Water of Leith Edinburgh

Image by Tamsin Grainger

Water of Leith – River through the city

The Water of Leith is a river that runs from one side of Edinburgh to the other. It is tree-lined, sometimes fast-flowing over weirs, at others ambling and rambling over little rocks, and there are ducks, swans and even kingfishers to be seen. It can be accessed at multiple parts of the city, usually by steps or ramps down. It is accessible in parts and not in others.

The Water of Leith runs through some of Edinburgh’s most scenic and interesting cultural sites: the Colinton Tunnel, Saughton Public Park, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Dean Village, Stockbridge, Edinburgh’s Shore and Leith Docks.

I walk it on warm Sundays for the shade, on Spring Mondays with friends, picnic beside it, and sit meditatively by its waters when I need a break from the computer. There are wooden bridges and metal ones, it goes behind old red sandstone buildings and around monuments. There is art (see the Antony Gormley sculptures) and nature in abundance. You can take a guided walk or wear your wellies and go dipping (for 4-10 year olds), and learn skills to survive the apocalypse like building a camp, deciding what you dare eat, or seeking fresh water (8-12 years). Otherwise, take a book and find a log to perch on, or get some fresh-air exercise in beautiful surroundings. I know you will enjoy exploring!

Walking and enjoying is free, but some activities have a cost attached to them.

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Details about this spot



24 Lanark Road, Edinburgh

Telephone number


Opening Times

24 hours daily


Pond dipping: £ 7


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Last Changed Date: 2016-05-19 11:45:13 +0200 (Thu, 19 May 2016)