Don’t ignore Mother Nature until it gets too cold – take a look at our latest travel guide on how to explore Edinburgh’s natural beauty.
Here are the highlights:
Cycle Scotland is based right in the centre of the Old Town – it allows you to explore and escape, whilst keeping you very fit in the process, as Edinburgh has its fair share of hilly streets. There are quality mountain, city and hybrid bikes to hire – you can take them for a half day, full day or a weekly rental. Pick up accessories such as panniers and racks to help you get away into the hills. There are a number of organised trips available including: West Coast Wilderness and Island, Sacred Sites and Secret Places, and Royal Deeside Castles and Whisky Trail.
Princes Street Gardens
Step out amongst the vibrancy of Edinburgh city centre and visit Princes Street Gardens. Take in views of Edinburgh Castle and the Old Town on one side of this splendid park and the bustle of the New Town on the other. Princes Street Gardens is the gateway to the shopping district beyond, it is a great place to wander through with historic monuments and a fountain. Frequented by families, students and performers Princes Street Gardens is alive with people.
Families of all ages are welcomed to Edinburgh Zoo. Hop onto one of the zoo buses and spend the day away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Edinburgh Zoo has lots to offer, with scheduled activities such as petting and feeding and everyone’s favourite highlight- the Penguin Parade.Visit Rainbow Landings to meet and feed the rainbow lorikeets and see Budongo Trail where they can get up close and personal with chimpanzees. Serengeti animals live on the sprawling land at the peak of Edinburgh Zoo. There are Sun bears, Indian one-horned rhinos, Sumatran tigers, Amur leopards, the UK’s only koalas and European wolves.
The Edinburgh Zoo opens at 9am and is located on Corstorphine Road. Admission costs £15.50 for adults and £11.00 for children (kids under 3 get in for free). You can also buy family and group tickets; visit the Edinburgh Zoo website for more information.
Formerly the Birds of Prey Centre, Falconry Scotland continues to introduce the public to the power, agility and beauty of these awesome predators. Get face to face with eagles, kestrels and owls – there are 30 different species of bird to view and aerial displays daily. If you get hooked by these taloned raptors, there is the chance to handle the birds yourself, enjoy a quick introduction, go on a “Hawk Walk” and then take the plunge into the art of falconry. Once you have mastered the falconer’s knot, some basic handling and the essential flying techniques, the sky is the limit. The centre also organises falconry holidays. Demonstrations and handling sessions are available on a pre-booked basis only, please telephone the centre to discuss your needs and their current rates.
Arthur’s Seat and the Salisbury Crags
Like Castle Rock, Arthur’s Seat and the Salisbury Crags were formed by an extinct volcano and carved out by moving glaciers. These hills, lochs (lakes) and cliffs make up Holyrood Park and offer somewhat easy walking trails. Arthur’s Seat is the highest point in Edinburgh (251 meters high) and is located at the center of the park while the Crags are located west of it. It is not known if the name is truly related to the mythology of King Arthur.