Leith is the port area of Edinburgh which was founded at the mouth of the Water of Leith in the north of the city. After many years of control by Edinburgh, Leith became a separate burgh in 1833 but was subsequently merged again into Edinburgh in 1920. These are short routes all or part of which lies in Leith or EH6. All my routes can presently be found on my Rucksack Rosie profile on Outdooractive.
Leith Links Circular. Circular (3.2 miles / 5.2km)
St Mark’s Park Circular. Circular (3.8 miles / 6.2km)
Powderhall to The Shore. Linear (2.2 miles / 3.5km)
Cannonmills to The Shore, Leith. Linear. (2.2 miles / 3.5km)
Joppa to The Shore, Leith. Linear (3.9 miles / 6.3km)
Easter Road to Ocean Terminal. Linear (3 miles / 4.8km)
Leith Links Circular, Leith
This is a 3.2 mile / 5.2 km circular walk beginning and ending at the junction between Easter Road and Restalrig Railway Path (opposite Thorntree Road). Follow the tarmac Railway Path for walkers and cyclists as far as the signpost on the right for Lochend Park. Here take the steps or the ramp up to the road. Cross over and slightly to your left is an alley which takes you into the upper corner of the Park.
Descend across the grassy bank down to the pond side and follow the path clockwise or anticlockwise around the pond back to your starting point and return the way you came to the Railway Path. Here turn right to continue along the footpath to the exit for Seafield and Portobello where the path turns around to the left over a couple of footbridges towards Leith Links. The path drops down beside a community orchard to the perimeter of Leith Links. Turn right and follow the path until you cross the road and continue along the footpath to see the statue of golfer John Rattray teeing off for the first Golf competition in 1744.
The route then takes you through Leith Links where you will find a play area, public toilets and a market on Sundays. The route finishes with a detour around the lovely community gardens.
You then return along a fine avenue of mature trees across the Links to the junction of Lochend Road, Easter Road and Duke Street.
From there you return a short way up Easter Road back to your starting point on your left.
St Mark’s Park Circular, Leith
The 3.8 miles / 6.2km route starts at St Mark’s bridge over the Water of Leith near Powderhall. From here you follow the river until you reach the junction of paths with Victoria Path.
Turn northwards and follow the signs for Leith and Ocean Terminal which will bring you out on Lindsay Road near Ocean Terminal. At Ocean Drive you divert away from the busy road and follow the route down Commercial Quay past the Scottish Government buildings until you reach Custom House where you rejoin Commercial Street to head over the Water of Leith at Bernard Street Bridge.
Turn right and follow The Shore until you reach Sandport Bridge which you cross to take a small exit on your left onto the Water of Leith walkway.
There are a few diversions onto the roads but apart from these the route follows close to the Water of Leith back to your starting point at St Mark’s Bridge.
Powderhall to The Shore, Leith
This is a 2.2 miles / 3.5 km linear walk which heads along St Mark’s Path before crossing the Water of Leith into St Mark’s Park. Here you turn immediately right to follow the Water of Leith walkway along a tree lined path past the weir until you reach the junction with Victoria Path which turns Northwards.
Turn left up Victoria Path which bends around though Victoria Park until you fork right under the underpass where the path passes under several bridges until you reach a turning for Newhaven (Hawthornvale) on your left.
At the junction of Lindsay Road you turn right and follow the road as far as Ocean Drive, where you cross over the road and slightly to your left is the entrance to Commercial Quay. Head along the quay, past the Scottish Government offices on your left to the end of the quay and rejoin Commercial Street.
At the end of the street you cross Bernard Street Bridge past the Ocean Mist to finish at The Shore where there are plenty of cafes and bars as well as buses back into town.
Cannonmills to The Shore, Leith
This route is a short 2.2 mile / 3.5 km route, starting by the supermarket at Canonmills, and heading along Warriston Path and the Water of Leith walkway to Bernard Street Bridge on The Shore at Leith. Warriston Path is a well surfaced path lined by trees, which is used by walkers and cyclists across the city. As you can see, there was snow lying on the ground, so I used my spikes for some stretches.
The path heads alongside Warriston allotments passed some small bridges as far as Newhaven Road where you head up the steps and follow the signs for the Water of Leith walkway to your right.
From here the Water of Leith walkway stays close to the side of the river for the remainder of the route to the mouth of the river. As the river broadens out, the area around Leith becomes gradually more built up. The route crosses the river at Sandport Bridge to pass along the beautiful Shore, where there are a range of cafes and bars, as far as Bernard Street Bridge and the Ocean Mist yacht which is undergoing restoration into a hotel and bar.
The route is accessible on foot or public transport at both ends, with plenty to explore at Leith including the historic building around The Shore, Ocean Terminal shopping centre and the Royal Yacht Britannia.
Joppa to The Shore, Leith
This linear walk is 3.9 miles / 6.3km starting from the circular Portobello Promenade View which marks the southern end of the promenade at Joppa, and heading along the sandy beach at low tide (or the promenade at high tide).
There are places to stop for refreshments on the seafront at the junction of Bath Street, Portobello.
Follow the beach as far as you can go until you reach a curving wall where you head uphill along a narrow track onto Seafield Road. There is then a short, horrible stretch along this busy road, before you turn left onto Seafield Street. A short way up turn right where the signposts for Leith Links and Ocean Terminal take you on to the Restalrig Railway Path where you turn right. The path follows alongside Seafield Cemetery towards Leith Links, where you take a right along the path which passes the bowling club and the allotments.
Follow the path as far as Links Gardens. Here you turn right and follow the quiet road onto Queen Charlotte Street as far as a T junction where you take the left fork along Tolbooth Wynd until you reach the Water of Leith at a small bridge with The Shore to your right.
There are many bars, restaurants and cafes along this side of the river. Both ends of the route are served by buses.
Easter Road to Ocean Terminal.
This pleasant short city walk is a 3 mile / 4.8 km linear route starting at Easter Road by Thorntreeside on the south side of the road and finishing at Ocean Terminal at the Port of Leith.
Restalrig Railway Path forms a quiet, green corridor through the heart of Leith, passing under busy Lochend Road and Restalrig Road and alongside Seafield Cemetery where there are glimpses across the Firth of Forth.
The route then heads towards Leith Links before heading towards the Shore and over the Water of Leith.
Once over the river you head down Commercial Quay to Ocean Terminal (soon to be reached by tram). Here you can do some shopping, go to the cinema or visit the Royal Yacht Britannia.