Outdoor options for keeping busy during our seasonal closure

Access to Industry will close on Friday 22 December 2023 and we re-open our doors on Thursday 4 January 2024. We understand that this time of year can be challenging – if you find yourself in need of ideas to ‘keep busy’, or require specific help or support, here’s our useful guide to keeping busy outdoors…

Getting outside is good for brain and body. If routine is important for you, try having a set time each day for fresh air and movement. You could also connect with a friend, family member, or neighbour and try some ‘new to you’ walks together.

Central Edinburgh has many verdant urban areas to escape the noise – try Craiglockhart Hill and woods, or The Hermitage of Braid and nearby Blackford Hill and pond. There’s also Corstorphine Hill, Arthur’s Seat, and Calton Hill, all in the city centre. Slightly further (but easily reachable by Lothian bus 10) is Bonaly Country Park and reservoir.

For flatter ground, Edinburgh has lots of parks and gardens – Leith Links; The Meadows; Inverleith Park; Saughton Park; Princes Street Gardens (and Christmas Market, open until 6 January); and Royal Botanic Garden (open except 25 December and 1 January). Or wander along the Water of Leith, which runs from the Pentland Hills to the Port of Leith, with accessible points including Colinton, Roseburn, and Dean Village. While Dr. Neil’s Garden (pictured on a recent student trip, open except 25 December and 1 January) is a tranquil, botanical hidden gem.

Beaches are another calming option. Lothian bus 26 goes from Princes Street to Portobello, or bus 47 goes from the West End to Cramond, where you can (tide permitting) hop over to Cramond Island. Or jaunt a little further to Belhaven Bay, a 20-minute train ride from Waverley Station, or North Berwick, a 30-minute train ride from Waverley Station.

You can find our list of Indoor options here.
Our Help and Support Contacts here.
Our table of Edinburgh Food Bank opening times 2023, with additional non-referral food options.
We also have a Seasonal support guide 2023 Dundee.

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