Climbing the Seven Hills of Edinburgh

January 9, 2013 by

Free Things to Do, Local Recommendations, Sightseeing, Suggested Itineraries, Things To Do

Climbing the Seven Hills of Edinburgh: View of Edinburgh from the top of Calton Hill

Climbing the Seven Hills of Edinburgh: View of Edinburgh from the top of Calton Hill

Said to be the city ‘built on seven hills’, historians have long debated which of the region’s many mounts are Edinburgh’s famous seven. Whether you choose to climb the traditional seven or let the controversy coerce you into seeking out less-climbed mounts, the magnificent views alone should be enough to entice you out of the city center. So don your hikers and add these renowned viewpoints to your itinerary – or wait for the annual seven-hill run, where keen locals circle the city on a 14.2 mile run (or walk) of the seven hills of Edinburgh.

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1. Arthur’s Seat

Reaching a height of 251 meters (823 feet), this ‘hill’ is more like a range of hills, including the Salisbury Crags, Dunsapie Hill and the highest peak of the seven – Arthur’s Seat, itself. It’s a tough but manageable scramble to the top, but the hugely popular route affords fabulous views over the city.

2. Castle Rock

Best known as the seat of the majestic Edinburgh Castle, an easy zigzagging pathway climbs up the side of Castle Rock, but to reach the 131-meter (430 foot) summit, you’ll need to enter the castle grounds (and fork out the entrance fee!).

3. Calton Hill

The baby of the bunch, at a mere 103 meters (340 foot), the easy stroll up Calton Hill is dotted with monuments but the real attraction is the view stretching out over the nearby Princes St Gardens.

4. Corstorphine Hill

Home to Edinburgh Zoo and the looming Clermiston Tower, there’s plenty to keep you busy on the south side of Corstorphine Hill and the route to the 162 meter (532 feet) peak is shaded by pretty woodlands.

5. Braid Hills

Another collection of peaks, the highest point of the Braid Hills lies at 213 meters (699 feet) but you can always stop off for a game of golf at the public course along the way. Sick of walking yet? There’s also a horse-riding stables here that offers treks through the hills.

6. Blackford Hill

Views from the South of the city center can be had by following the gentle slope to the 164 meter (538 foot) tip of Blackford Hill, passing by Blackford Pond and the Royal Observatory.

7. Craiglockhart Hill

Finally, Craiglockhart Hill, at 175 meters (574 foot), is home to the remains of Craiglockhart Castle and offers views from the southwest of the city.

- Zoe Smith

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