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.
Another of Edinburgh Leisure’s facilities, this is the mini version of the adjacent extensive Braid Hills Golf Course. It has just nine holes, so it’s relaxing for the more experienced golfer and an accessible starting point for beginners – the addition of junior tees make it an ideal afternoon out for the whole family. Wee Braids is a 10-minute bus ride from the centre, and yet it offers rolling green scenery and farmland views.
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.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
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.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.