logo Walking Britain

Edinburgh Walk
Edinburgh - Salisbury Crags and the Royal Mile

County/Area - Edinburgh

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 4.0 miles / 6.5 km

Ascent - 750 feet / 227 metres

Time - 2 hours 50 minutes

Grade - easy

Start - OS grid reference NT255739
Lat 55.952329 // Long -3.194632
Postcode EH2 2DG (approx. location only)

Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Edinburgh - Salisbury Crags and the Royal Mile Photo from the walk - Edinburgh - Salisbury Crags and the Royal Mile Photo from the walk - Edinburgh - Salisbury Crags and the Royal Mile Photo from the walk - Edinburgh - Salisbury Crags and the Royal Mile Photo from the walk - Edinburgh - Salisbury Crags and the Royal Mile Photo from the walk - Edinburgh - Salisbury Crags and the Royal Mile
Click thumbnails for larger images.

This easy walk enables you to visit some of the sightseeing highlights of Edinburgh city centre and also to enjoy the natural beauty of the parkland surrounding Arthur's Seat. The focus of the city is Princes Street, which is lined with shops on one side and flanked by Princes Street Gardens on the other. Overlooking this scene is Edinburgh Castle. No attempt has been made to offer a detailed description of the many sights that are passed during the walk as there are many excellent guide books that cover this type of detail.

This walk starts from the Scott Monument (Grid ref. NT255739) on the south side of Princes Street. From here, walk east towards Waverley Station. Turn right over Waverley Bridge and then continue straight ahead on Cockburn Street, which climbs up to join High Street (The Royal Mile). Turn left down High Street and continue past John Knox's House into Cannongate to pass along the north side of the Scottish Parliament building, which can be seen through the railings on your right. Turn right into Horse Wynd and pass in front of the Scottish Parliament building with its contemporary style. The gardens are very pleasant and link the building with the open country opposite.

The next objective is opposite. Here you will see Salisbury Crags and beyond the summit of Arthur's Seat. This walk uses the well maintained path the lies directly below Salisbury Crags. Use the pedestrian crossing to cross the road and start walking the main path that contours beneath the Crags. The views are immediately good with a wide panorama over Edinburgh, including Holyrood House, the Scottish Parliament, the Castle and many other sights within the city. Continue past the South Quarry. Sadly climbing is not allowed. Reaching the road at the far end of the crags, turn left and follow a wide path that runs beneath Arthur's Seat and parallel with Salisbury Crags, which are on your left. This is the Volunteer's Walk. Continue along this path descending gradually towards Queens' Drive, which runs along the side of the grounds surrounding the Palace of Holyrood House. Turn left towards the Scottish Parliament and enter the gardens in front of the main building.

Retrace you route up the Royal Mile passing St Giles Cathedral on your left. Reaching Lawnmarket, turn sharp right down Bank Street and descend towards the Mound and The National Gallery. From here you can enter Princes Street Gardens or stay at street level to return to the start.

Please maintain social distancing - keep at least 2 metres away from other walkers. Travel restrictions for exercise in Wales and Scotland will be lifted in early July.

Covid 19 Update for Walkers

Maps Ordnance Survey Logo Anquet Maps Logo

Ordnance Survey Explorer 350Sheet Map1:25kBUY
Anquet OS Explorer 350Digital Map1:25kBUY
Ordnance Survey Landranger 66Sheet Map1:50kBUY
Anquet OS Landranger 66Digital Map1:50kBUY

It is recommended you take a map. The preferred scale is 1:25k.


Recommended Books & eBooks

Cicerone Books

Cicerone PressCicerone Press offer a range of Books and eBooks offering guides to all the popular walking areas and long-distance trails in Britain and overseas. Their illustrated guides feature walks, information and maps to help you make the most of the outdoors.
Explore Cicerone's Catalogue

Social Media

Follow Walking Britain for the latest news.

Facebook Twitter

Walking - Covid 19 update

Regular updates on how Covid 19 will impact on walking in the UK More info.

Mountain Weather

Stay safe on the mountains with detailed weather forecasts - for iOS devices or for Android devices.

Digital Mapping Guide

Digital Mapping Guide - a simple guide of how to start using digital mapping. Includes advice and useful links.