The 15 Best Forest Walks Near Edinburgh to Enjoy!

The 15 Best Forest Walks Near Edinburgh to Enjoy!

Local Forest Walks
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    The table above lists all the best forest walks near Edinburgh. Click on each name to be taken straight to the part of the blog post for that walk.

    The forests around Edinburgh in Scotland are some of the most beautiful in the world. You can make your way to 'The Eye' monument at Black Loch, take in the views from the top of Benarty Hill, or go back in time at the old Wilsontown Ironworks which today has a natural makeover. The trees in the forests listed are tall and green, and the paths are well-maintained. There is something about a forest walk that is so peaceful and calming, and it's a great way to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. If you're ever in Edinburgh, be sure to check out some of the forest walks below.

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    Forest walks around Edinburgh you need to see!

    In this blog post, we will be listing the many forest walks around Edinburgh.

    There's nothing better than a stroll enjoying nature's scenery. Have a look below at the forest walks available on the interactive map and click on the buttons below the map for each walk, to be taken to the Forestry Commission pages for further information on the forest trails.

    Selm Muir

    The deep green of the mature Scotch pines surrounding younger spruce trees is broken up by scatterings into gray-green conifers like rowan and birch at Selm Muir. There's even an old beech hedge, which hints at long years spent in this spot as a largely wooded area with ample wildlife for discovery on foot or by bird watch!

    Dean Plantation

    The Dean Plantation is a popular walking trail in this area with an attractive mix of conifers with broadleaved woodland. If you come to the trail in May there will be bluebells along Pitfirrane Dean burn that make for great photo opportunities!

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    When you first enter the wooded region of Cardenden, it is easy to forget that a busy dual carriageway passes through this part. The west side glens wide and winding with picturesque views ensuring only water or wildlife are heard while walking its length; on the east side however there's more than just trees here - paths lead travellers into unknown territory where they may encounter roe deer and many other animals on your journey!

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    The rolling hills of Scotland are home to some incredible places. One such place is Blairadam, where you'll find old-world architecture mixed in with natural beauty and history dating back centuries- all while sitting on top of a historic mine site! The original owner was William Adam who built his house here around the 1730s before landscaping the area for us to enjoy hundreds of years later.


    The Devilla Forest is a perfect habitat for red squirrels. They can be found throughout the trails and around the four lochs that are home to dragonflies, and otters (maybe even some trout!), making it an excellent place to make new friends with these furry critters!


    The gently rolling Fife countryside is hiding some magnificent ancient oak at Balgownie. First planted with trees in medieval times, this quiet wood has been a favourite spot for walkers since then as it offers an unusual mix of tracks through the deep green woods. The wide gravel forest roads and narrow paths lead to spectacular views over the local fields through the forest.

    Callendar Wood

    Callendar House is a historic estate with panoramic views of the trees and oaks in full bloom, as well as an old yew grove. The family-friendly park also has pedalos for playing on when it's summertime or if you want some exercise while being outdoors! It features art exhibitions throughout different museums within Callendar Woods which are free to enter and worth the visit.


    There are about 4 miles of trails to explore at Benarty, beginning with a set of steep steps leading up from the parking area. You'll enjoy great views over Fife and Loch Leven while on your hike- not only does it provide an opportunity for some fresh air but also provides ample photo opportunities!


    This diverse and restored forest occupies the moorland between Fauldhouse and Whitburn. Covering land that was previously mined for Coal, Iron and clay; it's now home to a wide range of wildlife that inhabit its trees as well as ponds found along this 2-mile long route.

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    Black Loch

    After a long day of work, nothing feels better than coming home and taking in some fresh air. You can find your sanctuary at Black Loch where there is plenty for both bird-watching buffs as well as those looking to blow off steam by running around outdoors!


    If you are looking for a place that is both serene and natural, then head on over to the quiet woodland of Limerigg. Enjoy the rolling countryside with good trails perfect for walking or cycling while listening out for birds such as bullfinches, willow warblers, and woodpeckers who call these woods home


    Imagine you're walking through a new forest with your dog. The sound of traffic from M8 is far behind, replaced only by nature's sounds like birds chirping and branches crunching beneath your feet as you explore the forest in front of you. Eastfield provides this experience only 15 miles from Edinburgh.


    Wilsontown Ironworks was one of the most important sites in Scotland’s Industrial Revolution. The woodland is home to birds, butterflies, and wildflowers which were once covered with smoking furnaces and noisy coal mines; but they have since been replaced by beautiful landscapes that offer peace for those who enter them!


    Mossband is a great place for nature lovers and joggers alike. The path along its edge provides an opportunity to enjoy flowers, butterflies or birds while also getting some fresh air!

    West Forth

    The rolling countryside around West Forth is a great place for walkers, cyclists, and horse riders. There are wide views of the Southern Uplands in one direction and with wildflowers at your feet, it’s like being surrounded by nature!


    With plenty of walking trails and viewpoints, Edinburgh is the perfect place to spend a day or afternoon exploring nature. Be sure to bring your camera - you'll want to capture the stunning views! To find out more about things to do in Edinburgh, click on the links below:


    Edinburgh Blogs


    Free Things to do in Edinburgh


    Cycling Routes in Edinburgh


    Local Delicacies and Souvenirs from Edinburgh

    Please note...

    All outdoor activities including forest walks involve a degree of risk. The walks are recommended due to the well known features of each forest but this may change over time and further research is required before undertaking any activity. The weather can also impact the surface and general conditions of each path so please keep yourself updated with the weather forecast before setting off to enjoy your walk!

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    Crown Copyright, courtesy Forestry and Land Scotland (16/08/22) licensed under the Open Government License.