The tourists might flood the cobbled streets and closes around the castle, but some of locals' favourite walks in Edinburgh are along old railway routes, the Water of Leith and the Union Canal. The Union Canal starts a few minutes' walk west from the Castle. Down the walkway at the side of the Cargo Bar you’ll find Edinburgh Quay and the cobbled path that starts a 32-mile journey to the Falkirk Wheel. You can walk, cycle or take a canal boat, and the ever-changing path will quickly take you past the industrial remnants of the inner city, to a tranquil walk past the back of tenement gard to open fields and beyond. You’ll meet ducks, swans, canoeists, walkers and cyclists, maybe even a fox or deer, and there’s many an inn for the weary to rest. About three miles in there’s the Water of Leith Visitor Centre (waterofleith.org.uk), seven miles and the fields open out, you’ve left the city behind and just about to happen upon the Canal Centre at the Bridge Inn (bridgeinn.com). Stop at the Bridge inn for a picturesque view over the canal and some freshly cooked food or cask ales. Get the 48 bus back from here or, if there’s no stopping you, go on another 10 miles or so to Linlithgow and the second of two aqueducts. From Lithlithgow you can catch a train back to Edinburgh.
Start at Fountainbridge, beind Cargo Bar in Edinburgh Quay.
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