I'm a working mum writing about life in Edinburgh (and anywhere else we go) with two curious, adventurous, and imaginative children. Visit my blog at www.linzertortes.blogspot.co.uk. Follow me on Twitter: @LinzerLaw
Get Your Walking Boots on for Charity
On Sunday 2nd December, make your way down to leafy Inverleith Park which is the starting point for the six-mile festive walk: The Edinburgh Christmas Walk.
In 1968 Terry Crossley arranged the very first Edinburgh Christmas Walk from the Usher Hall out to the old Edinburgh Airport and back. That Walk raised over £500 for the British Heart Foundation, and started something much bigger that has grown and changed over the decades.
This Edinburgh Christmas Walk is a organised under the banner of Challenge Scotland, and is the fruit of many decades of tireless work raising money for charity. It brings the many activities organised by Terry into one sustainable and flexible platform, better able to effectively raise money and channel it to where it's needed. Challenge Scotland supports many charities throughout Scotland, and your entrance fee will be going towards the work of charities in the local area including (to name a few): Lothian Autistic Society, Wellspring Centre for Psychotherapy and Counselling, Headway: The Brain Injury Association, and Aberlour.
A lane of converted mews houses in Stockbridge, Edinburgh
The walk starts in Inverleith Park (if you want to know more about the park you can read my review here) and then takes you on a winding route through a beautiful area of Edinburgh. Leading in to the Botanics (more information on them here) through the John Hope Gateway, you'll be able to enjoy the sights and sounds of the different areas of the Royal Botanic Garden. Look out for the Chinese Gardens, with their rushing waterfalls and gazebo.
After you leave the Botanics the walk joins the Water of Leith Walkway. If you're lucky, you might see one of the resident herons out for a spot of fishing. Then take in the atmosphere of early Christmas shopping season in bustling Stockbridge, replete with its many boutiques and delis. Finally, the walk finishes back in Inverleith Park.
A few bits of additional information that you might need: this is a 6-mile walk, on which dogs are welcome (although they will be diverted around the Botanic Gardens).
This part of Edinburgh is always lovely, no matter the time of year, but you would be well-advised to wrap up warmly and wear sturdy shoes or boots. Once you've got your wardrobe sorted, you can get on with this great opportunity to start a pre-Christmas fitness regime (why wait until the New Year?) and support some worthy causes at the same time.