Dog days: uncover the best of green Edinburgh with our Top 10 City Dog Walks
One of an occasional series of blogs in which we highlight some of the very best things about living in Edinburgh.
Edinburgh is justly renowned for its parks and open spaces, meaning city dwellers are spoilt for choice when it comes to dog walking spots in and around the capital. We’ve rounded up our favourite routes - useful if you’re a recent arrival or contemplating a move to a new area with your four legged friend.
1. Arthur’s Seat and Salisbury Crag
One of Edinburgh’s most extraordinary landmarks, it’s hard to beat the views from the top of an extinct volcano. Arthur’s Seat and Salisbury Crags are both located within the green expanse that is Holyrood Park, and are popular with hearty runners and fit dog walkers alike. It’s rare to find this kind of outdoor space in a city – Great Dane owners take note.
2. Harlaw and Threipmuir Reservoir
Just 15 minutes out of town and you can be at Harlaw and Threipmuir Reservoir. Dogs can hurtle about (or in) the water and here you are within the woodlands and hills of the beautiful Pentlands. Perfect if you want to feel like you’re in real countryside but without spending hours on rural roads.
3. Blackford Hill and The Hermitage of Braid
For a bit of gradient head to Blackford Hill from Morningside – there’s the reward of spectacular views over Edinburgh when you reach the top. You can also extend the route with a meander round the wooded nature reserve of the Hermitage of Braid which includes a wildflower meadow – perfect photogenic backdrop for pics of your pooch!
4. Cramond Island
Cramond Island is connected to the mainland via a causeway which means the path is only visible at low tide, so there’s always an added frisson about whether feet and paws are going to get wet! But well worth it with a wealth of paths and water to splash about in (for dogs and/or humans).
5. Corstorphine Hill
A popular woodland walk for dog walkers in the know, Corstorphine Hill is to the west of the city and easily reached on foot from this pretty district. Once you and your four-legged friend arrive panting at the top, the views over the Forth are breathtaking.
6. The Union Canal
Enjoy a new perspective on our beautiful city by taking to the towpath of the Union Canal. Stretching 32 miles from Edinburgh Quay, there are barges to bark at and plenty of space on the green banks of the canal for dogs to leap about on. Plus the occasional waterside pub to refresh you both.
7. Inverleith Park
A classic city park, Inverleith Park is close to the vibrant bustle of hip Stockbridge with its bars and cafes. There is plenty of space for weekend 5-a-siders as well as families and dog walking regulars, who give the swans on the pond a wide berth. . .
8. Water of Leith
The 12 ¾ mile walkway along the Water of Leith has been described as ‘a silver thread in a ribbon of green running through Edinburgh’. It’s a real pleasure walking along here with your faithful hound by your side: the walkway takes you from Colinton and Murrayfield to the Dean Village and Leith.
9. Cammo Estate
An unusual, and slightly eerie hidden gem, the Cammo Estate, now a nature reserve, lies to the north west of Edinburgh and is a great place for the inquisitive dog to explore. A wild walled garden and the mysterious ruins of Cammo House are fascinating for human eyes and canine noses alike.
10. Portobello Beach
The huge sandy beach at the seaside district of Portobello, to the east of Edinburgh City Centre, is a fantastic destination for a stroll. Combine some prancing in the waves with a trot along the traditional promenade and seafront to dry off and it’s pretty much dog heaven here.