“Parks and playgrounds are the soul of a city.” ― Marty Rubin
With 45% green space there’s lots of parks to choose from. Some with hills, others for barbecues and some for kids, you can find whatever you need in Edinburgh’s parks.
Princes Street Gardens
Beautiful and central, hosting the Christmas markets in the winter.
Along the south side of Princes Street, sits Princes Street Gardens. With 37 acres of open space sitting below the majestic Edinburgh Castle, this is a perfect place to relax and unwind. Within the gardens you will find the Scott Monument and Ross fountain as well as the Scottish National Gallery. During the winter the gardens help host Edinburgh’s Christmas. This includes a variety of rides and the Christmas Market, which has food and gifts from all around the world. In short it is one of the most beautiful spots in the city.
Royal Botanic Gardens
A celebration of natural beauty
The Royal Botanic Garden
is only a short walk from the City Centre. Over 350 years old, and free to enter, the garden is a highlight of any trip to Edinburgh. The garden contains 70 acres of stunning scenery and over 100,000 plants from all across the globe. You can explore the grounds on your own, however they do offer guided tours. Afterwards, settle down at their café or restaurant which both serve quality local food and drinks. All in all it is probably the perfect way to refuel after a walk through this gorgeous garden.
Arthur’s Seat & Holyrood Park
A big hill, ruins, forts and lakes.
Holyrood park is unlike any other park in Edinburgh. At its heart is Arthur’s Seat, an extinct volcano sitting just a stone's throw from Holyrood Palace. At 251m tall, Arthur’s Seat is quite a climb, but the spectacular views from the start a certainly worth the walk. Within the main body of the park the visitor information centre has free exhibits explaining the history of the area. While you explore the park, you can discover medieval church ruins, Iron Age forts as well as Bronze Age agriculture. A truly unique chance to walk through Edinburgh’s history.
For the best views of Edinburgh.
At the east end of Princes Street, is Calton Hill. This picturesque peak in the heart of the city has gorgeous panoramic views. A relatively easy and quick climb to the top from Regents Terrace, will see you reach the summit. At the top you will find the National Monument. Commonly known as Edinburgh’s Disgrace, this Greek style curiosity certainly is an interesting addition to Edinburgh’s skyline. Also, at the top is the Nelson Monument, and the City Observatory
which is now an arts venue and restaurant. Calton Hill is also a perfect place to watch Edinburgh’s famous fireworks displays because of the great views towards the Old Town. These take place on November 5th, December 31st and finally at the end of the Edinburgh Festival.