoyable.
Whether you’re a seasoned hiker, or just want to take a short stroll, there are plenty of places in Edinburgh and the Lothians to go walking in winter. There are many scenic routes in the city, as well as others within close driving distance.
1. Arthur's Seat
On a clear winters day, walkers get a spectacular view of Edinburgh from the top of Arthur’s Seat. The ancient volcano is located in Holyrood Park, just a stone’s throw from the Royal Mile. It's easy to follow along the well-marked paths, although it is steep in some places, so it can be challenging for some. Photo: Scott Louden
2. John Muir Way
The John Muir Way, which stretches from Dunbar in East Lothian to the town of Helensburgh, offers 134 miles of mesmerising coast to coast views. It's a great location for a wintery walk, with gorgeous scenery of forests, lakes, coastlines and old castle ruins. There are multiple walks, hikes and cycling routes, suitable for walkers of all abilities. Photo: Contributed
3. Calton Hill
For a short but steep walk, head up Calton Hill to take in stunning views of Edinburgh city centre. During the winter months, the city's twinkling Christmas lights are visible, as well as views of the Scottish Parliament building, the armadillo-shaped Dynamic Earth science centre and the old Royal High School. It's an easy route, perfect for inexperienced walkers. Photo: diamond geezer via Flickr
4. Royal Botanic Garden
Edinburgh's botanical garden is the perfect place for a leisurely stroll on a crisp winter's day. While some of the more vibrant flowers are out of season, eucalyptus and dark evergreens thrive in the cold weather. If it gets too chilly, visitors can pop inside one of the heated Glasshouses containing tropical plants, or head over to the garden's cafe for a warm drink. Photo: Supplied