Edinburgh is perhaps best known for being Scotland’s festival city and for its rich history and cultural heritage. This travel destination, however, offers a lot more than its striking ancient architecture, castles and historic museums. Edinburgh has a natural beauty that never ceases to impress. The city itself sits on seven hills. If you love to take in breathtaking sights, there are many natural attractions to visit in Edinburgh. The following list features some of the best places where travellers can commune with nature while visiting Scotland’s capital.
Arthur’s Seat and the Salisbury Crags
Standing at 251 meters, Arthur’s seat is famous for being the highest point in Edinburgh. A climb to the top of this extinct volcanic hill lends visitors panoramic views of Edinburgh’s cityscape. Just like Castle Rock, Arthur’s Seat and the nearby Salisbury Crags formed due to volcanic activity and sculpted by moving glaciers. These hills and the surrounding lochs (lakes) and cliffs are part of the larger Holyrood Park, which is criss-crossed by many relatively easy trails.
The unspoilt urban parkland of Holyrood Park comprises of lakes, hills and crags. The park is often frequented by joggers, hikers and nature lovers. Everyone is welcome to enter Holyrood Park free of charge. Treks take you from Arthur’s seat and the crags, to the lush countryside of Fife.
St. Margaret’s, Duddingston and Dunsapie Lochs (lakes) decorate Holyrood Park beautifully. Bird watching is also a popular pastime activity on the park. Duddingston bird sanctuary is home to unique species such as the crested grebe, heron and wildfowl.
Royal Botanic Gardens
Escape from the bustling streets of Edinburgh and take a peaceful stroll through the Royal Botanic Gardens. Spring is the best time to visit these gardens when plant life blossoms to life. During fall, the park is just as lovely with its colourful foliage. The best part about this natural gem is that it is free and open to the public. You can enjoy delicious meals at the Terrace Cafe overlooking Edinburgh’s scenic skyline.
Princes Street Gardens
Princess Street Gardens provide a peaceful refuge after a day of shopping or city exploration in Edinburgh. Located right in the heart of Edinburgh city centre, these gardens provide scenic views of the imposing Edinburgh Castle as well as the Old and New Towns. Historic statues and monuments adorn the open green spaces in the park.
Get up close and personal with hawks, falcons and eagles while visiting the Falconry bird sanctuary of Scotland. This is a great place to visit if you happen to be travelling with kids. The young ones will be intrigued by the many birds of prey that call this sanctuary home. A trip to Falconry Scotland will also give you the opportunity of spotting the scenic Lothians region.
With this list, it is possible to explore the natural beauty of Edinburgh. Alongside the festivals, museums, galleries and medieval palaces, add these natural attractions to your itinerary and get to enjoy a memorable trip in Scotland’s capital.
Nessia Smith, a travel enthusiast and blogger from Edinburgh, wrote this article. She enjoys sharing her passion for travelling with other people through writing. Nessia loves to share useful information on the best attractions and Edinburgh Pearl Apartments.