The Most Beautiful Countryside Walks to Take Around Edinburgh

The Hermitage | © John McSporran / Flickr
The Hermitage | © John McSporran / Flickr
Photo of Tori Chalmers
12 April 2017

Whether you’re on a mission to get fit, seeking a spontaneous spot of adventuring, or planning an epic power walking session, a touch of fresh air on your cheek and a stunning backdrop makes matters all the more manageable. Embrace the elements, enjoy the serene sounds and sights of nature, watch the leaves twirl, and choose your path with the most beautiful countryside walks to take around Edinburgh.

Dalkeith Country Park

Map View
Stairs | © Magnus Hagdorn/Flickr
If you can peel yourself away from the most epic game of hide and seek in the utopian playground and wooden fortress, a walk at Dalkeith Country Park is always a joy. Countless tribes of majestic trees guard the meandering paths and flowing rivers. Amongst the magnificent flaura and fauna is a myriad of routes and cubbyholes inhabited by wildlife. Part of the Buccleuch Estates, it was during the Jacobite Rebellion in 1745 that Bonnie Prince Charlie stayed at Dalkeith Palace, which is located on the grounds.

Borthwick And Crichton Castles

One of the many positive things about Scotland remains that, wherever you are, a castle never seems to be lurking too far away. A pleasantly arduous journey, those dead-set on witnessing both Borthwick and Crichton castles will delight at the walking in store. Beware of marshy terrain and rough paths, made all the better by exploring the old railway line and determined River Tyne. Crichton Castle played host to the likes of the third husband of Mary Queen of Scots. Don’t let the vegetation – which undeniably has a mind of its own – get the better of you.

Crichton Castle, Crichton, Pathhead, Scotland

Dawyck Gardens

The kind of place that inspires fairytales, Dawyck Gardens is an extension of Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic Garden – and is just as impressive. Pinned as one of the world’s finest arboreta, the colours never fail to enchant during every season. From the Dutch Bridge, which is riddled with intrigue, and the majesty of The Azalea Terrace, to the sporadic 19th-century stonework, curious shrubbery, Himalayan poppies, and armies of beech trees, Dawyck Gardens are truly something special. Those in need of clearing the mind or getting away from it all will no doubt find sanctuary here.

Dawyck Gardens, Stobo, Peebles, Scotland

Cardrona Forest

Absolutely worth the miniature road trip, Cardrona Forest is a mystical woody walk near Peebles. Guarded by the Forestry Commission, those who get the heebie jeebies from ever-watching trees may not be in their element. From Scots pine and firs to deciduous trees, this forest appears truly magical. It is easy to see why avid cyclists and dedicated walkers flock to this spot like ducks to water. Those with a penchant for raising the stakes can meander off to Gypsy Glen, a walk that comes hand in hand with a brisk climb at the finish line.

Forest | ©

Gosford Estate

A snippet from a Monet painting or a Jane Austen novel, Gosford Estate is a truly transformative and sensory experience. From the lily pond with the trickling waterfall and the graceful swans resembling paintings to the rickety bridges, over arching trees, inquisitive herons, the curling hut comprised of sea shells, oh, and the stately home exuding ineffable charm, Gosford Estate is the kind of spot that sparks a reluctance to share it with anyone else. The Bothy, which won the hearts of Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth when they were filming in East Lothian, is a fine spot for local produce and hearty soups.

Gosford House, Longniddry, Scotland

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