RAVELSTON WOODS NATURE RESERVE
Situated at Craigcrook Road in the Blackhall area of North Edinburgh this nature reserve has woodland, and steep cliffs formed from an old quarry. This is an ancient woodland with trees such as oak, ash and holly. Bus 32 and 41 to Queensferry Road/Hillhouse Road then a short walk. Parking around the neighbouring streets
This park in the Stenhouse/Saughton area has open playing fields, a sports centre, play area and a large formal classic garden. It also has a glass winter garden and a famous rose garden. A new skateboard area opened in May 2010. Bus 3,3a,25,30,33,38. There is a small car park and parking in surrounding streets.
BONALY COUNTRY PARK
South of the Colinton area is this gateway to the Pentland Hills. At the end of Bonaly Road you will find a gate through which are 3 paths. You can go straight up through woods and into the Pentland Hills, go right through grassland or left through woods and a stream. If you head right at the hills you will come to Bonaly Reservoir. If you turn off Bonaly Road and go along Torduff Road you will find an easier way to the reservoir and one that is good for cycling. You can park easily on Torduff Road but if you use the car park advertised at the end of Bonaly Road be warned that the last section is single track and the car park small and muddy. Bus 10 (Bonaly on front not Torphin!) will take you most of the way up Bonaly Road.
One of Edinburgh's 7 hills part of which is occupied by Edinburgh Zoo. If you are lucky you can see some of the animals through the fences! There are many walks and some great views over the city and also a tower. This tower at the top of the hill is 138 years old and was built as a memorial to Sir Walter Scott (as well as his monument in Princes St). It is open on some Sundays during the summer. There is also a restored walled garden. Buses 1,21,26 and a little walk. One entry is on Kaimes Road where there is limited parking or park on nearby streets
Check out the Friends of Corstorphine Hill website - http://www.corstorphinehill.org.uk/index.htm
Another of Edinburgh's 7 hills. Craiglockhart pond and sports centre lie at the bottom and access is up some wooden steps at the end of the pond furthest from the sports centre. Follow the path around the houses then take a right onto steps up the hill. There are many paths to explore around the hill but at the summit there are seats so you can take in the view and get your breath back. Near the summit at the western end is Napier University and this can provide another access to the hill from Craighouse Road in Morningside. Buses 10,27,45 to Colinton Road then down Craiglockhart Terrace or 23 to Napier Campus. Parking on side streets
HERMITAGE OF BRAID
Just off Braid Road in the Morningside area leading to Blackford Hill, this 160 acre site includes woodland, grassland, scrub and marsh. It is a haven for wildlife and foxes, otters, kingfishers, herons and owls can possibly be seen. From the Braid Road entrance follow the path by the Braid burn to the old Hermitage House which is now a visitor centre. You can also see the Doocot in the walled garden and an ice house – a small building used to keep things cool. Buses 5,11,15,16,38,41 to Morningside and a short walk. Parking on side streets. Check out the Friends of Hermitage of Braid at http://www.fohb.org/new/index.htm
This is a river valley walk through woods and open areas. It starts at Lanark Road with an entrance beside the Dell Inn pub and ends at Colinton village although there are paths that will take you onto Balerno. There are also access points at Gillespie Road, Dell Road and Spylaw Park. Craiglockhart Dell is part of the old Craiglockhart House estate and in this section you can see two little grottoes that were built around the 1760s. At the other end of the Craiglockhart section you come across some cottages off Kates Mill Road. An old mill (Kate's Mill) was built here around 1783 and although it is now a private house you can see the water wheel and also the water channel built to power it. The Colinton section has more open areas which can be used for picnics and also Spylaw Park. The old village of Colinton is worth investigating and there are some good pubs and eating places. Buses 10, 18 and 45 serve Colinton and the 44 stops outside the Lanark Road entrance at Craiglockhart. Parking available on side streets
WATER OF LEITH HERITAGE CENTRE
Across the road from the entrance to Craiglockhart Dell is a centre dedicated to the Water of Leith. It is a charity run by volunteers to protect Edinburgh's river. They have all sorts of information and also a small cafe. Visit their website for further information. http://www.waterofleith.org.uk/
DUNBAR CLOSE GARDEN
At the end of Dunbar Close off the Canongate and just down from Canongate Church lies this oasis of tranquillity. Although established in 1978 the garden is laid out in 17th century style with trees, flowers and herbs. It was gifted to the city by the Mushroom Trust and is run by Edinburgh City Council