Activities & Leisure
all you need for relocation to scotland: edinburgh
Edinburgh Hillwalking, running, mountain biking, cycling, fishing and more...
If you love Scotland's wilderness, you don't need to travel for hours to find it. It is right here in the heart of the city, offering varied recreational and sporting activities.
Walking and Hillwalking
Walking and hillwalking are probably one of the oldest forms of exercise known to mankind, but instead of exercising in a room full of sweaty folks watching the same channel on TV, why not make the most of Edinburgh’s main landmark and walk (or run!) up and around a 400 million years old volcano!
I’m talking about the Edinburgh hillwalking gem, Arthur's Seat, which is only a 15 minute walk from the city centre.
The top of Arthur’s Seat is 251 m high (823 ft) and is located within Holyrood Park which is a huge Royal park open to all. It’s very popular with tourists, hill walkers, joggers and cyclists and families love it. If you have a dog this is also the place to go and get some exercise.
Holyrood park is adjacent to the Scottish Parliament which is definitely worth a visit (numerous building and architecture awards including the 2005 Stirling Prize), Holyrood Palace which is the Queen’s official residence in Scotland and Dynamic Earth where you can explore Earth’s past, present and, some people say, future…
Holyrood Park has a car park – paying Monday to Friday between 08.30 and 17.30. It cost £1 per hour.
Here's what you get in Scotland and Edinburgh. View of Holyrood Park which is only a 15 minute walk from the city centre...
There aren’t many tourists who know about the existence of Dean Village.
It is, as its name suggests, a village within the city. Located 30 m below the rest of the city, Dean Village is on the west side of Princes Street and was for 800 years a successful grain milling hamlet.
Around 10 mills were once powered by the strong currents of the Water of Leith and if the mills are long gone the river’s still there with a series of man-made waterfalls when you walk west towards the National Gallery of Modern Art.
The point is, Dean Village is a unique and secluded oasis in the heart of Edinburgh where you can enjoy walking, running or cycling along the river.
Starting at the west end of Princes Street and at the beginning of Shandwick Place, walk along Queensferry Street until you get to the bridge. Then, on your left take Bells Brae, a narrow cobbled road that takes you down to Miller Row. Once there, you can go right (still Miller Row) and walk or cycle along the Water of Leith river which will take you to Newtown.
If you go to your left at Miller Row, follow the path that will take you to the gallery of modern art.
Whichever direction you take, do bring your camera!
It only took me 13 years to find out about Harlaw reservoir! It is not in the middle of nowhere as you may be thinking and you definitely don’t need a 4x4 to get there.
No, the reservoir is just one of these well preserved secrets (well, not anymore!) which makes Edinburgh special. It is roughly 13km (8 miles) from the city centre going southwest and it was built between 1843 and 1848 for the Edinburgh Water Company in the stunning Pentland Hills which is now a Regional Park.
Harlaw reservoir is a truly beautiful place, ideal if you want to discover the wilderness of Scotland without having to travel a long distance. You’ll enjoy a variety of woodlands scenes, especially alive in spring and autumn.
Looking at the picture below, would you believe that this place is only 20 minutes drive from Scotland's capital city? Nae, you wouldnae!
Did you know? Harlaw reservoir is stocked every 2 weeks with rainbow trout to support a popular recreational fishery (fly only) which is managed by the Malleny Angling Association
The Rainbow trouts there weight at an average of 700 grs (1.5 lbs) although larger fish are commonly caught!
The fishing season starts on the 1st April each year and closes on the 31st October.
The Reservoir is about 1 mile south of Balerno near Edinburgh. Leaving Edinburgh, follow Juniper Green, then drive through Currie and Balerno, before finally reaching farmland at Harlaw. At the gate, turn right and follow a surfaced road about 100 yards to the reservoir.
There is a free car park and the former waterkeeper’s cottage is now a Ranger Centre with maps, display, leaflets and toilets. There are benches in the woodland surrounding the reservoir, ideal for a picnic. You also have the option of wild camping and pitch small tents within the set guidelines.
It takes about 2 ½ hours to walk round the reservoir with young children, mind you they’ll have a few stop offs to throw stones and sticks into the reservoir, and the path around the south side of the reservoir is excellent if you have a pushchair or want to cycle.
The Pentland Hills Regional Park is big, very big. It is a range of hills to the south-west of Edinburgh. The range is around 32 kms (20 miles) in length, and runs south west from Edinburgh towards Biggar and the upper Clydesdale.
Did you know?
The park, together with the rest of the hills, are used for a variety of recreations including hillwalking, mountain biking, horse riding, golf and skiing at the artificial ski slope at the Hillend Ski Centre.
Telephone: (0044) (0)131 445 3383
Corstorphine Hill is only 531 feet (161 m) high. Its long low L-shaped wood-covered ridge rises above Edinburgh's western suburbs of Corstorphine, Blackhall, Murrayfield and Balgreen.
"The woods" is the local name for the Corstorphine Hill and they are criss-crossed by many tracks and paths. Careful map-reading is needed to find one's way through the woods.
Most of the hill is a public park and a Local Nature Reserve, home to a variety of small mammals and birds. Tree lovers will find a mixture of species including oak, ash, sycamore, birch, beech and pine.
The woods are perhaps not the best idea if you have small children in a buggy or pushchair, as the woodland paths have steps, steep ascents and descents. Some sections can be slippery.
On the top of the woods are two communications pylons and also a tower dedicated to Sir Walter Scott.
The Walled Garden is a hidden little gem where since 2001, the local volunteer group "friends of Corstorphine Hill" has been creating a quiet space and walled woodland walk using native tree species such as pinewood, birchwood, ashwood and wet woodland. Stunning!
Getting to Corstorphine Hill
By bus: many services run along Corstorphine road and Queensferry Road; some along Clermiston road North and Drum Brae Drive; Lothian Buses No. 26 and First No. 86 run along clermiston Road to the Clerwood Terminus.
By car: 2 small car parks or park carefully on street.
On foot: many access points for walkers round the hill.
Walks can be arranged by the Friends of Corstorphine Hill.
Activities & Leisure
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