The Great Outdoors
The Great Outdoors Edinburgh Reviews
Feb 11, 2007
Edinburgh is a lovely city. Most visitors will, of course, concentrate on the history and the buildings, and of course, the drinking. This tip is for the next morning, when you wake up and realise that you cannot face either another castle or another beer. Possibly ever.
One of the things that makes Edinburgh so special is the amount of green space it has retained, mostly because some things are so hilly that even a Scot, used to the challenges of living life at 45 degrees to the horizon, would struggle to build on it. The chief areas of natural greeness in the city centre area are:
Princes Street Gardens
Nice garden area right next to the shops, home to outdoor concerts in summer, an icerink in winter, and year round pigeons. There's a floral clock and lots of places to sit. Not the nicest park in the city, but definately quite good anyway.
The Meadows/ Bruntsfield Links
The Meadows are right behind the university, and every May, the parks are full of students "revising," often with guitars and cans of beer. Somehow, we still passed... These areas are genuinely pretty, espeically when the trees are in blossom in spring. Bruntsfield has the added bonus that mid way through your picnic, you can point out that the Links owe their unique bowl shape to the fact that you're sitting right on top of the old plague pits. :)
Arthur's Seat/ Salisbury Crags
Gorgeous park, and you can't miss Arthur's Seat. It's the huge extinct volcano you can see from the air and the railway. The view from the top is wonderful - the whole way to Fife in one direction and North Berwick Law in the other, with most of southern Scotland laid out for you. And by the time you get to the top you'll have forgotten your hangover, I promise. There's also the site of an old hermitage, a holy well, and a bunch of ghost stories to occupy yourself with.
Blackford Hill and the Hermitage of Braid
Blackford has a duck pond, and the path which was the only place that I would go to sleep when I was six weeks old. Needless to say, my parents have a soft spot for this hill! Not so high as Arthur's Seat, the Royal Observatory is at the top. It's also a great place to watch the fireworks from if you didn't get tickets. The Hermitage has some lovely woods.
The Water of Leith
A small river running through the centre of the city, and a nice place for a walk because it's down in a sort of valley and you can't hear the city at all. Bonus points for the prettiness of the Village of Dean, where you can find an old mill wheel and a short cut to the Dean Gallery, a small art museum.
Site of Edinburgh Zoo
If you're in the city in May, the Beltane Fire Festival here is a must. Otherwise, there's a large monument up here and a nice view of the city.
Part of the Edinburgh 2007 travel blog
Part of the list Free Things in the UK
Part of the list Edinburgh with Sarah Elaine
Part of the list Things I have done in Scotland
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