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How to Find a Green Oasis in the City


City life is great, but sometimes you just need to get away from it all. Fortunately, Edinburgh is full of pockets of greenery and nature - even ones that aren’t turned into festival venues in August!

Walk the Water of Leith

The Water of Leith runs from the Pentland Hills through Edinburgh out into the port of Leith, and for 12 of its 22 miles, you can walk alongside it from Leith to Balerno in a beautifully wooded wonderland. Taking you through some of Edinburgh’s prettiest suburbs, like Dean Village and Stockbridge, you feel like you’re in the heart of the countryside even though you’re never more than a short walk away from a Starbucks.

Pentland Hills

You can see these from the city, but nothing quite prepares you for the beauty of the Pentland Hills Regional Park. Start off at the Flotterstone Inn before blowing away the cobwebs - and make sure you end up there, for a pint of their very good real ale.

Enjoy the Botanic Gardens

The Royal Botanic Gardens of Edinburgh is a world-renowned centre for plant science, horticulture and education. Hidden away in Inverleith, it’s an oasis for plant lovers or just people who fancy some nice scenery. The gardens themselves are free to wander around in, and there are small charges if you want to see inside the incredible greenhouses.

Climb Arthur’s Seat

Wherever you go in Edinburgh, you’ll nearly always be able to see Arthur’s Seat. This extinct volcano looms over the city and during the summer months it’s a beautiful - if brisk! - walk full of flowers and wildlife. When you get to the top, the views are stunning, and every time you look up afterwards, you’ll feel a smug sense of satisfaction.

Enjoy a summer in Edinburgh by taking a University of Edinburgh Summer School course. Check out our Courses page for what is available this summer >