All of our walks start from the city centre and are easily manageable with children in buggies. There are no really steep hills either way and some may involve using a bus to get there if you wish.
All information about local bus services can be found on Lothian Buses website here. All of the services operate an exact fare scheme except the 100 Airlink. For more information on all bus fares click here. The day ticket offers very good value if you are unsure how many buses you will use (but you need to go on at least three to make it worthwhile) and the family day ticket is extremely good value if there are two adults and two children.
Water of Leith
From Frederick Street (between Princes Street and George Street) take the northbound number 24, 29 or 42 and it will take you to Stockbridge in under 10 minutes. From there you have the option to walk westwards to Murrayfield or east to Leith. It probably depends on the time of day and the weather but the route to Murrayfield (and beyond as far as Balerno) can be as long or as short as you like.
There are two cafés at the National Gallery of Modern Art and shops too!
You can get on to the Union Canal at Tollcross in behind Cargo Bar which is 129 Fountainbridge EH3 9QG. To get there from Hanover Street take either the 23 or 27 travelling south and get off at the Cameo Cinema.
Cross the road and head past Tollcross fire station, then aim for the tall modern building which you will see in the near distance. (that’s the STV Edinburgh studios so give them a wave!) When you pass the Meat Market arch on your right you are nearly there. At the traffic lights and just outside Cargo Bar turn to the left between the buildings and you will be at one end of the canal. From there you can walk as far as you like along the canal bank. Watch out for the murals on the building just off to the right handside of the Leamington Lift Bridge.
There is sometimes a café boat moored at Harrison Park to get a coffee and a sandwich. This is also a great cycle route so keep any dogs on a leash and stick to one side if you are walking. If you are cycling then please look out for pedestrians and slow down for them, alerting them with a bell from a distance. If you are really energetic you can walk right out of town along this route.
If you take a number 26 bus from Princes Street then you can get to Portobello in no time at all (well 29 minutes). Get off at the first stop on the High Street and walk down any street to your left which will take you to the prom. The very first stop is King’s Road and that offers you a very decent route indeed along to Joppa. Walk eastwards as far as Joppa and then either walk back again to avail yourself of the many cafés in Portobello or jump back on the westward number 26 bus and come back to town.
We particularly like the Beach House right on the prom which is good if you are there early enough for breakfast before the rush, but there are many others on the High Street, and of course you can always make a day of it and take a picnic!
From George Street you take either the number 23 or 27 bus heading north to the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and get off on Inverleith Row.
This takes you into the garden at the east gate where there is a most convenient coffee outlet where on a good day you can sit outside.
If you take a right on entering the garden and follow the path you can go right round the perimeter, but there are many pathways which criss cross the garden and there are cafés in the John Hope Gateway and Inverleith House.
From Hanover Street take the number 41 going west to Cramond. Get off at Cramond Glebe Road and it is a short walk down the hill (okay there is a hill here….) to the harbour. Here you can either go left along the River Almond (beware parts of this route can be a bit muddy in wet weather) or right which will take you back towards the city along the water’s edge. This is our preferred route, and again this route can be as short or long as you like to walk for. It will eventually take you all the way to Leith if you keep going.
There is a nice wee cafe in Cramond to get you started off or finish off your walk if you choose to go ‘out and back’ which many people do. If you choose to go across to Cramond Island then make sure you know what the tide is doing and make sure you have water and food if necessary as well as proper clothing. It is a bit of a scramble so sensible footwear is required. But most importantly check the tide! The RNLI regularly rescue people stranded out there on the island – and remember the tide will not turn for 12 hours so you could have a long wait.
If you would like to add your own routes then please do so below or you can contact us here with your own ideas.