While the weather has turned distinctly wintry in the last few days, there are still plenty of spots to take in the gorgeous autumn colours. The shorter days mean if you are planning a wander to one of these spots, you can enjoy sunset at 5pm before finding somewhere to cosy up for the rest of the evening. I for one am obsessing over all things hygge right now. Do let me know if you have other favourite spots to add to this list.
At any time of year I love to walk along the Water of Leith walkway. This path stretches 13 miles along the river from Balerno down to the Port of Leith. It is a little haven away from the busy city where you can spot herons and listen to the sound of the water. In autumn the tree lined path is spectacular with golden reflections in the still pools of water. The section around Stockbridge is very easy to access and there's a lovely walk from Stockbridge through the Dean Village up to the Galleries of Modern Art (whose cafes serve really excellent cake!) I hope you manage to explore it. At the moment the section of the path from Dean Village to Bells Mills is closed because of a land slip which means a rather lovely diversion through the Dean Cemetery (below) will take you on to the Gallery of Modern Art.
Next up is the Royal Botanic Gardens, while they might be an obvious choice, they are still worth exploring, the alpine garden is spectacular at this time of year as it is planted with a wonderful variety of maples whose leaves positively glow. Also, on chilly days I have been known to go and hang out in the glasshouses where I can pretend, for a few hours at least, that I live in a warm country.
Costorphine Hill is slightly out of the city centre but still easily accessible, you can hop on a 1, 21 or 26 bus to get there. The nature reserve is a lovely place to explore with children, in September you might find lots of wild blackberries unless I've already eaten them all. If you climb up to the viewpoint you are rewarded with a panoramic view looking East across the city to the Castle and with Arthur's seat in the background. There is also an interesting tower, which is occasionally open and if you are feeling energetic it is worth climbing right to the top. Also, if you hear some unusual animal noises, don't be alarmed, as it is next to the zoo, you can often hear and sometimes see the zebras and the other African animals from the top of the hill.
One of the things I love about Edinburgh is how green (and yellow and gold and orange and red) the city centre is. Princes St Gardens is an example of this. Right in the centre of town its 8.5 acres of green in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle. Its a popular spot but for good reason. In summer you'll find half the city sunning themselves at lunch time, but in autumn it becomes a wonderfully colourful backdrop for the castle. Here is is on two very different days (only a week or so apart)
I hope you manage to explore some of these places, do let me know in the comments if you have a favourite spot to enjoy the autumn colours in Edinburgh.