Roy’s Edinburgh Walks

List of walks

    • 1. Edinburgh Circumnavigation Walk:    45-mile circular route (in five sections) around the outskirts of Edinburgh.
      2. Lothian-90 Walk:                                         90-mile walking route (in nine sections) across the whole of West, Mid and East Lothian.
      3. Stroll around Edinburgh:                        35-km stroll (in five easy sections) around the quiet, outer area of Edinburgh.
      4. Edinburgh’s five rivers:                            Almond; Figate/Braid; Bonaly/Dean/Swanston/Burdiehouse; Burdiehouse/Niddrie/Brunstane; Water of Leith.
      5. South Edinburgh:                                       Eight short (5 to 7 mile) circular walks from Blackford Pond.

1. Edinburgh Circumnavigation Walk

A 45 mile walk around the outskirts of Edinburgh and through its hinterland. The full circuit has been designed as a quiet, almost traffic-free, scenic route along quiet footpaths and lanes through outer Edinburgh and its ever-varied suburban, post-industrial and Greenbelt/rural hinterland.

1.a Brief summary of the full route

Leg 1 Linear from Ocean Terminal to Whitecraig, via Docks, Swing Bridge, Leith Links, Sewage Works, Portobello, Joppa, Musselburgh and River Esk.
Leg 2 Linear from Whitecraig to Bilston, via Dalkeith, Hardengreen, outskirts of Bonnyrigg, Springfield, Polton Mill and Bilston Burn.
Leg 3 Linear from Bilston to Colinton, via Pentland Grove, Cow Lane, Boghall, Hillend and Swanston.
Leg 4 Linear from Colinton to Cramond Brig, via Water of Leith, Wilderness Wood, Heriot-Watt, Union Canal, Hermiston Gait Shopping Centre, Edinburgh Park Station, The Gyle Technology Park, Braehead Recycling Dump, Cammo Estate and River Almond.
Leg 5 Linear from Cramond Brig to Ocean Terminal, via River Almond, Cramond, Silverknowes, Granton Point, Royston House, Granton Harbour, Primrose Bank, Newhaven, West Breakwater & Western Harbour. On reaching Ocean Terminal the 75km circuit of Edinburgh is complete.

1.b  Detailed route notes for all 5 legs

Route notes (legs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

1.c Background notes


1.d Interactive Route Map

Map Use zoom slider (top right) and click&drag to find route details.

2. Lothian-90 Walk

A 90 mile walk (in nine sections) across West, Mid and East Lothian. The full traverse has been designed as a quiet, scenic route along quiet footpaths and lanes, with a minimal amount of roadside walking. All sections are easily reached by public transport.

Lothian-90 Route description (Legs 1 to 5)
Lothian-90 Route description (Legs 6 to 9)

Individual route map, elevation chart and short description for all nine sections

Lothian-90 Route (Leg 1)
Lothian-90 Route (Leg 2)
Lothian-90 Route (Leg 3)
Lothian-90 Route (Leg 4)
Lothian-90 Route (Leg 5)
Lothian-90 Route (Leg 6)
Lothian-90 Route (Leg 7)
Lothian-90 Route (Leg 8)
Lothian-90 Route (Leg 9)

Zoomable version of walk map [Legs 1 to 5: Harthill to Gorebridge] Use zoom slider (top right) and click&drag to find route details.

3. Stroll around Edinburgh

 A 35 km stroll around the outer area of Edinburgh

A walk around the outskirts of Edinburgh. The circuit has been designed as a quiet, almost traffic-free, scenic along quiet footpaths and lanes through suburban Edinburgh.
A 35 km stroll around Edinburgh

Individual, detailed route descriptions for each of the five sections

Route Descriptions: All legs. 1, 2, 3 4 & 5
Background Notes
Urban sprawl: Quo Vadis Edinburgh?

4. Edinburgh’s five rivers: Source to Sea

(i) River Almond
Shotts to Blackburn Description/Map
Blackburn to Mid CalderDescription/Map
Mid Calder to Kirkliston Description/Map
Kirkliston to Cramond (Includes Dolphinton/Cockle Burn) Description/Map

(ii) Figate/Braid Burns
Portobello to Firrhill – lower reaches of Figate and Braid Burns Figate Burn Description/Map

(iii) Bonaly/Dean/Swanston/Burdiehouse Burns
Firrhill to Fairmilehead via Allermuir Hill – upper reaches of Bonaly/Dean/Swanston/Burdiehouse Burns Bonaly Burn: Description/Map

(iv) Burdiehouse/Niddrie/Brunstane Burns
Fairmilehead to the coast Burdiehouse Burn: Description/Map

(v) Water of Leith
Source and upper reaches problematic. No public transport, much barbed wire. Colzium springs to Balerno
Description and maps for middle and lower reaches: provided by Balerno to Slateford  Slateford to Leith

5. South Edinburgh. Eight COVID-19 inspired short (5 to 7 mile) circular walks from Blackford Pond

  1. A Craigmillar Castle circuit
  2. A Mortonhall figure of eight
  3. Le Tour de Braids
  4. In the footsteps of RLS
  5. A war poets’ 4-loop walk
  6. A sweep past sixteen old curling ponds
  7. The Canal Basin
  8. Outlying tops of Arthur’s Seat

Exportable GPX file EightFromBlackfordPond for use in GPX Viewers (Created in Mapometer).



Route (i) A Craigmillar Castle circuit

Route: Blackford Pond >> Royal Observatory >> Millennium Wood >> Liberton Dams >> Double Hedges >> Craigmillar Castle >> Hawkhill Woods >> Bridgend >> Inch >> Nether Liberton >> West Saville Road >> Blackford hill Stattion >> Blackford Pond.

Route description and Notes: A Craigmillar Castle Circuit

Route (ii) A Mortonhall figure of eight

Route: Blackford Pond >> Charterhall Road >> 56 steps, 19 more steps >> Blackford Hill Grove >> Blackford Hill Rise >> Observatory Road >> Harrison Arch >> West Mains Road >> Kings Buildings >> Mayfield Road >> A701>> Montessori Arts School >> Liberton Tower >> Braid Hills Golf Driving Centre >> former site of WWII anti-aircraft defences >> Stanedykehead >> Seven Acre >> Y-junction >> Stables Bar >> Mortonhall House >> Arboretum >> Stenhouse Burn >> Old ha-ha ditch >> Walled Garden >> Stables Bar >> Y-junction >> Braid Hills Golf Course >> Valley of the Braid Burn >> Howe Dean >> Millennium Wood >> Royal Observatory >> Blackford Pond.

Route description: A MortonHall figure of eight
Trees in Mortonhall ArboretumMortonhall2

Route (iii) Le Tour de Braids


Route description: Le Tour de Braids

Route (iv) In the footsteps of RLS

Route: Blackford Pond >> Cluny Dr. >> Hanging Stanes >> Comiston Pl. >> Morningside Cemetery. Grave of ‘Cummy’ the much loved Nanny to RLS, also graves of Sir Edward Appleton, two famous geologists (James Geikie & Ben Peach) and two suffragette sisters (Grace Ross and Martha Georgina Isabella Cadell) >> Dalhousie Terr. >> Braidburn Valley >> Cockmylane >> Comiston Springs Cistern & Wellhead >> White Lady Walk >> Fairmilehead Public Park >> Braid Rd. >> Buck Stane >> Shoulder of Braid Hills >> Braid Burn >> Shoulder of Blackford Hill >> Blackford Pond.

Route description: In the footsteps of RLS

Route (v) A war poets 4-loop walk.

Blackford Pond >> Hermitage of Braid >> Fly walk >> Ashy path >> Firrhill >> Wester Hill >> Old War Hospital >> Old City Hospital >> Poor House Comiston Dr. >> Blackford Pond.

Route description: A war poets 4-loop walk
Notes: A war poets 4-loop walk

Route (vi) A sweep past sixteen old curling ponds.

Blackford Pond >> Royal Ed. >> Union Canal >> Easter Craiglockhart Hill >> Hermitage >> Blackford Pond.

Notes, old maps and photos : S. Edinburgh a sweep past sixteen old curling ponds
Route description: S. Ediburgh a sweep past sixteen old curling ponds

Craig House curling pond. Author and U3A party.

Drain hole of Craig House curling pond

Map of Scottish historical curling ponds

NB. Map, and historical information all from the excellent historical curling places website 

Route (vii) The Canal Basin.

Route description and notes: The Canal Basin


Route (viii) Outlying tops of Arthur’s Seat.

Route description: Outlying tops of Arthur’s Seat

In the 18th century what lay beneath the Earth’s surface was hotly debated. The walk visits sites used in a pioneering C19th geophysical experiment and mathematical quest to determine the Earth’s mass and to probe Earth’s internal structure. The study helped to answer questions such as: Was the Earth hollow or solid? Was its interior full of ocean waters that entered through deep chasms, filled with fermenting mud, or were Earth’s subterranean realms inhabited by strange creatures and spirits, as in the Celtic mythology of “Cruachan”?

Click here PDF for an illustrated description to the background, instrumentation and results of the Arthur’s Seat experiment.



Report this page

To report inappropriate content on this page, please use the form below. Upon receiving your report, we will be in touch as per the Take Down Policy of the service.

Please note that personal data collected through this form is used and stored for the purposes of processing this report and communication with you.

If you are unable to report a concern about content via this form please contact the Service Owner.

Please enter an email address you wish to be contacted on. Please describe the unacceptable content in sufficient detail to allow us to locate it, and why you consider it to be unacceptable.
By submitting this report, you accept that it is accurate and that fraudulent or nuisance complaints may result in action by the University.