Ask anyone why they love living in Edinburgh and they’ll tell you it is that compelling mix of cityscape, culture, nightlife and proper nature. Edinburgh has a seaboard and it has wild hills to escape to on its doorstep. Whether it is thrill-seeking or just peace and a good view it is all within easy reach, here are our favourite ‘Adventures in Edinburgh’.
Hideout on a walk by the Water of Leith
Unlike other great cities the Water of Leith runs through Edinburgh unnoticed. It goes low while city-life goes on high above. For much of its length a leafy path occupies its banks as it meanders its way discretely from suburban Balerno via Murrayfield stadium, the New Town and Bohemia Stockbridge before filling the docks at Leith. Following the walkway from Balerno on the western edge of the city to the sea is 12 miles and would probably take all day.
Arthur’s Seat but why just sit there
Arthur’s Seat is Edinburgh’s mini-mountain in Holyrood Park and if you only had an hour to see the city you could view it all from here. Once you have carefully picked your way through its rocky ramparts and reached its summit at 250-metres the vista includes the Palace of Holyrood House, the Scottish Parliament, the castle, the Firth of Forth and the Forth bridges. Those who are particularly energetic may want to combine Arthur’s Seat with six other hill tops and take-up the Seven Hills of Edinburgh Challenge – be aware however that you are expected to run.
Love to swim in a cold climate then go to Portobello
If you are one of those people who extol the virtues of a cold-water swim then a dip in the Firth of Forth won’t disappoint. It is certainly cold and it is best to run down the sandy beach at Portobello trying not to hesitate before taking the plunge. The sand is clean and so is the water but if cold-water isn’t your thing you might prefer to visit the Victorian bath house and have a Turkish instead or why not just have a coffee and bracing walk on the promenade with all your clothes on.
Check out these local Edinburgh Wild Swimming Clubs:
Location – Portobello Beach (by the Epsy pub), three miles east of Edinburgh Contact – Olivia Sharron Swim Time – Various, see Instagram Social Media – @chilly.dippers
WILD ONES EDINBURGH
Location – Various around Edinburgh, including Portobello beach Swim Times –Various, see Facebook Social Media – Wild Ones Edinburgh
For more information on Wild Swimming in Scotland, check out our blogs:
Wild Swimming in Scotland here The Benefits of Wild Swimming in Scotland here
Escape artists – head for the Pentland Hills
Edinburgh can be frenetic; especially during the festival season. There is however an antidote. A short ride on the number four bus will transport you from downtown to the altogether more peaceful settings of Hillend or Flotterstone. Hillend is ideal for those who want to try some downhill turns at the ski centre while Flotterstone is for those who want to wrap themselves in the tranquillity of green hills grazed by cows and sheep on a long walk up Glencorse. For views follow one of the many well defined paths that link these shapely hills.
Very civilised Cycling and for those who insist – Mountain Biking
Edinburgh is clearly a city of culture and civility and one that is complemented by cycling. Long before places like Glasgow got the idea Edinburgh was getting around by bike so that now an extensive network of cycle paths exists. Not only can you easily explore the city itself but you can venture out and follow the coast. Go west towards Blackness Castle and visit historic Hopetoun House, Dalmeny Park and cross the original Forth road suspension bridge to Fife en route. Go east and you could find yourself in Musselburgh or the pretty coastal town of North Berwick from where you can get the train back.
Perhaps not so civilised are the mountain bikers who head into the Pentland Hills and do their best to get splattered with mud on the miles of gnarly tracks that lead over the hills and through the gaps – just watch out for the walkers and livestock.
Rock climbing is perhaps more weather dependent than any of the pursuits outlined so far. In Edinburgh they have got around such vagaries by putting a roof on an old quarry at Ratho so that climbing can continue regardless of such hardships as ice-cold sea fogs and rain. Inside this huge arena of rock there are more than 60 lines to challenge even the most experienced climber and boulders to fall off with impunity. You may, however, want to stick closer to the ground in the soft play area.
Address: South Platt Hill, Newbridge, EH28 8AA Website: EICA Ratho
Adventures Outside of Edinburgh
Lots of our customers will walk the Waters of Leith, hike Arthur’s Seat, soak in the Edinburgh architecture and sample the restaurants and fine cuisine. However, time after time we hear from customers that our adventure tours from Edinburgh are the perfect addition to an adventurers visit to the Scottish capital! The Intrepidus Outdoors canyoning, coasteering, mountain biking and hill walking tours are a chance to escape the hustle and bustle of Edinburgh for the day and really experience the wild side of Scotland. Browse the website and get in touch if you have any other questions about adventures inside or outside of Edinburgh.
Paul Lamarra is one of Intrepidus’ experienced guides. A qualified mountain leader he has climbed, cycled and explored extensively in Scotland. He is also an award-winning writer and author of several books on Scotland. His work has also appeared in many publications throughout the world.
To deliver the highest quality adventurous experiences to entertain, thrill and inspire.
Outdoor Activities: Edinburgh & Scotland
Our values reflect those of a business started by a small group of rock climbers and mountain bikers. The experiences that we have had adventuring, and our passion for the outdoors, has led us to choose a lifestyle dedicated to sharing our love for the outdoors with others. The approach that we take to the experiences that we provide, and the business that we run, is that of sustainability, and an unapologetic quest for quality.
For us at Intrepidus Outdoors, we recognise that our experiences kayaking in clean rivers, surfing on unpolluted beaches and climbing frozen waterfalls have contributed to who we are as people. Therefore, protecting the planet so that the next generation of adventurers can have their own experiences, is hugely important for us. We believe that for people, communities and businesses to make the choice to minimise their impact on our planet, they must first value the planet that we have. We feel that the best way for people to value our blue planet, is to have first hand quality experiences in nature. They can then see the beauty of a forest, feel the power of an ocean and learn to love what is outside our towns and cities, so that they then fight to protect them. We strive to through the products that we deliver make a small difference to peoples understanding of the impact that they have on our world.
Our experiences adventuring have made us who we are and Intrepidus Outdoors is a reflection of us. We provide real adventurous experience that we hope you will cherish.
Adventure Activities: Edinburgh & Scotland
There are cities where stuff is happening all year round and where you will never get bored. Edinburgh is undoubtedly one of these cities. It’s an extraordinary place, full of history, festivals, impressive architecture and plenty of attractions you won’t find anywhere else. Not to mention that we are located on the door step of so many amazing adventures and outdoor experiences.
We would like to introduce you to this extraordinary city, giving you a full range of possibilities that can be found north of the wall! Edinburgh has a huge dose of beautiful history, world-famous festivals, fantastic attractions, adrenaline fuled expereinces and great food. Edinburgh is calling you and you simply cannot refuse its invitation.
There are a many outdoor and adventurous experiences to be had in Edinburgh. If you are a thrill seeker visiting Edinburgh and interested in a canyoning, coasteering or mountain biking adventure in Scotland, Get In Touch!
Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland, is a fantastic destination with a rich history, stunning architecture, and a vibrant cultural scene. Here are 11 reasons why Edinburgh is a great city to visit with friends:
Historic Architecture: Edinburgh is known for its historic and impressive architecture. Explore the medieval Old Town, with its narrow alleys and the iconic Edinburgh Castle perched on Castle Rock. The contrasting Georgian New Town offers elegant streets and squares.
Edinburgh Castle: Dominating the city’s skyline, Edinburgh Castle is a must-visit. Explore the various sections of the castle, learn about its history, and enjoy panoramic views of the city from its vantage points.
Royal Mile: The Royal Mile is the main street of the Old Town, running from Edinburgh Castle to the Palace of Holyroodhouse. It’s lined with shops, pubs, and street performers, making it a lively and entertaining stroll.
Festivals: Edinburgh is famous for its festivals, including the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the world’s largest arts festival. If you visit during August, you’ll be treated to a vibrant atmosphere with countless performances, events, and shows.
Scenic Views: Climb Arthur’s Seat, an extinct volcano located in Holyrood Park, for breathtaking panoramic views of the city and its surroundings. It’s a great place for a hike or a picnic with friends.
Cultural Museums: Edinburgh boasts several excellent museums, including the National Museum of Scotland, the Museum of Edinburgh, and the Scottish National Gallery. These institutions offer a diverse range of exhibits, from art and history to science and technology.
Whisky Tasting: Scotland is renowned for its whisky, and Edinburgh is a great place to sample some of the finest Scotch whiskies. Explore local pubs and whisky bars to experience the rich and varied world of Scottish spirits.
Haunted History: Edinburgh is known for its haunted history, and there are various ghost tours that take you through the city’s spookiest spots. It’s a fun and eerie way to learn about the darker side of Edinburgh’s past.
Dynamic Arts Scene: The city has a vibrant arts scene, with numerous theaters, galleries, and performance spaces. Whether you’re into traditional or contemporary arts, you’re likely to find something that suits your tastes.
Friendly Atmosphere: Scots are known for their friendliness, and you’ll likely find the welcoming atmosphere extends to the city itself. The friendly locals and the convivial ambiance of Edinburgh make it an excellent destination for a memorable trip with friends.
Outdoor Activities on your Doorstep: Edinburgh is on the edge of the Pentland Hills, Ochil Hills, East Lothian, the East Neuk of Fife and a hour and a half drive from the Cairngorm National Park. We deliver outdoor adventures, activities and exciting pursuits to all of these amazing locations.
It’s no secret that Scotland is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. From the rural coastlines to vast mountain ranges, we have it all. Whatever kind of experience you’re after you’re sure to find it here, so we’ve put together an adventurer’s guide to Scotland to help get you started. Our guide breaks down all the outdoor activities Edinburgh has to offer and many more adventures to keep you entertained on your holiday.
Scotland’s allure for outdoor adventures is rooted in its unparalleled natural beauty and diverse landscapes. From the rugged peaks of the Scottish Highlands to the tranquil shores of its countless lochs, the country provides a stunning backdrop for a myriad of outdoor activities. Hikers can traverse historic trails like the West Highland Way, while mountaineers are drawn to the challenge of scaling iconic peaks such as Ben Nevis. The expansive coastline and intricate network of rivers offer opportunities for water enthusiasts, from thrilling white-water rafting to peaceful kayaking. Scotland’s commitment to preserving its wilderness allows for accessible exploration, inviting both seasoned adventurers and casual nature lovers alike. With a rich cultural heritage woven into its landscapes, including ancient castles and historic sites, Scotland stands as an exceptional destination for those seeking not just outdoor excitement, but a profound connection with the untamed beauty of the natural world.
Moreover, Scotland’s outdoor appeal extends to its diverse range of activities, accommodating adventurers with varying interests and skill levels. Cyclists can navigate scenic routes, taking in the breathtaking views of rolling hills and coastal panoramas. As winter blankets the land, the Cairngorms and Glencoe transform into playgrounds for skiers and snowboarders, offering a thrilling winter sports experience. Wildlife enthusiasts find solace in the country’s natural habitats, where red deer roam freely, eagles soar overhead, and seals bask along the rugged shoreline. The proximity of Edinburgh, the capital city, further enhances the Scottish adventure, providing a seamless transition from urban exploration to the untamed wonders that lie just beyond its borders. In every season, Scotland’s outdoor wonders beckon, promising a tapestry of experiences that blend natural splendor with a rich tapestry of history and culture.
If you haven’t already seen it, check out the our Trip Advisor, Youtube channel, Visit Scotland page and blog to hear about how others found their outdoor adventures with us! Equally, if there is any gear that you would like us to review, drop us a DM.
Here is a list of our Frequently Asked Questions about Outdoor Adventures from Edinburgh!
What are the best outdoor activities in and around Edinburgh?
Canyoning, Coasteering, Mountain Biking, Hiking, Canoeing and Rock Climbing!
Is Edinburgh a good venue for adventures?
Edinburgh is on the doorstep of incredible locations for outdoor adventures. Only a short minibus ride and you are in world class venues for coasteering, canyoning, mountain biking and hiking.
Are your adventures suitable for beginners?
Yes. Our outdoor adventures are great for everyone!
Do you provide all the equipment?
We provide all technical equipment for your outdoor adventures with us. This includes canyoning and coasteering boots!
Is Edinburgh good to visit?
Yes. Edinburgh is a fantastic city to visit, offering a rich tapestry of history, culture, and natural beauty.
Is Edinburgh expensive?
If you live in the south of England, No. If you live in the Midlands or the North of England, Yes.
How much is a pint in Edinburgh?
Between £4 and £6
Do you collect us from our hotel for adventure tours?
Yes. On our private adventure tours we collect clients from their hotels.
Where do you collect open group tours from?
Edinburgh Waverley Train Station – The Market Street Entrance.
What is the age range of your adventures?
Open groups 14+. Private groups all ages!
How extreme are your outdoor adventure tours?
Canyoning and coasteering has jumps up to 10meters and the canyoning has waterfall abseiling uptimes 17 meters. So you tell us?!
How much are your adventure tours?
Days trips from £95 per person including transport.
What is the most popular outdoor adventure from Edinburgh?
Canyoning. People LOVE canyoning. We also love canyoning!
Do you take pictures?
Yes. All instructors will take pictures with their iPhones and GoPro’s. They will send them to you after the adventure.
What is your favourite outdoor activity?
Our team like lots of different adventures! Some like the extreme trips like canoeing while others like the more mellow tours like canoeing.
How are your trip advisor review so good?
We aim the exceed the expectations of our clients on all our outdoor adventure tours from Edinburgh!
Where do you run adventure tours from?
We operate out of Edinburgh, Glasgow, East Lothian, Midlothian, Scottish Borders, Tweed Valley, Perth, Fort William, Bruar, Dollar, Alva, Cairngorm National Park, Pitlochry, Aberfeldy and Loch Tay. .
What are your group sizes for private outdoor adventure tours?
Between 8 and 80!
Do you provide transport for your outdoors experiences?
Yes! We have a National Operators License to operate our own fleet of 17 seater minibuses.
Who is the best adventure tour provider in Edinburgh?
With over 350 5star TripAdvisor reviews the Intrepidus team aims to exceed our customers expectations in every trip!
What provider runs the best outdoor experiences in Scotland?
Intrepidus Outdoors run canyoning, coasteering and hiking almost every day and we have over 350 5star TripAdvisor reviews!
Edlin Industrial Estate