Looking to get outside and breathe in the Scottish air? Edinburgh offers a multitude of green spaces and waterways, is home to innovative activity organisers and has excellent municipal provision for recreation. From silent disco walking tours to strolling with alpacas, here are some superb outdoor activities to enjoy in Scotland’s capital.
Sightsee and skip traffic by cycling. The Just Eat app will show you the nearest set of wheels (there are more than 100 pick-up/drop-off points across the city, so you won’t have far to go). A single trip is £1.50, and a 24-hour pass is just £3 for traditional bikes. Or pay £0.10 per minute for an electric version. If you’re nervous about road cycling, head for the lengthy canal towpath, via the Dundee Terrace pick-up point.
Catch a bus to Kirknewton Village, where you’ll find this expansive adventure ground, complete with exhilarating quad trails. Feel the adrenaline pumping as you navigate the thrills of rural Lothian terrain on modern Fourtrax bikes. A safari takes an hour and is one of the pricier but most exciting recommendations on our list, at £50 per person (over 16s only). Archery and clay pigeon shooting are also available on site.
Once purely a Fringe Festival feature, the roaming silent disco has since become an ongoing attraction in Edinburgh. Leave your inhibitions at the meeting point in Hunter Square, don a high-tech headset and prepare to sing and dance your way around the capital’s historic landmarks for 60 minutes. Participants need to be over five years old, fit enough to maintain a moderate walking pace and up for a laugh. Do wear comfy shoes as some of the routes involve cobblestones.
The acclaimed Escape Hunt has taken its puzzles into the great outdoors this year, with Operation Mindfall. The game spans a 2km (1mi) radius and has a two-hour time limit. Armed with an iPad and action pack, you and your teammates must race against the clock to collect clues and use your problem-solving skills, saving the city from a deadly virus. Operation Mindfall is suitable for two to four players, and the route you’ll take is fully accessible.
Enjoy a leisurely, therapeutic experience at BobCat Alpacas in the suburb of Bonaly, on the edge of the Pentland Hills. Take a 90-minute scenic stroll with these calming and cute creatures for £25. Don’t forget to snap some pictures and be prepared for lots of laughs along the way. Those unable to walk for this duration can still get up close with the animals by booking a farm visit at £20.
Wardie Bay, to the north of the city, might seem like an unlikely spot for a dip due to its gritty urban backdrop. But the tiny beach and large, safe breakwater is a magnet for friendly local paddlers in the know. Spot seals, dolphins, herons and guillemots diving, as well as the occasional oddity – a triathlete once bumped into a mannequin’s leg while swimming. Pop along to the Old Chain Pier afterwards to warm up with a coffee, or even whisky.
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
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