As the title suggests, these shortish walks began during the lockdown as a serious attempt to get myself out of the house, get some sunshine and explore the area around me for restricted periods. A lot of map gazing has gone into them as a diversion from other issues. They will probably be familiar to regular walkers in Edinburgh, but might appeal to people who just want to get out of the house starting with some thing short. All can be done as shorter linear walks or as longer walks returning to your starting point. All the routes are available to download on Viewranger and Outdooractive.
Canonmills to The Shore, Leith. Linear. (2.2 miles)
Bingham to Musselburgh. Linear (2.7 miles)
Joppa to The Shore, Leith. Linear (3.9 miles)
Botanic Gardens to Lochend Park. Linear (2.6 miles)
Easter Road to Ocean Terminal. Linear (3 miles)
Canonmills to The Shore, Leith
This route is a short 2.2 mile linear or 4.4 mile there and back route, starting by the supermarket at Canonmills, and heading along Warriston Path and the Water of Leith walkway to Bernard Street Bridge on The Shore at Leith. Warriston Path is a well surfaced path lined by trees, which is used by walkers and cyclists across the city. As you can see, there was snow lying on the ground, so I used my spikes for some stretches.
The path heads alongside Warriston allotments passed some small bridges as far as Newhaven Road where you head up the steps and follow the signs for the Water of Leith walkway to your right.
From here the Water of Leith walkway stays close to the side of the river for the remainder of the route to the mouth of the river. As the river broadens out, the area around Leith becomes gradually more built up. The route crosses the river at Sandport Bridge to pass along the beautiful Shore, where there are a range of cafes and bars, as far as Bernard Street Bridge and the Ocean Mist yacht which is undergoing restoration into a hotel and bar.
The route is accessible on foot or public transport at both ends, with plenty to explore at Leith including the historic building around The Shore, Ocean Terminal shopping centre and the Royal Yacht Britannia.
Bingham to Musselburgh.
This route is a short 2.6 mile linear or 5.2 mile there and back route from Bingham to Brunton Theatre at Musselburgh on the East Lothian coast. The route follows part of the John Muir Way along Niddrie Burn on tarmac paths designed for walkers and cyclists.
When you reach the railway bridge at Brunstane station, cross over the bridge and take the path slightly to your left on the other side of the road which is signposted for Brunstane Burn Path and the John Muir Way.
This pleasant wooded section follows Brunstane Burn through the Community Woodland until you eventually come out onto the road into Musselburgh where you cross over and turn right.
Follow the road a short way until you see a path on your left onto the promenade. When this promenade path won’t go any further you can either climb the low wall on your left to continue along the beach to the harbour, or rejoin the busy road into the town.
I chose to walk along the beach, around the top of the harbour and follow New Street towards town and turning right at Fisher’s Wynds onto the High Street. This brings you out by Brunton Theatre in Musselburgh Town Centre where there are cafes, bars and shops as well as a good selection of buses.
Joppa to The Shore, Leith
This linear walk is just shy of 4 miles starting from the circular Portobello Promenade View which marks the southern end of the promenade at Joppa, and heading along the sandy beach at low tide (or the promenade at high tide).
There are places to stop for refreshments on the seafront at the junction of Bath Street, Portobello.
Follow the beach as far as you can go until you reach a curving wall where you head uphill along a narrow track onto Seafield Road. There is then a short, horrible stretch along this busy road, before you turn left onto Seafield Street. A short way up turn right where the signposts for Leith Links and Ocean Terminal take you on to the Restalrig Railway Path where you turn right. The path follows alongside Seafield Cemetery towards Leith Links, where you take a right along the path which passes the bowling club and the allotments.
Follow the path as far as Links Gardens. Here you turn right and follow the quiet road onto Queen Charlotte Street as far as a T junction where you take the left fork along Tolbooth Wynd until you reach the Water of Leith at a small bridge with The Shore to your right.
There are many bars, restaurants and cafes along this side of the river. Both ends of the route are served by buses.
Botanic Gardens to Lochend Park
This quiet short walk is a 2.6 mile linear or a 5.2 mile there and back walk, which uses a combination of cycle / walking paths and quiet streets, apart from two short sections on Leith Walk and Easter Road, which are busy main thoroughfares. The Botanic Gardens have places to eat, a shop and toilets.
The route begins at the East Gate of the marvellous gardens on Inverleith Row.
From the gate you cross the road and slightly to your left is a turning for Eildon Street which leads you to Warriston Path where you turn left. This is one of Edinburghs many pleasant tree lined paths for walkers, runners and cyclists which thread around the city.
Follow this path until you see a sign on the right for St Mark’s Path which leads you through pleasant St Mark’s Park, over the Water of Leith to the head of McDonald Road opposite.
Follow McDonald Road down as far as busy Leith Walk where you turn left for a short distance before turning right onto Albert Street as far as Easter Road. Here turn right for a short way before turning left at Albion Road. After a short distance turn left onto Albion Place which continues as Hawkhill Avenue. Turn right at the cycle path sign posted for Lochend Park
Follow the signs to Restalrig which will take you past the picturesque loch to the park gate on Lochend Road South.
Easter Road to Ocean Terminal. (3 miles)
This pleasant short city walk can be either a 3 mile linear route or a 6 mile there and back route; starting at Easter Road by Thorntreeside on the south side of the road and finishing at Ocean Terminal at the Port of Leith.
Restalrig Railway Path forms a quiet, green corridor through the heart of Leith, passing under busy Lochend Road and Restalrig Road and alongside Seafield Cemetery where there are glimpses across the Firth of Forth.
The route then heads towards Leith Links before heading towards the Shore and over the Water of Leith.
Once over the river you head down Commercial Quay to Ocean Terminal (soon to be reached by tram). Here you can do some shopping, go to the cinema or visit the Royal Yacht Britannia.