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Top 5: Outdoor Activities in Edinburgh

by Allie Moore

Dec 3, 2019

Edinburgh Castle © Meaghan Walsh Gerard

Top 5 / Europe

Scotland isn’t typically known for its sunny skies and warm temperatures, but the capital city of Edinburgh does see an occasional sunny day that encourages locals to spend as much time as possible outside. If you happen to luck out and find yourself in Edinburgh when the sun’s out, here are five great ways to soak up the oft-hidden Scottish sun.


Hike to Arthur’s Seat

Edinburgh’s highest point sits atop Holyrood Park, a park home to millennia-old forts. Catch 360-degree views from the top at 823 feet above sea level, from the western edges of the city to the North Sea and the coastline to the east.


Stroll the Royal Mile

Edinburgh’s most famous street can be considered quite touristy for some but the dated architecture, jovial atmosphere and Scotch whisky tastings available at every other shop can make it an enjoyable experience. The street culminates on the west end at Edinburgh Castle, another hilltop spot from which to capture views of the city.


Have a Picnic in the Meadows

Just southwest of the University of Edinburgh sits a lush landscape called the Meadows. The perfectly manicured, bright green grass may seem too nice to sit on, but when the weather is welcoming, residents pop in for picnics on blankets.


Wander the Princess Gardens

Just below Edinburgh Castle and between the Old Town and New Town sits these well-maintained, city-center gardens full of a variety of botanical specimens as well as statues and monuments.


Have an Outdoor Whisky Tasting

Although it might seem counterintuitive, some pubs in Edinburgh do have outdoor seating, and when it’s sunny it becomes a race to find the best sunlit table in the city. Grab an al fresco table if you can and enjoy your own self-guided whisky tasting via the pub’s menu and bartender’s recommendations.



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