If you’re headed to Edinburgh, some mindful travel should definitely be on the agenda!
Edinburgh, it’s beautiful from just about every angle.
Years of history have created a compact landscape of layered beauty.
With all of its hidden corners and beautiful vistas, its an ideal place to sink into mindful travel. To slow down and be in the moment.
If you’re headed to Edinburgh, mindful travel is definitely worthy of a second glance.
Mindful Travel in Edinburgh
While there is no one definition for mindful travel, perhaps its best explained as the practice of staying focused in the moment.
You know, when you are present for the travel experiences in front of you. Not worrying about what happened yesterday or what is yet to be tomorrow.
Mindfulness is a great way to enrich our travel experiences, not to mention a way to better well-being.
What’s so simple about mindfulness is that is can be practiced anywhere, anytime. Making it a perfect practice for travel.
I love Edinburgh, it’s one of my favorite European cities.
Its compact size makes it an ideal place to just walk and wander.
Walking is truly one of the easiest ways to practice mindfulness and it’s a great way to stay in shape during travel.
In today’s stress filled world, travel allows us all a chance to get outside of our everyday lives and connect with new people & places.
Which is why wellness travel is for everyone.
Extending a mindfulness practice into travel is an approach that can help us to find focus, balance, and stillness.
Making the adventures all the sweeter!
Scotland is one of my happy places and I visit often, especially Edinburgh & Glasgow.
With such a beautiful natural landscape, there are endless opportunities to practice mindfulness.
Here are a few of the places in Edinburgh that I’ve found to be particularly mindful. Places in the city where it’s easy to be present & fully engaged.
Come along and discover Edinburgh’s mindful travel possibilities. There’s bound to be an idea or two here just for you!
Ross fountain is an ornate iron-cast structure in West Princes Street Park.
This playful fountain has mermaids, lion heads, walrus, and even a few cherubs.
All of the details, along with its location under The Edinburgh castle, make it perfect for quiet observation.
There’s something atmospheric about this spot that makes it easy to get out of your own head and just be there.
You can blissfully people watch, catch the fountain spray in the sunlight, breathe in the fresh air, and listen to the water cascading out of the fountain.
It’s soothing self-care.
Right off the Royal Mile is a unique and hidden gem. And it’s located right under your nose, or your feet in this case!
Makars’ Court is a courtyard located in Lady Stairs Close, right outside The Writers’ Museum.
And, it just happens to be a national literary monument. Pretty cool, right?
The simple flagstone courtyard is covered with famous words of Scottish writers. It’s also an on-going project, so they are always adding quotes.
It’s a thoughtful way to experience history and you might just walk away a little more inspired than when you came.
Which is time well-spent in anyone’s book, right?
Water of Leith Walkway
Nature is a great place for mindful exploration.
So, why not head Edinburgh’s largest river for a riverside walk.
The Water of Leith is a 12 mile green corridor that snakes through Edinburgh. It’s a peaceful place to leave the noise of the city behind, enjoy the sounds of rushing water, and listen to the more than 80 species of birds!
There are a variety of scenic sites along the way, including The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Dean Village, and Stockbridge.
Not only is taking a walk along here a convenient way to get from one attraction to the next, it’s a healthy way to travel.
Calton Hill is situated at the East end of Princes Street and affords one of the best views of the Edinburgh.
It’s truly a quiet and contemplative spot to wander.
Standing a top Calton Hill is one of the best ways to take in the expanse of Edinburgh. The view simply commands your awareness.
There are several monuments and buildings on the hill with views in every direction, which is enough to keep anyone engaged for a while.
Personally, I’m partial to the view from behind The Dugald Stewart Monument looking towards the castle.
There’s often a delightful breeze and I often find myself taking deep breaths.
You know the kind, one part this is awe-inspiring and one part how can I bottle this moment up and take it with me?
Located right in the heart of it all is Holyrood Park, Edinburgh’s largest green space.
This wild piece of landscape with its hills and crags provides the famous dramatic backdrop to the city.
It also provide some of the best aerial views around.
There are over 650 acres of hills, lochs, cliffs, and glens to explore. Nature provides aplenty for your mindful exploration here.
The winding paths peacefully invite you amble the landscape. And, perhaps the biggest draw of your attention is the windswept experience as you climb the park towards Arthur’s Seat.
Then it’s just you and the views, making it one awe-inspiring way to see the city from above.
Located on the outskirts of Edinburgh is Hopetoun House.
A grand Georgian house and 6,500 acre rural estate that is truly a hidden gem.
Often referred to as Scotland’s finest stately home, this 17th century house is an architectural beauty. You can’t help but be drawn in by all of the details, both inside and out.
Walking the estate without agenda will bring peace to your mind and body. You might even see the deer up close and personal.
Be sure to stop by The Stables Kitchen, one of the highlights of the property. The 18th century converted stables are a beautiful backdrop to lunch or tea.
The food is delicious with a focus on local, seasonal and Scottish fare. Y
ou won’t be disappointed, promise!
Coffee With A View
Pausing for coffee is a perfect everyday opportunity to be mindful.
One of the unique things about travel, is that it provides new places to indulge in coffee escapades.
Like outdoor cafes where you can soak up the local atmosphere or indoor spaces that offer iconic picturesque views.
On my last trip to Edinburgh, mindful travel was on the menu at Leo’s Beanery.
This family-run coffee shop near Stockbridge grabbed my attention with its quaint outdoor space. Which is an ideal place to mindfully take in the Georgian details around you. And when in Edinburgh, appreciation of The Georgian splendor is a must!
The Closes of Edinburgh
One quite unique feature of Edinburgh, are the closes that span the Royal Mile.
Closes are steep and narrow passageways that lead to doors, courtyards and alleyways.
You could spend hours exploring these gems, which are the heart and soul of the medieval Royal Mile.
The Royal Mile can be full of tourists and souvenir shops.
Yet, exploring these passageways takes you to a more authentic part of the city.
These corners are atmospheric and you never know what you will find at the other end. It’s like stepping back in time.
Don’t miss Advocates Close, Writers Close, and White Horse Close (my favorite).
Wondering the best time to mindfully explore? Early morning when there are very few people!
It’s the perfect time for an Edinburgh mindful travel moment!
Does it sound like Edinburgh’s mindful travel opportunities are for you? If you know of any other mindful spots, let me know. There’s always the next time!
You’ll find even more ideas about mindful travel in The Ultimate Guide to Mindful Travel!
until the next time…
…live well – travel well – be well
More Scottish Inspiration…
Dean Village: A Tranquil Oasis In The Heart of Edinburgh
Pollak Country Park: A Peaceful Retreat In The Heart of Glasgow
The Necropolis: Glasgow’s Victorian Era Garden Cemetery
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