Things to do in Edinburgh

Walk across the bucolic Pentland Hills

South-west of Edinburgh, but just a local bus ride away, are the gently rolling Pentland Hills (0131 529 2401, with over 100km (62 miles) of way marked paths, many offering superb views of the city and surrounding countryside. Perfect for clearing out those lungs.

Play some of the world’s finest golf courses

Scotland is the home of golf and East Lothian, just outside Edinburgh, boasts 22 courses, among them some of the world’s most historic. Foremost among these is the devilishly challenging 2013 Open Championship venue Muirfield (, and Musselburgh Links (0131 653 5122, - the oldest playing golf course in the world.

Catch some crisp North Sea waves

Scotland’s chilly shores might not match Hawaii’s heat, but its waves could give Waikiki a run for its money. Dunbar, 48km (30 miles) east of Edinburgh is home to a burgeoning surf community, with a surf club and school (07971 990 361, established within the past decade thanks to impressive swell. A super-thick wetsuit is essential attire.

Hit the indoor climbing wall

Rainy days abound in this part of the world, and the Edinburgh International Climbing Arena ( offers a challenging grey day activity with walls ranging from 12m to 28m (39ft to 92ft) high. This massive complex is the world’s largest indoor climbing arena, with both easy and technical routes on offer. You can also try your hand at bouldering (climbing artificial rocks), abseiling and the vertigo-inducing Aerial Assault high ropes course.

Climb Arthur's Seat

The summit of Arthur’s Seat provides a glorious view of Edinburgh Castle and the Old and New Towns as well as splendid vistas across the Firth of Forth to Fife and beyond. Some might say it’s a cliché to do it: we say it’s a fallacy not to.

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