The Top Ten Places to Visit in Edinburgh
Updated: Dec 22, 2020
Kirsty Vass Payne shares her favourite spots in the capital, featuring plenty of cycles, walks and hidden spots.
1. Ramsay lane
An ode to the lane next to (and past) the red and white houses you see off from Princes Street. The lovely old houses before and the walk down from the castle down Ramsay Lane, joining onto the mound, is frankly very pretty.
2. Rosslyn Chapel
Bit of a cycle out (6 miles or so from Marchmont) but a lovely one if you follow the bike paths and worth it for the historic and gorgeous (15th century) chapel, castle and glen. Also, it’s in the Da Vinci code; Tom Hanks was there.
3. The Vennel
Great views of the castle and unusually quiet even though it comes off Grassmarket (though popular for the Instagrammers). Plus, it’s a scenic shortcut from the art college, worth the trip for the view and a stop at Mary's Milk bar.
4. Crammond island
A tidal island that you can access from Crammond beach for the 2hrs before and after low tide. The island is grassy and features WWII fortifications which are fun to look around. The beach is sandy and the views of the Forth are worth the visit alone.
5. Threipmuir reservoir (the Pentlands)
Everyone knows the Pentlands are stunning and this reservoir is easily accessible by bus or bike (following the water of Leith to Balerno). The reservoir itself has sandy beaches and is warmer than most swimming spots due to being peaty.
6. The Wild West: Morningside
An Edinburgh oddity built for advertising purposes by a south western furniture company, but now dilapidated. It has a western/ghost town atmosphere whilst also being opposite a garage. The space features a jail, cantina, and general store and is bizarre yet fun to visit.
7. The Water of Leith Cycle Network to the Port of Leith
12 miles of beautiful cycle network from Balerno to Leith. Great to run, walk, or cycle along and with lovely views the whole way. It takes you past many lovely places, such as Dean Village, the Scottish Gallery of Modern Art and St Bernard’s well. Personally, I recommend following to the end the trip at the Port of Leith.
8. The Canal and Craiglockhart hill
The canal is always a fabulous run and Craiglockhart is a truly underrated and enjoyable to run up. Follow the canal until you reach Craiglockhart, veer off and up Glenlockhart Hill and you’ll reach the base, a nice pond, and multiple paths to follow up the hill. Once at the top you’ll have fab views of Blackford Hill/Arthur’s seat and the Pentlands.
9. Holy Trinity Church
Truly a stunning church, you can see it from below in Dean Village. However, I recommend walking across the bridge it’s on and looking out over the area and houses. The view from there is truly glorious.
10. The Top of Victoria Street
Everybody and their mother have visited and photographed Victoria Street. But the top of it is often forgotten and has a great view of Grassmarket and the Royal Mile as a whole. Truly underappreciated.