Water Adventures: Beaches, Lakes, and Rivers in Edinburgh United Kingdom & Video

Water Adventures: Beaches, Lakes, and Rivers in Edinburgh United Kingdom

Table of Contents (Quick Links)

View all our CITY GUIDES

Listen (English voice)

Edinburgh United Kingdom Video

Beaches in Edinburgh United Kingdom

Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland, is not only known for its historic landmarks and vibrant culture but also for its stunning water adventures. While Edinburgh may not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking about beaches, the city is blessed with several beautiful coastal spots where visitors can enjoy a day by the sea. Here are some of the top beaches in Edinburgh:

  • Portobello Beach: Located just three miles east of Edinburgh city center, Portobello Beach is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. With its sandy shores, promenade, and charming beach huts, it offers a picturesque setting for a leisurely stroll or a relaxing sunbathing session.
  • The beach is also home to various water sports activities, including kayaking, paddleboarding, and sailing. The wide stretch of sand provides ample space for picnics and beach games, making it a perfect spot for families.

  • Gullane Beach: Situated around 20 miles east of Edinburgh, Gullane Beach is known for its pristine sands and breathtaking views. The beach is backed by rolling dunes and offers a peaceful and serene atmosphere.
  • Visitors can take long walks along the shore, enjoy a refreshing swim in the North Sea, or simply relax and soak up the sun. Gullane Beach is also a popular spot for birdwatching, as it attracts various species of seabirds.

  • Cramond Beach: Located in the village of Cramond, just four miles northwest of Edinburgh city center, Cramond Beach offers a unique coastal experience. The beach is situated at the mouth of the River Almond and provides stunning views of the Forth Bridges.
  • During low tide, visitors can walk across the causeway to Cramond Island, which is home to ancient ruins and a peaceful nature reserve. The beach is also a great spot for fishing and enjoying a picnic while admiring the scenic surroundings.

These beaches in Edinburgh offer a refreshing escape from the bustling city life and provide a chance to enjoy the natural beauty of Scotland’s coastline.

Edinburgh United Kingdom Image 1:

Edinburgh United Kingdom

Lakes in Edinburgh United Kingdom

Edinburgh is not only surrounded by the sea but also boasts several picturesque lakes where visitors can indulge in various water activities. Here are some of the stunning lakes in and around Edinburgh:

  • Lochend Loch: Situated in Lochend Park, Lochend Loch is a peaceful lake located in the eastern part of Edinburgh. The lake is surrounded by lush greenery and offers a tranquil setting for a leisurely walk or a picnic.
  • Visitors can rent pedal boats or rowing boats to explore the lake, or simply sit back and enjoy the serene atmosphere. The park surrounding the lake also features playgrounds, making it a great destination for families.

  • Duddingston Loch: Located near Holyrood Park, Duddingston Loch is a small freshwater lake known for its scenic beauty and abundant wildlife. The lake is home to various bird species, including swans, ducks, and herons.
  • Visitors can enjoy a peaceful stroll along the lake’s shores, go fishing, or rent a rowing boat to explore the tranquil waters. The nearby Duddingston Village offers charming pubs and cafes where visitors can relax and enjoy the surroundings.

  • Threipmuir Reservoir: Situated in the Pentland Hills Regional Park, Threipmuir Reservoir is a stunning freshwater reservoir surrounded by rolling hills and picturesque landscapes.
  • The reservoir is a popular spot for fishing, and visitors can also enjoy activities such as sailing and kayaking. The scenic trails around the reservoir offer opportunities for hiking and wildlife spotting.

These lakes in and around Edinburgh provide a peaceful retreat for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Edinburgh United Kingdom Image 2:

Edinburgh United Kingdom

Rivers in Edinburgh United Kingdom

In addition to its beaches and lakes, Edinburgh is also blessed with beautiful rivers that offer unique water adventures. Here are some of the notable rivers in Edinburgh:

  • Water of Leith: Flowing through the heart of Edinburgh, the Water of Leith is a charming river that stretches for 24 miles. The river is surrounded by lush greenery, making it a perfect spot for a peaceful riverside walk.
  • Visitors can explore the scenic path along the river, which passes through various parks, historic sites, and picturesque neighborhoods. The Water of Leith is also home to a diverse range of wildlife, including otters, herons, and kingfishers.

  • River Almond: The River Almond is a picturesque river that flows through the western outskirts of Edinburgh. The river offers opportunities for kayaking, canoeing, and fishing.
  • Visitors can enjoy a relaxing day by the river, surrounded by the stunning countryside. The river’s tranquil waters and scenic surroundings make it a popular spot for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

  • Union Canal: Although technically a canal, the Union Canal provides a unique water adventure in Edinburgh. The canal stretches for 31 miles and offers opportunities for boating, cycling, and walking.
  • Visitors can rent a narrowboat or a kayak to explore the peaceful waters and enjoy the scenic views along the canal. The Union Canal is also home to various wildlife, including ducks, swans, and water voles.

These rivers in Edinburgh provide a tranquil escape and a chance to connect with nature in the heart of the city.

Edinburgh United Kingdom Image 3:

Edinburgh United Kingdom


Edinburgh, United Kingdom, offers a wealth of water adventures with its beautiful beaches, stunning lakes, and picturesque rivers. Whether you prefer a day by the sea, a peaceful walk by a lake, or a unique experience along a river, Edinburgh has something to offer for everyone.

From the sandy shores of Portobello Beach to the tranquil waters of Duddingston Loch, each water adventure in Edinburgh provides a chance to relax, rejuvenate, and appreciate the natural beauty of Scotland.


  • petitpalace.co.uk
  • edinburgh.org
  • visitscotland.com