It’s official, Edinburgh is the greenest city in the UK. Easy access to green spaces and superior air quality were just two of the reasons why Edinburgh scooped this top title. They’re also reason enough to leave the car at home and enjoy all that nature has to offer sustainably this spring.
It’s so easy to explore Edinburgh’s natural (and man-made) wonders without a car. You can travel on foot or by bus, tram, train or bike to enjoy a long list of car-free days out nearby. Here we reveal 5 of the best days out in Edinburgh that you can enjoy without the car.
1. The Innocent Railway
Long before the time of ScotRail, the Innocent Railway was the city’s first rail route. The horse-drawn railway was completed and opened in 1831 making it Edinburgh’s debut railway and now one of the oldest tunnels in the entire country. The route connects St Leonard’s with Dalkeith, and runs underneath Holyrood Park. While the horse-drawn carriages have gone, today the rail line is the city’s most remarkable off-road cycleway.
Unlike most railway routes, the Innocent Railway has a genteel image and a happy history. The name is thought to refer to the fact that there were no casualties during its construction or operation.
2. Water of Leith
Discover an ethereal retreat in the heart of the city by exploring the Water of Leith. Considered the city’s hidden natural asset, the Water of Leith is a riverway that flows through Edinburgh for 24 miles from its source in the Pentland Hills. The Water of Leith is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city centre. Get back to nature by enjoying the area’s tranquil river scenes, diverse wildlife, carpets of wildflowers and ancient woodland.
3. North Berwick
Located just 33 minutes away from Edinburgh by train, North Berwick is a seaside town that boasts award-winning attractions, a fascinating history, great beaches, stunning coastal scenery and amazing wildlife, all of which makes for a fantastic day out.
Use your day in North Berwick to explore a range of independent shops, cafes and bars. Take a peaceful stroll on its beautiful beach and observe the world’s largest northern gannet colony before finding out more at the Scottish Seabird Centre.
4. Gilmerton Cove
Delve deeper into one of the city’s most intriguing sites and solve the mystery of Gilmerton Cove. The 300-year-old chambers and underground passages that make up the cove have left experts puzzled for many years. Some say Gilmerton Cove was used as a 18th century drinking den, whilst others say it was a refuge for those escaping persecution. Whatever its origin, you’ll have fun exploring its never-ending, hand carved caverns and tunnels.
5. Cramond Island
The island of Cramond is just a bus ride away and offers a great day out for all the family. Pick your travel times wisely however. Cramond Island can only be reached at low tide. You can text ‘CRAMOND’ to the RNLI on 81400 for live updates on safe crossing times.
Click here to find out more about Craighouse or get in touch with the team by calling 0131 478 0531.