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Sitting between the Firth of Forth to the North and the Pentland Hills to the South, Edinburgh has evolved across a series of volcanic eruptions over the years. The Scottish capital has also played a fundamental role in the independence history of the country. From rugged castles to spooky graveyards, Edinburgh features many attractions to engage visitors. If you’re interested in adventurous sports and hiking, then there can’t be any better place than Edinburgh in Scotland. Scotland’s stunning capital, has an array of hiking trails for adventure lovers. Let’s get started with the list of best routes for hiking in Edinburgh and make sure to bring your best partner before indulging in this fun-packed activity.

12 Best Hiking Trails In Edinburgh

Edinburgh is a paradise for nature lovers and hiking in Edinburgh is probably the best way to discover the city. Let’s get a roll with these 12 intense hiking trails.

1. Pentland Hills

Best Hiking Trail

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Standing on the south of Edinburgh, Pentland Hills is considered to be the best Edinburgh hiking trail. Pentland provides wonderful ridge-walking for tourists to enjoy. Pentland Hills are a mountain range of five peaks – Turnhouse Hills, Carnethy Hills, Scald Law, and East and West Kip. The rolling tops and reddish slopes of the Hills are ideal for a fun-packed day out with families. [Dogs allowed]

Activities at Pentland Hills –

● Hillwalking
● Mountain Biking
● Horse riding
● Golf
● Skiing

Location: 104 Biggar Rd, South of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH10 6JF, Scotland
Opening Hours: 12:00 AM – 11:59 PM Daily
Elevation: 579 m (1900 ft)
Approximate Hiking Duration: Around 5 hours
Difficulty Level: Moderate to Hard
Best Trek Route: Swanston Village → Flotterstone Inn Car Park → Pentland Hills
Best Time to trek Pentland Hills: Throughout the year

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2. Arthur’s Seat

Hiking Experience

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Standing at 250-meter height, Arthur’s Seat is the highest point in Holyrood Park and offers the . best hiking in edinburgh experience. Arthur’s Seat is a dormant volcano that last erupted around 350 million years ago. This grass-covered hill offers stunning panoramic views of the city. Besides its unparalleled views, Arthur’s Seat is also famous for providing rich cultural heritage; the park offers walks, solace, wildlife, and volcanic geology.

Location: Queen’s Drive, Holyrood Park, Edinburgh EH8 8HG, Scotland
Elevation: 250.5 m (822 ft)
Approximate Hiking Duration: 1.5 to 2 hours
Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate
Best Trek Route: Holyrood Palace → Queen’s Drive → Salisbury Crags → Green Route → Arthur’s Seat
Best Time to trek Arthur’s Seat: Any time of the year but try reaching the summit before sunrise and sunset to get the best view of the city.

Suggested Read: 10 Best Places To Visit In Edinburgh To Bask In The Vibes Of Scottish Charm!

3. Calton Hill

Beautiful Hills

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Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Calton Hill has some of the invigorating views of the Firth of Forth and the city of Edinburgh which makes it one of the top places for hiking in Edinburgh Scotland. The place is also home to some of the classical architecture of Scotland including the National Monument, Dugald Stewart Monument, Nelson’s Monument, the Old Royal High School, Robert Burns Monument, and Political Martyrs’ Monument. Photographers – Don’t miss out on this one!

Location: St. Andrews House 2 Regent Road, Edinburgh EH1 3DG, United Kingdom, Scotland
Opening Hours: 10:00 AM – 04:00 PM on Tuesdays to Sundays [Monday Closed]Elevation: 103 m (337 ft)
Approximate Hiking Duration: 5 to 15 minutes
Difficulty Level: Easy
Best Trek Route: Princes Street → St. Andrews House → Old Royal High School → Turn right to Calton Hills
Best Time to trek Calton Hills: October to March

Suggested Read: Edinburgh Castle: Your Detailed Guide To Scale Historical Heights In Scotland!

4. Balerno

Beautiful Flora and Fauna

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The hikes in Edinburgh are always pretty and appealing and Balerno is no different. Stretching over an area of 864 km, the West Linton – Balerno hike is one of the longest routes for hiking in Edinburgh. This place is stunning and offers a beautiful flora and fauna along its way. Hike this picturesque spot to explore more of Edinburgh.
Location: Balerno, Edinburgh, Scotland
Elevation: 236 m (775 ft)
Approximate Hiking Duration: 5 to 6 hours
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Best Trek Route: Baddinsgill → Cauldstane Slap → East Cairn Hills → Bavelaw → Threipmuir Reservoir → Balerno [Via Pentlands Walks]Best Time to trek Balerno: Throughout the year

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5. Traprain Law

Ancient Hills

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Located 6 km east of Haddington, Traprain Law is a go-to-go place in Edinburgh. The trail takes around just half an hour to one hour, Traprain Law features an extensive Hills fort at the summit. The Hills (law) is located at a burial place which also holds the record of having the largest hacked-silver hoard. The summit of the Hills is filled with stones of ancient Hills fort.

Location: Traprain Law, Haddington EH41 4PY, Edinburgh, Scotland
Elevation: 221 m (725 ft)
Approximate Hiking Duration: 30 to 60 minutes
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Best Trek Route: Edinburgh → Drem → Traprain Hills
Best Time to trek Traprain Law: Throughout the year

Suggested Read: Top 10 Things To Do In Edinburgh That’ll Lead You To City’s Historical And Intriguing Treasures

6. Garleton Hills

Variety of Scenery

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Located in East Lothian; Garleton Hills are a series of molten Hills, providing a variety of scenery of East Lothian. Skid Hills is the highest point of the range and the range is fully covered with carboniferous rock. Garleton Hills is one of the best hiking trails in Edinburgh and also features a 95 feet tall monument which is also known as Garleton Monument.

Location: East Lothian, EH41 3SJ, Edinburgh, Scotland
Elevation: 186 m (610 ft)
Approximate Hiking Duration: 1.5 to 2 hours
Difficulty Level: Easy
Best Trek Route: East Lothian → North Berwick Law → Dunbar Walks → Garleton Hills
Best Time to trek Garleton Hills: Any time of the year

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7. Cockleroy Hills

Greenery View

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Standing at an elevation of 278 meters, Cockleroy Hills is one of the best hiking trails in Edinburgh. A gentle-walk through the Beecraigs Country Park and the Bathgate Hills. During its venture, you’ll come across some of the divine views of forest and lush greenery region. A must-hike place for all hikers who’re in Edinburgh.

Location: Linlithgow EH49 6PN, Edinburgh, United Kingdom, Scotland
Opening Hours: Open 24 Hours Daily
Elevation: 278 m (912 feet)
Approximate Hiking Duration: 3 to 4 hours
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Best Trek Route: Walking route through Beecraigs Country Park Forest
Best Time to trek Cockleroy Hills: Winter Season

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8. North Berwick Law

Beautiful View

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North Berwick Law comes next on the list which is another one of the famous hiking trails in Edinburgh, Scotland. Located at the Law Road, North Berwick Law is a perfect place to be around for any naturalist. The place is known for the landscape which it provides and the view from the summit is overwhelming. North Berwick is a great climb with some mesmerizing views and is a must visit if you are visiting edinburgh.

Location: Law Road, North Berwick, Edinburgh, Scotland
Elevation: 187 m (613 ft)
Approximate Hiking Duration: 35 to 40 minutes
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Best Trek Route: North Berwick → Law Road → Summit
Best Time to trek North Berwick Law: Any time of the year

Suggested Read: Scottish Highland Railways: 12 Most Breathtaking Train Rides Of Scotland!

9. Cairnpapple Hills

Scenic Beauty

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There are very few places in Edinburgh that can match the diversity of Cairnpapple Hills. Cairnpapple Hills in West Lothian is the second-highest trekking Hills in Edinburgh and it offers several trails of varying difficulty which makes it to offer a great Edinburgh hiking experience. The climb to the summit is not overly laborious but you should be in the upright figure to do it. But the views are worth it.

Location: West Lothian EH48 4LD, Edinburgh, Scotland
Elevation: 312 m (1023 ft)
Opening Hours: 9:30 AM to 5.30 PM from 1st April to 30th September [Last entry time is 5:00 PM]. Closed between 1st October to 31st March
Approximate Hiking Duration: 2 hours
Difficulty Level: Easy
Entry Fees: Free for Children aged below 5, Members, and Explorer Pass Holder; £3.60 for Children aged between 5 and 15; £6.00 for Adults; £4.80 for Senior Citizens
Best Trek Route: Edinburgh → West Lothian → Cairnpapple Hills
Best Time to trek Cairnpapple Hills: April to September

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10. Blackford Hills

Hills with Mud

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Known for its indigenous surroundings and striking wildlife, Blackford Hills will take you through an abrupt wooden canyon. The views from the summit of the Blackford Hills are considered as the best hiking in Edinburgh Scotland. Woodland and grassy paths have filled the base of the Hills with mud in some places.

Location: Hermitage of Braid, Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH9 3FN, UK, Scotland
Elevation: 164 m (538 ft)
Approximate Hiking Duration: 3 to 4 hours
Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate
Best Trek Route: Comiston Road → Braidburn Terrace → Braid Road → Hermitage of Braid → Blackford Hills
Best Time to trek Blackford Hills: Throughout the year

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11. Braid Hills

Hiking Trail

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Among the seven Hills of Edinburgh, Braid Hills is located in the southernmost part of the city. Hiking to Braid Hills is comparatively an easy trail that runs through the Golf Car Park. The trail starts from the Park region and ends at the summit of the Braid Hills. The place also includes a horse-riding trail. Overall, an ideal place to unwind from the hustle and bustle of the city. Dogs being allowed makes it to be one of the few animal friendly Edinburgh hiking experiences.

Location: Hermitage of Braid, Edinburgh EH9 3HJ, United Kingdom, Scotland
Opening Hours: Open 24 Hours; Daily
Elevation: 213 m (699 ft)
Approximate Hiking Duration: 1 to 1.5 hours
Difficulty Level: Easy
Best Trek Route: Golf Car Park → Braid Hills Approach → Braid Farm Road Entrance
Best Time to trek Braid Hills: Throughout the year

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12. Bonaly Circular

Going on Adventure

Last but not least, Bonaly Circular is another place you can’t miss in Edinburgh. Standing at an elevation of 411 meters from the sea-level, Bonaly Circular is known for its lovely energetic walk through the Harlaw and Reservoirs. The route is fine and it takes around 6 to 7 hours to finish the trek which makes it to be one of the moderate hiking in Edinburgh experiences.

Location: 2 Bonaly Avenue, EH13 0ET, Edinburgh, Scotland
Elevation: 411 m (1350 ft)
Approximate Hiking Duration: 6.5 to 7 hours
Difficulty Level: Moderate to Hard
Best Trek Route: Bonaly Road → Bonaly Scout Camp →Clubbiedean Reservoir →Harlaw Reservoir → Bonaly Circular
Best Time to trek Bonaly Circular: Throughout the year

Further Read: 15 Best Places To Visit In Scotland On Your Next U.K. Trip!

Edinburgh is an amazing place and a paradise for all hikers and adventure lovers. The Scottish capital is filled with some extremely adventurous hiking trails that you must try to pacify that adrenaline rush and to know what the hype is all about. So, plan your trip to Scotland and go hiking!

Frequently Asked Questions About The Hiking Trails In Edinburgh

How to Reach Edinburgh?

Edinburgh is well-connected through road and railway networks with other parts of Scotland and Europe. Edinburgh’s public transportation includes flights, trains, and buses. By Flight – Edinburgh Airport is the nearest airport, which is only 10 miles away from the main city. It is well-connected to many national and international cities. It is also the busiest airport in Scotland. By Train – Being the hub of Scottish Railways, Edinburgh is connected by several railway lines. Edinburgh Waverley Railway Station is the nearest railway station. By Bus – Bus services are available from Glasgow, Melrose, Stirling, Newcastle upon Tyne, Birmingham, and Liverpool at regular intervals.

How many days should you stay in Edinburgh?

Ideally, this could depend and you can spend anywhere between 2 days to a week in edinburgh. However, if you are short on time, 2 days are more than enough to visit the best part of Edinburgh.

Where are the most beautiful places in Edinburgh?

Here are some of the places in Edinburgh that you can’t miss. 1. Edinburgh Castle 2. Arthur’s Seat 3. Calton Hill 4. National Museum Of Scotland

What is the rainiest month in Scotland?

The rainiest month in Scotland in September. On average, Scotland receives up to 4,577 mm rainfall annually.

What is Edinburgh famous for?

The capital city of Scotland is widely regarded for its abundant charm and history. Here are some of the reasons: 1. Edinburgh is a cosmopolitan city with a wide variety of world-class tourist attractions, hotels, shops, food, eating, drinking, culture, and lifestyle. 2. Edinburgh is one of the world’s leading festival cities which include Edinburgh International Film Festival, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, Edinburgh International Book Festival, and Edinburgh’s Hogmanay. 3. Grand Georgian New Town

Which is the best time to visit Edinburgh?

The best time to visit Edinburgh is between June and August as the weather during this time is pleasant and your hiking experience will be blissful too.

Is it worth visiting Edinburgh?

Yes, Edinburgh is totally worth the visit, especially if you are fond of adventure, history or just looking to explore a different part of the world.

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Category: Edinburgh, Hike, Scotland, Scotland

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