In a lot of jokes our beautiful British climate is the punchline. And let’s be honest, it can leave a little to be desired. We can have all four seasons and virtually every type of weather in a matter of hours (let alone a full day), but when all is said and done, when it is sunny we love getting outside and enjoying it!
Edinburgh’s a fantastically green city, with loads of big green spaces all over the city, but whilst this means that we’re not ridiculously crowded when the sun shines, it can leave us all congregating in the same spaces. Princes Street Gardens, The Meadows and Inverleith Park are all fantastic places to sun yourself, but where can you go that’s a little less crowded and perhaps without the BBQ smoke? Here is Edinburgh Editor’s top 5:
1. Top of the Crags/Arthur’s Seat
A view that’s definitely worth the climb (although it’s not that much of a climb), but moreover this place is a huge open green area, perfect for lazing about or making the most of your camera. It’s a bit of a slope, so not really a place for ball games, but it has the enviable quality of feeling like you’re in the countryside, with no buildings for miles around, when in reality they are but a short hop away on the other side of the crags.
2. Calton Hill
Offering yet more panoramic vistas of the city and beyond, Calton Hill is often ignored, but if you don’t fancy the walk up Arthur’s Seat to get above it all, then Calton Hill is the option for you. Whilst the side facing Princes Street will be covered in people with cameras, there is a lot of space behind the National Monument (the Parthenon-type thing) and on the north side, looking out over Leith, both of which enjoy the sun and have shelter from any wind that’s about.
3. Braid Hills
Out the Southside, between Blackford Hill and the Pentlands, the Braid Hills and the surrounding parkland are quite easy to forget. But with walks, golf courses (yup, two), cycling and fields a plenty, it is worth taking a look at the Hermitage of Braid and other areas round here, they are not that well-known so are an excellent place to enjoy the sun away from the hoards – very much dog friendly as well if you have a four-pawed friend to walk.
4. Cramond Island
Lying just out into the Firth of Forth, Cramond Island is a fantastic place to go and explore. The causeway from Cramond is revealed at low tide (make a note of the tide times, otherwise you will be stuck out there) and allows you to walk out. Not just any old island, this one played a big part in protecting the Forth (and its naval ports) from enemy ships and submarines in the World War II – today you can explore the ruins of the gun emplacements and other old treasures hidden in the under growth.
5. Royal Botanic Garden
One of Edinburgh’s stand-out attractions, the peace and quiet of the Botanics make it not just for plant lovers, but a haven for all. Whether you want to stroll around the Chinese Garden, explore the Palmhouse or laze about in the Rock Garden, the Botanics is where you need to be (a small snippet in this post really does not do it justice).
These five spots are places we recommend exploring, but they are by no means everything available. If you have somewhere to suggest let us know in the comments below or on Twitter/Facebook, we’ll include them in a future post.