Walks: Edinburgh, Scotland

Scotland's vibrant capital is an ideal city for walkers. Stroll in Princes Street Gardens between Georgian vistas and the old town. The classical National Gallery adds a continental backdrop. Climb to Edinburgh Castle (pictured) and visit museums and historic sites. Enjoy spectacular views northwards.

Dander in the old town on the Royal Mile from the castle to Holyrood. Narrow closes and lanes lead to wee quirky corners. Relax in quaint restaurants and pubs. Continue past John Knox's house and visit the controversial new parliament building. Near the palace, Holyrood Park is an extensive amenity area. Crags, glens, lochs, moors and marshes are a microcosm of Scotland's varied landscape. Dunsapie Loch and the bird reserve are in a rural setting but still have the city nearby. Ascend to the top of Arthur's Seat for an urban, rural and maritime panorama.Edinburgh Castle

Near the city centre, a short climb to Calton Hill is rewarded with a vista loved by the author Robert Louis Stevenson. Grecian-style buildings provide a distinctive skyline. The Pentland Hills beckon for longer hikes. Scottish and German Christmas markets enhance Edinburgh's attractions.

Thanks to walk guides, Hugh Taylor and Terry Marsh, and my colleagues in the Outdoor Writers' and Photographers' Guild.


More AA Map & Guide to Edinburgh, www.visitscotland.com, www.edinburgh.org, www.aerlingus.com, www.ryanair.com