A Guide to Edinburgh’s Great Outdoors
When you hear the name Scotland, what images come to mind? For us, we immediately think about the Scottish Highlands and breathtaking cities like Edinburgh. We think about wide, rolling hills, towering mountains, sprawling forests — we think about the great outdoors.
Edinburgh is famous the world over for the city’s culture and beauty. If you asked most visitors in the city why they came, they’d probably say that they came over to admire the landmarks. But there are a ton of great outdoor activities that you can experience in Edinburgh. Camping, hiking, skiing, birdwatching — the possibilities are almost endless. The sheer variety of things you can do in Edinburgh is almost overwhelming. Emphasis on the word “almost”.
Today, we’re going to help you get back in touch with Mother Nature. Today, we’re going to show you the best outdoor and camping areas near Edinburgh. We’ll hike up the highest hills, stroll through the city’s biggest parks, and camp out with the night sky as our ceiling. This is going to be a lot of fun! It’s also going to be quite the workout, too. Stock up on camping gear, fill up your canteens, and store your extra luggage in a safe place before you hit the road.
Several great European landmarks are named after mythical figures. Arthur’s Seat fits that bill. This giant hill is actually a dormant volcano that’s been around for centuries. Dormant with a capital “D”, so there won’t be any lava seeping out of Arthur’s Seat. This landmark is now one of the most popular hiking spots in Edinburgh. Steep slopes and winding roads trail all around Arthur’s Seat. Once you make it to the top of this hill, you’ll find a gorgeous view of Edinburgh waiting for you.
So, how is Arthur’s Seat related to mythology? Well, it’s all in the name — Arthur’s Seat takes its name from King Arthur. Yes, that King Arthur. The ruler of Camelot, the wielder of Excalibur, and the leader of the Knights of the Round Table, you get the idea. When you visit Arthur’s Seat, you’ll see the magic of this place first hand. The scenery is simply inspiring and the local wildlife wouldn’t be out of place in a fairy tale. If there is anything mythical about Arthur’s Seat, we wouldn’t be surprised because this place is simply spellbinding.
Scotland is a very green country; there are miles and miles of forests and plains that make up much of the landscape. Most of those green places are far outside of Scotland’s cities. The Meadows, however, is right within arm’s reach. This venue is the largest and most famous public park in Edinburgh. To be a bit more specific, it’s just south of the city’s center.
The Meadows’ size is only matched by its beautiful scenery. Various Elm trees decorate The Meadows, perhaps most notably Ulmus Columella and Regal trees. This park is also a major sports hub in a sense; cricket, croquet, football, and tennis players just love this place. Stop by The Meadows any day of the week and you’ll probably find a game in session. Multiple events are also held here throughout the year. If you’d like to know what’s on the calendar, you can visit this website to learn more.
Midlothian Snowsports Centre
Some of you probably didn’t think you’d be skiing in Scotland. Then again, some of you probably aren’t familiar with the Midlothian Snowsports Centre. This place is home to one of the longest Dry Ski slopes in all of Europe. Some of its standout features include:
- Skiing lessons from industry veterans.
- Downhill tubing courses.
- The Cafe 360 restaurant.
Midlothian Snowsports Centre has been around since the 1960s. Over the years, dozens of Scottish Olympians have come to train here. This venue is actually open year-round because it’s a Dry Skiing spot. That means that you, your family, and your friends can have a ball in the Fall or do your thing in the Spring. Stop by the Midlothian Snowsports Centre’s website to learn more.
Mortonhall Caravan + Camping Park
Mortonhall is a lively part of South Edinburgh that shares a name with the Mortonhall House. This area is very rural compared to other parts of the city. There are tall trees, wide fields, ponds, and lakes almost everywhere you look. It’s essentially the perfect place to go camping.
Enter the Mortonhall Caravan + Camping Park. This place is easily the most popular camping site in Edinburgh. The park lets visitors camp the way they want to; guests can park caravans, RV’s, or motorhomes on the campgrounds or they can pitch tents. Guests can also rent caravans from the park, including their premiere “Holiday Caravans Homes”.
The Mortonhall Caravan + Camping Park is located near several Edinburgh landmarks and attractions. These include the Edinburgh Zoo, the Royal Yacht Britannia, and even the Midlothian Snowsports Centre. We could go on singing praises about the park. If you’re interested in camping in Edinburgh’s countryside, visit the park’s website to learn more.
Princes Street Gardens
You’re about to get two parks for the price of one! The Princes Street Gardens are a pair of popular parks that are located near Edinburgh Castle. These two parks have been around for centuries, since the 1820s at least. Records show that the parks used to be submerged under Edinburgh’s Nor Loch. But a dispute between Edinburgh’s town council and some of New Town’s citizens led to the Nor Loch being drained and transformed into public “pleasure-grounds”.
Even after all these years, the Princes Street Gardens are as popular as ever. Both parks are filled with numerous attractions and monuments that draw thousands of visitors each week. We’re talking the Festival Wheel, a menagerie of statues, and the Gardener’s Cottage.
We don’t want to spoil all the fun before you arrive. We’ll end by saying this; there’s some really cool stuff tucked away in both parks. Check out their website to get a better glimpse of what’s in store.