Edinburgh is a city of many nooks and crannies and winding alleys, but equally it is a city of open green spaces which are perfect for exploring, hiking, or just relaxing. How many cities can boast a dormant volcano in their midst? Read on for seven of the best parks in the Athens of the North.
Calton Hill, Edinburgh, United Kingdom, +44 131 529 7061
At the end of Princes Street lies this immense hill, famous for its dramatic placement overlooking the city. Atop the Hill are several monuments, including the striking National Monument of Scotland, a Parthenon-inspired stone memorial to fallen Scottish soldiers in the Napoleonic Wars. Nelson’s Monument is also a prominent feature of Calton Hill, and can be seen from throughout the city.
Water of Leith Walkway, 24 Lanark Road, Edinburgh, United Kingdom, +44 131 455 7367
Slightly further afield, don’t miss the Water of Leith Walkway, a footpath and cycle-way running alongside the titular river. Starting at Balerno, passing through the lovely Dean Village neighborhood of Edinburgh, and ending at the Leith docks, this is a glorious spot for walking, jogging, or cycling amidst verdant greenery and rushing water.
This park was formerly part of the Burgh Muir, a woodland cleared in 1508 under a decree of King James IV in order to gather timber for construction in Old Town. Today the Bruntsfield Links is popular with dog-walkers, is used by historical re-enactors as a practice ground, and its north-facing slope proves an excellent spot for sledging in the wintertime.
By Madeleine Bazil
Bruntsfield Links, Edinburgh, United Kingdom