Edinburgh residents have voted Arthur's Seat as their most beautiful spot

A new poll has revealed that the beauty spots residents in Edinburgh are most proud of are Arthur’s Seat, the Royal Botanic Gardens and the Royal Mile.

The survey of 200 adults who live in Edinburgh and the surrounding area also found that streams and rivers (41 per cent), hills and mountains (51 per cent) and beaches (34 per cent) are the top features that locals think make an area beautiful.

And nearly eight in ten (77 per cent) say no matter where you go in the world, it’s hard to beat the beauty of the UK’s green spaces. 

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While people in Edinburgh love living near areas of natural beauty, in contrast nearly three in 10 (29 per cent) would like to live away from a motorway while 16 per cent would prefer to live away from a factory. 

More than six in ten (66 per cent) believe power stations in particular ruin beautiful views of the countryside. 

The research, commissioned by Smart Energy GB, follows the publication of a new report by energy experts Cornwall Insight, which finds that if households become more flexible in how and when they use electricity, Britain could avoid the need to build the equivalent of four new gas-fired power stations in 2030.

This alone would save over £2.5 billion in 2030, while also lowering our carbon emissions.

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Households participating in flexible electricity initiatives also stand to save up to £375 off their annual energy bills in 2040, according to the report.

Embracing flexible electricity initiatives that rely on smart meters such as time-of-use tariffs and shifting some electricity usage away from peak times (typically weekdays between 4pm and 7pm) would also remove the need for nearly a billion pounds worth of additional infrastructure upgrades in 2030, according to the new report.

Victoria Bacon, Director at Smart Energy GB said: “It is clear that people in Edinburgh value the environmental benefits of their local hotspots as much as their beauty. That’s why it’s so important that we find new and innovative ways to protect our environment. 

“By using energy more flexibly we have the potential to reduce our reliance on expensive, foreign gas, and the need to build additional, expensive infrastructure such as gas-fired power stations. Smart meters are pivotal to creating a modern and efficient energy system as they put households in greater control of their energy use and provide opportunities to use energy more flexibly.”

Reports show the possible risks - if energy isn't used flexiblyReports show the possible risks - if energy isn't used flexibly
Reports show the possible risks - if energy isn't used flexibly

A more sustainable future

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The research found three quarters (77 per cent) of Edinburgh residents love getting out and exploring the great British countryside.

Another 73 per cent like being close to nature, while 67 per cent think it boosts their physical health. 

When it comes to looking after the countryside, almost nine in 10 (84 per cent) are proud of the preservation work that goes into conserving green spaces across Great Britain. 

The typical Edinburgh person gets out into nature on a proper ramble eight times a month, or around twice once a week.

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People in Edinburgh also far prefer the countryside to its city equivalent – by a huge 65 per cent to 16 per cent respectively.

Victoria Bacon added: “Preserving and enjoying the local countryside is clearly important to the people of Edinburgh. One way to help create a cleaner planet for future generations is to request a smart meter as they support our energy system to use more energy from renewable energy sources, such as from wind and solar.

“Smart meters are essential to enable you to sign up to flexible tariffs that can help you to save money off your energy bills, while the in-home display that comes with your smart meter allows you to pinpoint where you may be able to adjust your energy use and save money. 

“Having a smart meter installed at no extra cost and using it to help keep track of your energy use is a small step people can take to help reduce our reliance on expensive fossil fuels and building a greener and more sustainable future.” 

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An additional survey found that almost than nine in 10 (87 per cent) residents in Edinburgh consider it important to have an area of natural beauty close to where they live. 

The main reason for this is that having green spaces nearby is good for their mental wellbeing (60 per cent). 

While many said it helps the environment (58 per cent) and physical health (52 per cent).

Top 10 beauty spots Edinburgh residents are proud of

  1. Arthur's Seat
  2. The Royal Botanic Gardens
  3. The Royal Mile
  4. Pentland Hills
  5. Portobello Beach
  6. Water of Leith Walkway
  7. Holyrood Park
  8. Princess St Gardens
  9. Calton Hill
  10. Saughton Park & Gardens