This list of Edinburgh's Parks is not intended to be comprehensive, more of a quick guide for tourists and other visitors to the city of Edinburgh. If we have missed something you think should be included please let us know via the contact details at the bottom of the page.
The most accessible and obvious park to head for if you are on Princes Street, and just five minutes walk from the High Street. Join the office workers, tourists, mini-golfers, old folk, teenagers with their carry oots of beer, dossers, lovers, loungers and soak it all up. As well as the place to admire Edinburgh castle perched up on its rock, you can buy tickets to the gardens at Hogmanay and at the end of the Festival in August to watch the fireworks - always massively popular. The Ross Band stand in Princes Street Gardens West frequently has live music, of all types. There is also a childrens' play park in the West End and in the Spring/Summer there are elaborate floral displays (especially at the entrance to West Princes Street Gardens at the foot of the Mound).
Huge expanse of grass in the heart of studentland. Its flatness makes it ideal for footie, frisbee or other team sports. Bordered by a few trees, this relatively featureless setting also makes it a good place to clear the mind. If you are traveling by pedal power make use of its special cycle lanes. Occasionally, mini music fests and fairs take place here in the Summer.
Just keep walking all the way down the High Street and you will end up in this dramatic, hilly park. The park is named after the queen's adjacent Edinburgh residence, the Palace of Holyroodhouse. The ruddy cliff face, Salisbury Crags, and lion-like hill, Arthur's seat, can be seen from all over the city. With its myriad footpaths, mini loch and ruin on the hillside (St. Anthony's Chapel, which dates back to the 15th century), it is a great place to ramble. In the Spring, the grassy slopes are covered in yellow-flowered gorse. It is well worth making a trip to the lava-rock of the hilltop - takes about half-an-hour from the foot - for the excellent views of Edinburgh and its surroundings. In the Winter, it can be very gusty on top and lower areas can be get boggy, so you'll need to dress appropriately. In the Summer, remember your sun block.
A verdant oasis in Edinburgh's New Town area and Scotland's answer to Kew gardens is not only a place to learn about exotic flora, but its lush surroundings make it the perfect place to wile away a sunny afternoon. There is no admission charge and it is cleverly landscaped so that you can get lost in its few acres. Budding botanists will be glad to find everything is meticulously tagged and that there are frequent lectures for green-fingered types. Squirrels are common and foxes frequently spotted slinking along its verdant aisles. Tip: go immediately after a rain shower: the flora is at its most fragrant, and people most scarce.
In recent years, there's quite a bit of cleaning up of the Water of Leith (see Water of Leith Conservation Trust), and although rubbish can still be a problem in parts, it is well worth taking the time to discover this historic waterway. The 12-mile walkway is a hidden-away, green corridor through the city. The walkway (and cycleway) starts at the outlying village of Balerno on the edge of the Pentlands, then moves to Currie, Juniper Green and Colinton and into the heart of Edinburgh. It passes Murrayfield and Roseburn onto Dean Village, Stockbridge and Warriston and on to its mouth with the Firth of Forth in Leith: it's quite possible that at some point in your travels you will be able to walk a section of it en route to your destination.
Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Street Party
(Fri 29th Dec, 2017)
The World’s Best New Year Party. Join the warm embrace of the Torchlight Procession as it flickers through the historic city centre to start the festivities on the 29th Dec.