Scotland is known for its amazing hiking. The Highlands are justifiably world-famous for their amazing walking routes. But what if you’re in Edinburgh for a long weekend and don’t have time to head up north? Or, if like me, you don’t have a car? The Highlands aren’t the most accessible by public transport! Turns out there’s a couple of hiking routes that go straight through the centre of Edinburgh and so you don’t need to leave the city!
The most famous is the John Muir Way. It’s named after the Scottish-American naturalist who established Yosemite National Park in California. He was born in Dunbar, on the east coast of Scotland, and emigrated to the USA from Helensburgh, on the west coast of the country, as a child.
The John Muir Way recreates his trip across Scotland from birthplace to boarding the ship to America, taking walkers from coast to coast on a 215 km (134 mile) trail through a wide range of Scottish scenery.
I’ve not walked the complete length (yet!) but love taking in bits and pieces around Edinburgh. The route passes right through the city centre, coming in via Portobello and leaving via South Queensferry. It’s so easy to pick a wee section for a walk after work or day out on a weekend.
I highly recommend the section from the canal, along the water of Leith, up Corstorphine Hill and out to Cramond. It feels like you are out of the city without going too far at all!